March 25, 2016

Visita Iglesia

During Maundy Thursday, it is customary for Filipinos to visit seven churches. This is called Visita Iglesia which is a Spanish word for “to visit churches”. Some people visit 14 churches to symbolize the 14 stations of the cross. My family sticks to 7 visiting 7 churches, and these are:
Santuario De Santo Cristo Parish
is special to my family because this is the church where my children studies.
This is also where Julia, Rafael and Juan were baptized
Archbishop's Palace is very special because this is where John and I took our vows
Archbishop's Palace
San Felipe Neri Parish
Shrine of the Divine Mercy
Saint Peter Parish
St.Francis Church
Mary The Queen Parish
This Holy Week marks  Jubilee Year of Mercy. Connected with that is the designation of Jubilee Churches with Holy Doors by Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle. As Catholics take time to reflect  or observe the tradition of remembering the Stations of the Cross through the Visita Iglesia, the faithful are also encouraged by the church to do a pilgrimage and enter the Holy Doors of Jubilee Churches.

Pope Francis was quoted as saying in his message on the Jubilee Year of Mercy, "The practice of pilgrimage has a special place in the Holy Year, because it represents the journey each of us makes in this life. Life itself is a pilgrimage, and the human being is a viator, a pilgrim travelling along the road, making his way to the desired destination.In order to be capable of mercy, therefore, we must first of all dispose ourselves to listen to the Word of God. This means rediscovering the value of silence in order to meditate on the Word that comes to us. In this way, it will be possible to contemplate God’s mercy and adopt it as our lifestyle.” 

The Filipino Catholics have responded to the Pope's call, that's why this years Visita Iglesia brought many people in the churches we frequent unlike the previous years.

Jubilee Churches are: Manila Cathedral, National Shrine of the Sacred Heart in Makati City, Archdiocesan Shrine of the Divine Mercy in Mandaluyong City, Santuario de Santo Cristo in San Juan City, and Our Lady of Sorrows Parish in Pasay City,  Manila Cathedral,  National Shrine of Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage, Antipolo, Rizal, Santuario de San Pedro Bautista Parish, San Francisco Del Monte, Quezon City and  Immaculate Conception Cathedral, 39 Lantana Street, Q.C.

Pilgrims get the passport at the first Jubilee Church they visit. At the end of each pilgrimage, the passport will be stamped, and once completed, a certficate will be issued.

Besides the designated churches, there are several shrines and parishes with the Porta Sancta or Holy Doors throughout the metro and country that you can visit this Holy Week, or until November of this year, take the journey of faith and renewal by passing through these Holy Doors: The Parish of the Lord of Divine Mercy in Sikatuna, Quezon City; Holy Family Parish in Kamias, Quezon City; San Jose Parish in Navotas City; St. Andrew Cathedral in La Huerta, Parañaque City; National Shrine of Mary Help of Christian in Betterliving Subdivision, Parañaque City; National Shrine of Our Mother of Perpetual Help in Baclaran, Parañaque City; Presentation of the Child Jesus, BF Homes, Parañaque City; National Shrine of Our Lady of Miraculous Medal, Sucat, Muntinlupa City; Diocesan Shrine of St. Peregrine Laziosi, Tunasan, Muntinlupa City; Shrine of the Five Wounds of the Lord, Moonwalk, Las Piñas City; Our Lady of Fatima Parish, Phil Am; Subdivision, Las Pinas City; Pasig Cathedral in Pasig City; San Antonio Abad Parish in Pasig City; and the Dambana ni Sta. Marta, San Roque Parish in Pateros to name a few.

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