The Visita Iglesia (Church Visit) is a Holy Week practice where devotees visit and pray in at least 7 separate churches.
It can be done in one day, usually on Maundy Thursday, or it can take days until before Easter Sunday if churches are far apart.
Initially, the purpose of this Holy Week practice was to honor the Blessed Sacrament, when Jesus established the Sacrament of the Eucharist.
It then morphed into a form of pilgrimage and meditation for the Holy Week, and also a form of seeking penance for sins. Superstition even has it that wishes would be granted upon completion of a Visita Iglesia.
Stations of the Cross may also be held during church visits. Devotees either visit 14 churches for each of the 14 Stations of the Cross, or pray two stations in each of the 7 churches
Visita Iglesia has always been part of my Lenten rituals. I usually do it with family or friends on Maundy Thursday or Good Friday. But this year, since I am assuming that I will be at work during those days, I tried to think of how I can still manage to do the visita iglesia. And so I thought of visiting one church per week during the 7-week Lenten season, starting from March 1(Ash Wednesday) up to April 14(Good Friday).
CHURCH #1. Chapel of the Eucharistic Lord
- March 1, 2017 (Ash Wednesday)
- this chapel is located at the 5th floor of SM Megamall in Ortigas. I used to hear mass in that chapel when I was still assigned in Podium Mall. Despite many people going there to hear mass especially on Sundays, I still find the chapel solemn.
CHURCH #2. Immaculate Conception Cathedral
- March 7, 2017
- This cathedral is located in Pasig City. It is also the church nearest my place and where I usually hear mass whenever I could on Sundays and on my rest days. I easily fell in love with this church the first time I was there. Outside the main church you can find (my favorite spot) the Chapel of Saints where there is also adoration chapel inside. At the chapel of saints you can find images of the Black Nazarene, St. Padre Pio, St. Jude Thaddeus, and St. Anthony among others. There, you can go around and touch the images while praying or you can sit and solemnly talk to God.
- I honestly don’t know why, but during this visit, I cried so much while praying.
CHURCH #3: Chapel of San Pedro Calungsod
- March 16, 2017
- This chapel is located at the roof deck of SM Aura in Bonifacio Global City, Taguig.
- Well yes, I like the chapels built by SM because not only they are very accessible but it’s also surprising how these chapels can be so solemn despite being located in malls. And the architectural design is a good bonus. 🙂
- This particular chapel is also special to me because this is where my best friend’s prayer to have a baby was answered. And now our pretty baby Audrey is 2 years old.
CHURCH #4: Minor Basilica of Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary of Manaoag
- March 25, 2017
- located in Pangasinan, about 5 hours travel by bus from Quezon City
- when I thought of doing this weekly church visit, Manaoag church was immediately on my list
- know to be miraculous and a pilgrim site, devotees from all over the country and even abroad, come everyday to pray