Visita Iglesia is a Spanish word of Visit Church. It is a Filipino Catholic tradition originating in Rome to visit 7 churches on Holy Thursday (Maundy Thursday). I have my “panata” (vow, a solemn promise made to God or a repayment for a prayer or wish that was granted) to visit, pray and meditate at National Shrine of St. Jude Thaddeus in Manila every year. I started this “panata” after I passed the board exam and this year is my 10th anniversary.
This year’s Holy Thursday, I had my first Visita Iglesia in which I together with hubby visited the ff. 7 churches in Manila with St. Jude as our last church in the list.
1. Manila Cathedral
2. San Agustin Church
3. Binondo Church
4. Sta. Cruz Church
5. Quiapo Church
6. San Sebastian Church
7. National Shrine of St. Jude Thaddeus
We took a jeepney with route going to Sta. Cruz, Pier and dropped at Manila Cathedral, our first destination. The church was closed that time but the Stations of the Cross (a Filipino Catholic tradition or devotion) was done outside.
The Minor Basilica of the Immaculate Conception is a Roman Catholic Minor Basilica in the capital of the Philippines, Manila. Having been destroyed several times by natural disasters and fires during its 400-year history, the current structure standing was completed in 1958, the cathedral's sixth incarnation. (source: WikiPilipinas)
From Manila Cathedral, we walked going to San Agustin Church in Intramuros, Manila.
San Agustin Church is the oldest existing church in the Philippines. The San Agustin Church lies inside the walled city of Intramuros located in the capital city Manila. It is the first European stone church to be built in the Philippines designed in Spanish architectural structure. It also houses the legacies of the Spanish conquistadores, Miguel López de Legazpi, Juan de Salcedo and Martín de Goiti who are buried in a tomb underneath the church. (source: WikiPilipinas)
In 1993, San Agustin Church was one of four Philippine churches constructed during the Spanish colonial period to be designated as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, under the collective title Baroque Churches of the Philippines. (source: Wikipedia)
There’s a museum in San Agustin Church (with entrance fee). We didn’t go inside.
From Intramuros, we walked to Manila City Hall and then took a jeepney with route going to Divisoria for our third destination, Binondo Church.
Also known as the Minor Basilica of San Lorenzo Ruiz, Binondo Church was named after the sacristan, San Lorenzo Ruiz, who was born of a Chinese father and a Filipino mother. He was trained in this church then went to Japan as a missionary, where he was executed for refusing to renounce his religion. He was canonized in 1989. A large statue of the martyr stands in front of the church, being the first Filipino saint. (source: WikiPilipinas)We went to our fourth up to seventh (last) destination by foot.
Quiapo Church is one of Manila's most famous churches. It is also known as the "Church of the Black Nazarene" and sometimes referred to as the "Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene." Located in Quiapo, Manila, the church houses a large black wooden statue of Christ bearing the cross (the "Black Nazarene"). This crucifix was carved in Mexico and was brought to the Philippines from Mexico by Spanish galleon in 1767. (source: WikiPilipinas)
The Basilica Minore de San Sebastian is known for its beautiful and distinctive architecture.
St. Jude Church is located near Malacañang Palace (the official residence, but not the actual residence, and principal workplace of the President of the Philippines) along J.P. Laurel Sr., Manila. St. Jude is the patron saint of the hopeless cases.
Btw, this post focuses more on travel, information, personal experience and not religion. Till next time!