The Seven Churches Visitation also known as Visita Iglesia is a pious Roman Catholic Lenten tradition to visit seven churches on Maundy Thursday. On Maundy Thursday of Holy Week, following the Mass of the Lord's Supper, the Blessed Sacrament, the "bread" of the ma is laid on thess, Altar of Repose in the church for the Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. During the Seven Churches Visitation or Visita Iglesia, the faithful visit several churches – sometimes seven, sometimes fourteen, sometimes no set number depending upon the particular practice – to pray in front of each church's Blessed Sacrament.
Join my journey during my Visita Iglesia in Iloilo City, First church that we visited:
1. THE PARISH OF SAINT ANNE commonly called "Molo Cathedral" located at Molo Iloilo City is our first church. I personally like this church because the Architectural style is Gothic Architecture. It is made of coral rocks and egg white as mortar. Its two towering red spires and its regal structure sits on a throne high above the Molo plaza (as shown at the first photo). It is also known to be a feminist church because of the two rows of sixteen female saints line on both sides of the altar.
2. THE ESPOUSAL OF OUR LADY PARISH CHURCH commoly called the "Mandurriao Church", located at Mandurraio Iloilo City. A beautiful church made of white marble and stone, the church sets an atmosphere where one can meditate more on the Eucharist. Surrounding the church is a large courtyard with a beautiful garden. Statues of Christ and Mary flank the entrance to the church.
3. THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION PARISH commonly known as "Tanza Church". Located at Tanza Iloilo City. This title was given because of its importance in the life and history of the Tanzahanons. The History of this Parish is intimately bound to the very History of the Tanza People themselves.
4. THE SAN JOSE PARISH located at De leon Street City Proper Iloilo City. The church’s appeal lies less in ornamentation and more on the rational modulation of forms and spaces. Typically Renaissance in inspiration. The church interior has an arcade of Corinthian columns supporting a faux barrel vault over the nave and groin vaults over the aisle. The main altar has some Gothic touches.
5. THE STA TERESITA PARISH located at Quezon Street, Iloilo City. The St. Therese of the Child Jesus on the other hand was built on Feb. 9, 1930. Unlike other churches in Iloilo, Santa Teresita is not located right next to a plaza nor does it have a bandstand to its adjacent. There are no gardens or whatnot in this church, only a grotto on the church’s left side. Its architecture is simple. It’s not the same as the other “historical” churches in the city.
6. OUR LADY OF CANDLES PARISH CHURCH commonly known as "The Jaro Cathedral". The Jaro Cathedral was formally declared as a national shrine of Our Lady of Candle.The Nuestra Senora de la Candelaria (Our Lady of the Candles) is the only female saint among the all-male collection of statues which line the walls of the cathedral’s interiors. The Our Lady of Candles is perched on a glass-encased shrine on the balcony-façade of the cathedral.
7. DON BENITO CHAPEL. Where me and my family personally attend mass on Sundays. The chapel is actually a medical chapel. It is located inside the West Visayas State University Medical Center commonly known as Don Benito Hospital.
In the Philippines, the tradition is known as Visita Iglesia. The general practise is to visit seven churches either on Holy Thursday or Good Friday and recite the Stations of the Cross in them.
So, that's it! I hope you enjoyed reading a little bit of something in every church/chapel that I visited. My family and I had been practicing this tradition since I was little and I'm grateful for all the sacrifices that Jesus has made for us. My faith in God is getting stronger everyday and I couldn't be more happier and thankful. it is a time to thank the Almighty God that we have been called to be his Holy People. I guess I'll see you on my next post. Until then..
Happy Easter! Jesus is Alive. Take care everyone and God bless.