Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Visita Iglesia: A Lenten Season Special

One spiritual tradition that sets Filipinos apart is the "Visita Iglesia" (Visiting of the churches). This old pratice goes back from the time of the Spanish Era. No kidding! This is some sort of a "Pamana" for us by the Spaniards - of course, they are the one who brought and influenced us with Christianity.

Visita Iglesia is done during the Lenten Season or what locals call it "Semana Santa" or "Cuaresma". This is done by meditating on the 14 Stations of the Cross (also called, Way of the Cross). The main purpose of this station is to help the Filipino Catholic Faithful to make a spiritual pilgrimage of prayer through contemplating on the different scenes from Jesus sufferings and death. Usually, pilgrims do this by visiting 7 churches (2 stations per church during Holy Thursday, but with some, they make it a point to visit 14 churches.

To some, Visita Iglesia is a way to travel several historical churches across the Philippines. But here in Club Tourists, we're encouraging everyone to have it done by foot. This is some sort of a penitence and sacrifice for all our short comings, besides, this is done only once (1) a year. Featured here are 14 Manila Churches that are close in proximity with each other for this very solemn occassion.

Station 1: Jesus is condemned to death
Church: Saint Joseph the Workman Parish (San Jose Manggagawa Parish)
Location: 3025 Molave St. , Manuguit Subd. Tondo, Manila

Station 2: Jesus is given his cross
Location: Rizal Ave. , Santa Cruz , Manila

Station 3: Jesus falls the first time
Church: Espiritu Santo Parish Church
Location: Corner of Rizal Ave. and Tayuman St., Sta. Cruz, Manila.

Station 4: Jesus meets His Mother
Location: 1340 Masangkay St. , Santa Cruz , Manila

Station 5: Simon of Cyrene carries the cross
Church: Binondo Church (aka San Lorenzo Ruiz Minor Basilica)
Location: Plaza dela Basco, Binondo, Manila

Station 6: Veronica wipes the face of Jesus
Church: Our Lady of The Most Holy Rosary Parish
Location: 649 Ongpin St. Binondo, Manila

Station 7: Jesus falls the second time:
Location: Plaza Lacson, Sta. Cruz, Manila

Station 8: Jesus meets the daughters of Jerusalem
Church: Quiapo Church (aka Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene)
Location: Plaza Miranda Mall, Quiapo, Manila

Station 9: Jesus falls the third time
Church: San Sebastian Church (aka Minor Basilica of San Sebastian)
Location: Plaza del Carmen, Quiapo, Manila

Station 10: Jesus is stripped off His garments
Church: San Beda Church (aka Abbey Church of Our Lady of Montserrat)
Location: 638 Mendiola St., San Miguel, Manila

Station 11: Crucifixion: Jesus is nailed to the cross
Church: St Jude Archdiocesan Shrine (aka St. Jude Thaddeus Archdiocesan Shrine)
Location: 1420 J.P. Laurel St., San Miguel, Manila (beside Malacanang)

Station 12: Jesus dies on the cross
Church: San Miguel Church (aka National Shrine of St. Michael and the Archangels)
Location: 1000 J.P. Laurel corner Gen. Solano St., San Miguel, Manila

Station 13: Jesus' body is removed from the cross (Deposition or Lamentation)
Church: San Agustin Church (aka Immaculate Conception Parish)
Location: General Luna St., Intramuros, Manila

Station 14: Jesus is laid in the tomb and covered in incense.
Location: Cabildo cor. Beaterio St., Intramuros, Manila

For prayers during each station, you may check out this site
Easter / Lent - Catholic Online

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