If you share the same Lenten tradition, you know that Visita Iglesia starts at 7pm on a Maundy Thursday. Catholics visit seven churches and pray before the Blessed Sacrament and the Way of the Cross. Though most Catholics practice these, there is another that we often forget. That is to attend the 5pm mass to witness the traditional washing of the feet ceremony.
The washing of the feet is Jesus’ final act of service to his disciples.
Jesus knew that the Father had given him complete power; he knew that he had come from God and was going to God. So he rose from the table, took off his outer garment, and tied a towel around his waist. Then he poured some water into a washbasin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and dry them with the towel around his waist.
This ritual happens after the homily. Then after the mass is the procession of the Blessed Sacrament to the altar of repose. This procession marks the beginning of the Visita Iglesia.
For our Visita Iglesia this year, we started at the Malate Church where we also attended the 5pm mass and witnessed the washing of the feet ceremony and the procession of the Blessed Sacrament.
From Manila City
The Malate Church is formally known as Our Lady of Remedies Parish Church.
Of the 17 listed churches in the Philippines honouring Mary with the title “Nuestra Señora de los Remedios”, Malate, the oldest, was established by the Augustinian friars on September 8, 1588. The image of the Virgen de los Remedios was brought from Spain to Malate by Friar Juan de Guevara, OSA, in 1624.
San Sebastian Church
The Basílica Menor de San Sebastián or simply the San Sebastian Church was completed in 1891.
The church is well known for its architectural features as it is the only all-steel temple in the country. Not to mention, the church is the only prefabricated steel church in the world.
Twin Churches of Sampaloc
Loacted along Figueras Street (formerly Bustillos), you will find two churches. The first one is the Archdiocesan Shrine of Our Lady of Loreto also known as Sampaloc Church or Loreto Church which was founded on 1613.
Adjacent to it is the St. Anthony Shrine which was founded on 1794.
To Quezon City
Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish
The Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish was established on October 3, 1941 and is located at Kamuning District of Quezon City.
Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish
The Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish was designed in 1975 by Architect Leandro Locsin. He is a National Artist and also the designer of the Cultural Center of the Philippines. The church is one of a kind as it resembles a “salakot”, a Filipino native hat.
Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish
The Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish is located at Project 6. The church was founded in 1961. On August 14, 2010, Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish was declared by Pope Benedict XVI as a Pilgrim Jubilee Church, granting partial and plenary indulgence to all parishioners and pilgrims from August 15, 2010 to August 15, 2011.
And these are the seven churches my family and I visited this year.
Were you able to visit these churches as well? Perhaps a different set of churches? Well, I hope you were able to recharge your mind, body, and soul through those visits. Not to mention, attend the Easter mass and renew your baptismal promises.