It is the season of the year when the Roman Catholics celebrate the Holy Week. We pray in thanksgiving for all the sacrifices Jesus has done for humanity. Today is Maunday Thursday and as part of our tradition, we do Visita Iglesia. But, what is Visita Iglesia?
Visita Iglesia is a Spanish term which means to visit churches. People usually visit seven churches during Holy Week. It is traditionally done during Maundy Thursday which commemorates Lord Jesus Christ's Institution of the Eucharist during the Last Supper. Maundy Thursday is also called Passion Thursday or Paschal Thursday.
Why seven churches? The number seven mainly signifies the seven holy sites related to Lord Jesus Christ's arrest and death.
1st Visit: Garden of Gethsemane (Luke 22:39-46)
2nd Visit: The House of Annas (John18:19-22)
3rd Visit: Tribunal before the High Priest,
Caiaphas (Mt 26:63-65)
4th Visit: Trial before Pilate ( John 18: 35-37)
5th Visit: Trial before Herod (Luke 23: 8-9,11)
6th Visit: From Herod back to Pilate (Mt27:22-26)
7th Visit: From Pilate to Calvary (Mt27:27-31)
As a Cagay-anon, I take pride in doing Visita Iglesia among seven of the beautiful churches in the City of Golden Friendship. I arranged them according to our route from our residence. Here are the following:
1. San Isidro Labrador Church (Gusa)
2. San Vicente Ferrer Church (Cugman)
3. San Lorenzo Church (Gusa)
4. Our Lady of Fatima Church (Camaman-an)
5. Carmelite Monastery (Camaman-an)
6. St. John Vianney Chapel (Camaman-an)
7. Sto. Niño Church (Cogon)
*Credits to Visita Iglesia Prayer Book