Visita Iglesia

Every Holy Week, it has been an ongoing tradition of the Filipino Catholic faithfuls to do the visita iglesia, Spanish for church visits. This practice, most probably introduced by the Spanish colonizers, goes way back to the time of the early church where pilgrims visit the seven great basilicas in Rome for the adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and for penance as well. In the Philippines, we have extended this practice to also contemplate on the  fourteen stations of the cross, or what we call the Way of the Cross, either by visiting seven churches (patterned after the origin of the visita iglesia) with two stations per visit or with more time and effort, visiting fourteen churches with a station per visit.

I haven't really experienced an actual visita iglesia yet (or at least as far as I can remember). We usually just contemplate on all fourteen stations in one church, our parish church. This year, Yza and I decided to do our own version of visita iglesia around Makati and Manila. We picked 6 nearby churches and added the Manila Cathedral as the 7th. It was a Good Friday and we made sure we end up in Makati by 3PM for the veneration of the cross.

Looking forward to doing a full visita iglesia in the near future and actually visiting fourteen historical churches and/or basilicas across the different provinces in Luzon. It's a good way to spend time and effort to reflect and repent during the Lenten Season.