EXPERIENCE: Visita Iglesia 2014

I didn't plan on doing Visita Iglesia this year but due to some circumstances, time allowed me to. For 3 consecutive years, I'm doing Visita Iglesia every Holy Thursday with my sisters. This year, I decided to do it alone and in Manila.

Just a quick background, the churches I visited this year played a great role during my college and working years. Here are the 7 churches I visited this year:

San Isidro Labrador Parish Church
In 1951, San Isidro Parish Church was in a temporary Church building at Dominga Street. Services were continuously held as construction began with full-construction realized under the administration of Msgr. Emmanuel Magtanong Cruz. 
The altar, consecrated in September 15, 1966, has a background of the crucifixion at the backside of the Church building but is seen when one is inside the Church. The background behind the altar inside the Church was improved by Fr. Lari Abaco. 
San Isidro Parish Church was rendered most welcoming by its exterior part repainted in August 2006. The wall of the backside of the Church was painted on the same period. 
The Church has a “Historical Marker” placed at the Multi-Purpose Building with both blessed in September 24, 2006. The blessing was on the occasion of the 55th Founding Anniversary of the Parish coinciding with the 2nd year observance of the Parish Week. It reads:
Location: 1830 Taft Avenue, Pasay City 

Inside San Isidro Labrador Parish Curch


Basilica of San Sebastian - Manila
The Basilica Minore de San Sebastian, better known as San Sebastian Church, is a Roman Catholic minor basilica in Manila, Philippines. It is the seat of the Parish of San Sebastian and the National Shrine of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel. 
Completed in 1891, San Sebastian Church is noted for its architectural features. an example of the revival of Gothic architecture in the Philippines, it is the only all-steel church or basilica in asia, and claimed as the only prefabricated steel church in the world. In 2006, San Sebastian Church was included in the Tentative List for possible designation as a World Heritage Site. It was designated as a National Historical Landmark by the Philippine government in 1973 
San Sebastian Church is under the care of The Order of the Augustinian Recollects, who also operate a college adjacent to the basilica. It is located at Plaza del Carmen, at the eastern end of Claro M. Recto Street, in Quiapo, Manila.

Inside San Sebastian Church

National Shrine of St. Jude Thaddeus
On October 13, 1954, Father Provincial Hermann Kondring, SVD appointed Fr. Henry Windges, SVD as the first parish priest of the Espiritu Santo Chinese Parish, as the parish was known initially. Fr. Windges was installed by Manila Archbishop Rufino J. Santos on November 14, 1954. Fr. Peter Tsao, SVD was subsequently appointed assistant parish priest on December 7, 1954. 
In January 1955, the parish set up its first rectory by renting part of the premises of a former hospital (now St. Jude Catholic School) in San Miguel, Manila. The next month, Archbishop Rufino J. Santos made St. Jude Thaddeus the patron saint of the parish as proposed by Father Provincial Herman Kondring, SVD. 
The present site of St. Jude Parish was donated by Archbishop Rufino J. Santos. The blessing and laying of the cornerstone of the church was held on September 28, 1958. The completed church was blessed on October 23, 1960.

Inside National Shrine of St. Jude Thaddeus

Abbey of Our Lady of Montserrat

The Abbey of Our Lady of Montserrat, or Manila Abbey, is a Benedictine men's monastery located on Mendiola Street in Manila, the Philippines. The monastery was founded in 1895 by monks from Spain during the final days of the islands being a part of the Spanish empire. The monastic community of the abbey operates the prestigious San Beda College on the grounds of the abbey. They belong to the Philippine Pro-Province of the Subiaco Cassinese Congregation, a part of the Benedictine Confederation.

Inside the Abbey of Our Lady of Montserrat

Archdiocesan Shrine of Our Lady of Loreto Parish
There was a house in which the Blessed Virgin lived, where "the Word was made Flesh" and in which the Holy Family resided after from their flight into Egypt. Here the Child Jesus played, worked with St. Joseph and grew up until He left for His public life that led to His crucifixion.
To save the house from profanation by infidels, it is said that God worked a miracle, which resulted in the house being carried on air by the Ministry of Angels on May 10, 1291.
Mariners on the Adriatic Sea said they had seen the house transferred over the water at the hands of angels. It was transferred to Tersato, near Fiume, in Dalmatia; where its identity was established. But once again, the house was transported, to the east coast of Italy at Loreto on December 10, 1294, where it was found in the woods by shepherds. In less than a year, the house was moved twice again to nearby locations, presumably because its sanctity was endangered by the plunder, by pilgrims, and others who attempted to profit by its locations. 
The Holy House finally rested on public highway and has remained there since then, the scene has likewise become one great veneration and many cures.

Inside the Archdiocesan Shrine of Our Lady of Loreto Parish

Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene
Quiapo Church, officially known as Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene, is a Roman Catholic church located in the District of Quiapo, Manila, in the Philippines. The church is one of the most popular churches in the country. It is home to the Black Nazarene, a much venerated statue of Jesus Christ which many people believe has miraculous attributes. The church was painted cream after the original Mexican Baroque edifice was burned down in 1928. It is expanded to its current form in 1984 for accommodation of thousands of devotees. Also known as St. John the Baptist Parish, the church at present belongs to the Archdiocese of Manila. The current rector is Rev. Msgr. Jose Clemente Ignacio, former Episcopal Vicar, Chancellor and Oeconomus of the Archdiocese of Manila, who succeeded Msgr. Josefino Ramirez (the Vicar General of the archdiocese) upon the latter's appointment as rector of the Archdiocesan Shrine of the Divine Mercy in Maysilo, Mandaluyong City. Assisting Msgr. Clem are his Parochial Vicars Rev. Fr. Fernando Carpio, Rev. Fr. Frank Villanueva, Rev. Fr. Venusto Suarez and Rev. Fr. Ricardo Valencia.

Inside Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene

Malate Church
Of the 17 listed churches in the Philippines honoring 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. 
It survived the Chinese invasion of 1662, the British occupation of the church in 1762, the Great Earthquake of 1863, and the destruction of the church in February 1945.  From that time onwards, the faithful have displayed a great love and devotion to Our Lady of Remedies.  The present statue, which is very graceful in its lines, and though small (about two feet in height), has a very distinctive beauty.  The costume, with large puffed shoulders, may have been the origin of the butterfly sleeves of the Filipino terno.
Down through the centuries, Malate Church  has been associated with  women’s ills and children’s diseases.  On Saturdays, mothers bring their little ones to place them under the care and protection of Nuestra Señora de los Remedios.  Such was the fame of the  Malate Shrine that replicas of the image spread to the provinces.  In Pangasinan, she is venerated as of the “Virgin of Malate”.  In Pampanga an image of  the Virgin of Remedies is brought to various parishes of the province in the course of the year and is hailed as the “Queen of the Pampangeños.”

Inside Malate Church

It's great to reflect once in a while and somehow share Jesus trials through Stations of the Cross. Hope you had a great Holy Week.

Have you done Visita Iglesia this year? What churches have you been in to? Share your experiences with me and to other readers. We love to hear from you!


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