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52 Historic Cebu Churches you can visit for Visita Iglesia

| by: Hearty Marie Rizarri

Expand your Visita Iglesia across the Cebu Island 

Make your Visita Iglesia this year a memorable journey not just of devotion and faith but also of history by visiting fascinating centuries-old Spanish period churches across the Island of Cebu.

If overcrowding, city traffic or too much distraction is stopping you from the doing the VisitaIglesia, how about visiting the fascinating old colonial Spanish churches in Southern and Northern Cebu?

It is not only a way for family members to bond through the spirit of prayer and penance but also a way to learn more about Cebu’s heritage and share it to your children and friends.

Also, travelling outside the city offers majestic views of the mountains and seas, definitely a nice change of scenery and a breath of fresh air!

Make sure you plan your Visita Iglesia journey well and prepare all the necessary things for travel.

Check out Cebu Map below as your reference.

Visita Iglesia

Read here: Origin, Tradition and Significance of Visita Iglesia

Visita Iglesia or “Church Visit” is a Holy Week devotion among pious Filipino Catholics by visiting seven churches or more to pray and meditate on the Lord’s Passion.

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Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane Source: Photo grabbed online

This tradition was introduced in the Philippines by Augustinian missionaries in 1565.
Visita Iglesia is based on the Biblical accounts of the first sorrowful mystery, the Agony in the Garden. After the Last Supper, when Jesus Christ introduced the sacraments of the Holy Eucharist and Holy Order, He went to a place called Gethsemane to pray where He felt sorrow and distress.

He told His apostles Peter, James and John to remain and keep vigil with Him but they fell asleep. Soon thereafter, Judas Iscariot arrived with an army, greeted Jesus and kissed Him as a sign of his betrayal in which signifies the beginning of the Lord’s passion.

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Judas betrays Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane Source: Photo grabbed online

Similarly, in the practice of Visita Iglesia, Jesus is asking the faithful to remain, keep vigil and to be with Him in the sufferings that are about to take place.

The practice commences early evening of Maundy Thursday after the mass of the Last Supper.

The Blessed Sacrament is reserved at the beautifully adorned Altar of Repose for adoration in the church that will last until midnight.

There is actually no prescribed number of Churches to be visited.Traditionally, seven signifies completeness and perfection even as a contemporary and more penitential fourteen churches can also be practiced.

Nevertheless, the number of churches won’t matter. What’s important is that the faithful prays and contemplates fervently from the heart.

There is no prescribed prayer for the Visita Iglesia because it is not essentially a part of the liturgy. By tradition, Catholics accompany their visit with their personal prayers and the meditation of the mysteries of the Holy Rosary while some would pray the Via Crucis (Stations of the Cross).

Heart Rizarri

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