Every Holy Week, Catholics from all walks of life traditionally visit seven different churches as part of the Visita Iglesia to pray and reflect on their lives.
As one of the largest Christian countries in the world, the Philippines is, by no surprise, full of beautiful churches where devout Catholics can choose from for this long-standing religious practice.
To help you save time and lessen your research work, Globe myBusiness, the micro, small, and medium enterprise arm of Globe Telecom, has picked out some of the churches in Metro Manila and nearby provinces best known for their unique historical and miracle stories which you can visit this Holy Week.
1. Quiapo Church – Manila
The Quiapo Church, also known as the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene, has been a symbol of Catholicism in the Philippines for centuries.
Every year, many flock to the basilica to pray before the popularly known Black Nazarene. The annual festival of the Black Nazarene attracts millions of devotees who believe that the life-sized religious figure has delivered miracles in the various aspects of their lives.
2. Barasoain Church – Malolos, Bulacan
If you owned a 10-peso bill in the late ‘90s, you probably saw this church’s image on the back of that note.
The Barasoain Church is recognized by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines as the Cradle of Democracy in the East and as one of the country’s most important structures. It was chosen as the site of the Philippines’ first Congress, where the revolutionary Malolos Constitution was crafted, paving the way for the inauguration of the First Philippine Republic in 1899.
3. Parish of Mary, Mediatrix of All Grace – Lipa, Batangas
In 1948, a postulant at the Carmelite Monastery of Lipa claimed to be graced by the Virgin Mary with an apparition in the compound’s garden. Stories further claimed that days later, rose petals with religious images rained on the monastery as a sign of the apparition.
Today, the Mary Mediatrix of All Grace Parish stands as a reminder of the event, drawing the faithful to the site for decades. It is situated amid the bustling city of Lipa, providing a safe and quiet haven for contemplation and reflection for the faithful.
4. Santo Domingo Church – Quezon City
The Santo Domingo Church is known across the Philippines and Asia for two main reasons: it’s one of the biggest churches in the continent, and it serves as the National Shrine of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary of La Naval de Manila.
Yearly, devotees flock to this site for an annual procession featuring Our Lady of La Naval de Manila. The interiors of the church, which boast of colorful stained-glass windows and centuries-old artifacts, is also an attraction to tourists and locals alike.
5. Baclaran Church – Parañaque City
This church is the national shrine to Our Lady of Perpetual Help and is one of the largest Marian churches in the Philippines. Every Wednesday, the Baclaran Church is flooded by devotees who pray their patron’s novena and attend the Holy Mass.
Located along Roxas Boulevard, this religious structure commonly attracts Catholics from all walks of life, especially those seeking refuge from life’s ordeals like various illnesses, marital problems, financial troubles, and more.
6. Our Lady of Atonement Cathedral – Baguio City, Benguet
Named after Our Lady of Atonement whose intercession is directed to the reconciliation of sins, the cathedral is a central figure of Catholicism in Baguio.
Managed by the Pink Sisters on Brent Road, this cathedral is known for its iconic pink facade. It’s popular both as a tourist spot and a site for prayer and reflection, thanks to its closeness to nature and its proximity to other frequented places in the city.
7. Manaoag Church – Manaoag, Pangasinan
According to folktales, the Virgin Mary appeared before a young farmer in Manaoag, giving him instructions on where she wanted a church to be built. This was believed to be the Manaoag Church’s origin.
Renowned as the pilgrim center of the north, the Manaoag Church is home to Our Lady of Manaoag. It is frequented by many Catholics because of the centuries-old ivory statue of the Virgin Mary, which is believed to have miraculous powers.
With these must-see churches, you can surely complete your Visita Iglesia list and focus more on reflection and recollection. Discover what these churches have to offer as you take the time to contemplate with your family and friends. Feel free to also share your reflections this Holy Week, and take part in inspiring others and creating a culture of shared success in life and in business!
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