Apr 8, 2020

One of the most popular traditions that Catholics practice for the Holy Week is the Visita Iglesia. The tradition involves visiting seven churches on the evening of Maundy Thursday, praying before the Blessed Sacrament in each church. 

In light of the declaration of enhanced community quarantine, however, devotees have been finding ways to continue their traditions during the Holy Week while honoring safety precautions set by the government. As a way of helping Catholics continue their traditions, Google Maps and the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) have made virtual tours of churches available.

Here are some of the churches you can visit online.

Manila Cathedral

Cabildo St. cor. Beaterio St., Intramuros, Manila

Located at Plaza de Roma, the Manila Cathedral is a Neo-Romanesque structure that has witnessed masses conducted by Blessed Paul VI, St. John Paul II and Pope Francis. The church is dedicated to the country’s patroness, the Blessed Virgin Mary under the title Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception. 

 

San Agustin Church

Gen. Luna St., Intramuros, Manila

The San Agustin Church is a stone Baroque structure that has survived earthquakes and World War II. Its interiors are inspired by High Renaissance architecture with tropical cloisters, ornate walls and trompe l’oeil ceilings, and houses monasteries that have been turned into museums for ecclesiastical relics.

 

The Minor Basilica of San Sebastián

Pasaje Del Carmen St., Quiapo, Manila

Home to the National Shrine of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, the San Sebastián Church is known as an example of the revival of Gothic architecture in the country and the only all-steel basilica in Asia. The church was recognized as a National Historical Landmark in 1973, and was included in the Tentative List for possible designation as a World Heritage Site.

 

Archdiocesan Shrine of the Divine Mercy

Divine Mercy Hills, PSB-Ulaliiman Villanueva, Misamis Oriental

Overlooking the Macajalar Bay in Mindanao is the Archdiocesan Shrine of the Divine Mercy, a popular pilgrimage site for Divine Mercy devotees. The shrine was inaugurated in 2008, and features a 50-foot statue of Jesus as the Divine Mercy, Mary’s Rosary Garden and the Stations of the Cross.

 

San Pedro Cathedral

San Pedro St., Poblacion District, Davao City, Davao del Sur

San Pedro Cathedral, also known as the Saint Peter Metropolitan Cathedral or Davao Cathedral, is the city’s oldest church and premier historical landmark. Its original structure was originally built using nipa and bamboo by Spanish settlers in 1847 and remodeled in concrete by architect Manuel Chiew in 1964.

 

Daraga Church

Sta. Maria St., Daraga, Albay

Initially established as a shelter for people relocating from Cagsawa, Daraga Church is known for its Baroque façade. The structure is made out of volcanic rocks, and the church is one of the few that has spiral columns known as salomónicas: each carved with images of the four Evangelists and has round medallions.

 

St. James The Apostle Parish

Brgy. San Nicolas, Betis, Guagua, Pampanga

Located in Betis, Pampanga, the St. James the Apostle Parish Church has Baroque-style architecture and a ceiling mural of the Holy Family done by painter Simón Flores. The church was established in 1607, and declared a National Cultural Treasure by the National Museum and the National Commission for Culture and the Arts in 2009.

 

Saint Gregory The Great Parish Church

Majayjay, Laguna

Established as a site of early Catholicism in Laguna, the Saint Gregory The Great Parish Church is known as one of the oldest Roman Catholic churches located in the area. The church is recognized as a National Cultural Treasure, housing century-old liturgical objects and antique images of saints and reliquaries.

 

Basilica Menor del Santo Niño

Pilgrim’s Center, Osmeña Blvd., Cebu City

The Basilica Menor del Santo Niño is the oldest Roman Catholic church in the country, built in 1565 where the image of the Santo Niño de Cebu was found during Miguel López de Legazpi’s expedition. The church was made a basilica in 1965, and declared a “symbol of the birth and growth of Christianity in the Philippines” by Pope Paul VI.

 

Header photo by Mark Alvic Esplana of Inquirer Southern Luzon

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Read more:

You can continue Visita Iglesia traditions while in quarantine using Google Maps

Indoor Palm Sunday, online masses, priest-less confessions: Holy Week in the time of COVID-19

The mass will be televised: Where to stream church service online amid the COVID-19 outbreak

TAGS: Archdiocesan Shrine of the Divine Mercy Basilica Menor del Santo Niño covid-19 Daraga Church holy week 2020 Manila Cathedral nolisoli online visita iglesia Saint Gregory The Great Parish Church San Agustin Church San Pedro Cathedral St. James The Apostle Parish The Minor Basilica of San Sebastián virtual visita iglesia visita iglesia Visita Iglesia 2020