Holy Week Itinerary for Visita Iglesia in Cebu

17 March 2022
Holy Week Itinerary for Visita Iglesia in Cebu

This coming Holy Week, you might wonder about the significance of Visita Iglesia and why Catholics are doing this.


Visita Iglesia, or the "Visitation of the Seven Churches," is a centuries-old Lenten ritual in which devotees make a pilgrimage to seven different Catholic churches on the night of Holy Thursday. Visita Iglesia is a prevalent practice in the Philippines and can be practiced at any hour of the day.


Seven Churches tradition is believed to grant the prayers of the faithful.

Seven Churches tradition is believed to grant the prayers of the faithful.

Seven churches are visited by devoted Catholics, and some even visit fourteen churches to complete the 14 stations of the Cross. They walk around the fourteen stations as they visit all the seven or fourteen shrines. In addition, many people have the belief that their prayers will be answered if they complete the visitation.


The most common Holy Week ritual for the devotees would be visiting seven churches and pray to two stations for each, thus completing the 14 stations of the cross. On the other hand, those who visit fourteen churches ritually pray around only one station for each church.


And since we're talking about churches, do you know that aside from its delicious and popular Cebu Lechon, dried mangoes, otap, and rosquillos, Cebu is also home to some of the country's oldest churches? Some of them even date back to the Spanish colonial period. That's why this is one of the best provinces in the country to observe Visita Iglesia this Lenten season.


Although some of these churches may be far apart and impossible to see all in one day, yet it's still a good idea to visit at least one or two that are close to where you live or are easily accessible for you.


Must- visit Parish Church in Cebu, Philippines

Must- visit Parish Church in Cebu, Philippines

1. Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral (Cebu City)

One of Cebu's most important churches is the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral, which is also known as The Metropolitan Cathedral of the Most Holy Name of Jesus and of St. Vitales, or The Metropolitan Cathedral of St. Vitales. This church is also the is the ecclesiastical seat of the Metropolitan Archdiocese of Cebu in Cebu, Philippines.


The church was built in the year 1689 until 1909. After World War II, it was rebuilt again in 1950.


The Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral is located at Mabini Street, Cebu City, Cebu 6000.


2. St. Michael The Archangel Church (Samboan)

Built in 1842, the Spanish colonizers left a rich cultural legacy behind them when they conquered Samboan. A historic Spanish church in Cebu with a coral stone facade has been named St. Michael Archangel Church.


The façade of St. Michael the Archangel Church, one of Cebu's oldest Spanish-built structures, is composed of coral stones. The repair of this structure is only one of several initiatives financed by the commission in the wake of calamities in the Visayas region in recent years.


St. Michael the Archangel Church is located at Samboan, Cebu.


3. Our Lady of Patronage of Mary Parish Church (Boljoon)

The Nuestra Señora del Patrocinio de Maria Parish Church, also called as Boljoon Church by the locals, is a Roman Catholic Church located in the municipality of Boljoon, Cebu, and is under the jurisdiction of Cebu's Roman Catholic Archdiocese.


The National Museum of the Philippines and the National Historical Commission of the Philippines has designated it as a National Cultural Treasure and a National Historical Landmark. Being one of the members of the Baroque Churches of the Philippines Extension and being one of the oldest churches in the country as it was built in 1783, the church is also being considered for UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the Philippines.

The Boljoon Church is located at Natalio Bacalso Avenue, Poblacion, Boljoon, Cebu, 6024.


One of the churches in Cebu, Philippines

One of the churches in Cebu, Philippines

4. St. Catherine of Alexandria Church (Carcar City)

The Muslim invaders of 1622 destroyed the church and convent of St. Catherine of Alexandria. The current stone church, which is not certain whether it is the second or third church, was built on top of the hill for security reasons.

This Hispanic church was built in the year 1860 and was completed in 1875.

St. Catherine of Alexandria Church is located at Santa Catalina, Carcar City, Cebu.


5. Basilica del Santo Niño (Cebu City)

Cebu City's Santo Niño Basilica, also known as The Minor Basilica of the Holy Child, was built in 1565. It is under the seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Cebu and has a heritage designation as a National Historic Landmark in the country. The church's architectural design is made of rock.

The Basilica del Santo Niño is located at Mabini Street, Cebu City, Cebu 6000.


6. St. Michael Parish Church (Argao)

In 1703, the Augustinian order built a parish in what is now known as Argao as part of the city. A stone church was founded in 1703, established in 1734, and finished in 1788 to meet the needs of the local community. The church was dedicated to St. Michael, the Archangel. This Roman Catholic Church is then called San Miguel Arcangel Parish Church.

St. Michael Parish Church is located at Poblacion, Argao, Cebu.


7. Sto. Tomas de Villanueva Parish (Danao City)

It was Fr. Manuel de Santa Barbara who oversaw the construction of the church in the year 1755. Sugar cane and boulders from the sea were used in its construction. Some of the church's most sacred artifacts, such as its crucero, were destroyed in 1942 during World War II. Only the substantial stones of the church's original structure were saved from the blaze. In 1946, it was rebuilt. In 1981, the building underwent a major refurbishment, with just 30% of the original structure remaining. In 1985, the refurbishment was finished.

The Parish is located at Poblacion, 6004 Danao City, Cebu.


Also Read: Movies to Watch during Lenten Season with your Family


These historic churches are great places to visit if you're a tourist. As you visit churches in Cebu City during your Visita Iglesia tradition or Seven churches visitation, you can find that their historic facades are adorned with beautiful Spanish decorations that transport you back in time for hundreds of years. Even though some of them have been damaged by recent earthquakes, they still look wonderful and are an excellent example of Cebu's rich cultural history.


If you would like to explore more the beauty and charm of the Province of Cebu, it's better if you have space you can call your own in this magnificent city. Thankfully, our national government already started some of its infrastructure developments in the area such as the Cebu Mactan Bridge (4th) and Coastal Road Construction Project, Metro Cebu Expressway, Cebu-Cordova Link Expressway (CCLEX), and the most recent completed development, the Mactan–Cebu International Airport.


In availing your brand new home in Cebu, make sure to choose one that is highly accessible and situated in a strategic location such as Lumina Carcar from Lumina Homes.

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