Today is a very happy day for me. First, the Vatican has finally elected a new Pope (God bless Pope Francis) after the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI. Second, I had the chance to join the retreat organized by our agency. Finally, I was able to enjoy 7 Churches as part of my early VISITA IGLESIA this lenten season. I am happy and I am not even a Catholic.
Of course, aside from the spiritual refresher I had today, I cannot deny the fact that the highlight is the Visita Iglesia. This event is one of the lenten traditions but usually done every Holy Thursday. The pilgrim should visit 7 churches in order for him to meditate and pray.
The visit was unexpected. And because it was unexpected, I have no idea about the churches we visited except for the fact that majority of them were destroyed during the Mount Pinatubo eruption and the terrible Lahar flow.
1. Sta. Barbara Church. After the retreat, we visited the nearest church from the venue which is Sta. Barbara Church. The church was destroyed by ash-flow; but because of the efforts of the people in the area, it was rebuilt and was made new.
2. San Guillermo Church. Aside from the fact that this was used as a location by a local TV series, it is also the most popular lahar-devastated church in the country.
3. Our Lady of Lourdes Parish. This is a very small church but rich in history. I find it very eerie though.
4. Betis Church. I am so in love with this church! The Baroque-inspired structure is very majestic. I can’t help but to adore its beauty.
5. Santa Clara Church. This is my second favorite because I had the chance to play with Angels. I seriously believe that this place is really a house of angels because of its structure. See for yourself.
6. Sto. Nino Church. I am sorry but this is my least favorite church today for the reason that it was close when we went there. But because my office-mates were persistent pilgrims, they were able to pray in front of the closed door.
7. Arzobispado De Pampanga (Chancery). Home to the Archbishop of Pampanga, the Chancery was our last church for this pilgrimage. I felt the modernization of the Catholic church here.