Visita Iglesia 2013

We went to visit seven churches, Jean, Tish, and I, on Good Friday. As always, we started at the UP Church of the Holy Sacrifice, where we made our Stations of the Cross. In this barriotic national shrine, enclosed by huge acacia trees, people from all walks of life come and pray, particularly interesting are the youth in droves, genuflecting, praying, and we even caught, when we arrived, clean clad young men, on the fourth station, and we overtook them, so we listened to find out why, and they were muttering the universal prayers so slowly, enunciating the words as if they were romancing the passion. I did confirm my previous opinion, while the gaudy juvenile boast the beaches on this Holy Day, the wise ones, and oh, so dashing and beautiful they are, in utmost simplicity, hold Good Friday a special day of sacrifice by keeping our Lord company.

We checked Sto. Domingo next, the television crew were setting up the church for the yearly Siete Palabras, but me. I was there again, as it happens annually, not just to pray, but stare in awe at the majestic stained glasses that depict the mysteries of the Rosary.

Third stop was Christ the King, the pilgrimage Shrine of the Divine Word @ E. Rod, where I now attend my daily Masses, before I bring Tish to St. Luke’s each morning. A television crew from another network was also setting up for the airing of the Seven Last Words. It was hot, but the old people are deep in meditation. The altar was decorated like a stage and at the left side was a staircase filled with lighted candles. It was, for lack of word, warming. 🙂

Then we proceeded to Sacred Heart @ Timog, Jean was fascinated by the belfry with the shape of a heart. This was supposed to be fasting day, but we helped ourselves to a little bibingka, our stomachs were already making strange sounds, grumbling.

We skipped the old churches in Manila (UST, Manila Cathedral, San Agustin), because the roads to Basilica de Quiapo were already closed, for the the devotees of the Black Nazarene.

Instead, we opted to visit some pretty new churches: Christ the King @ Green Meadows, though grand, that was where we ate street food (kikiam, fish balls and squid balls)l sigh, what fasting are we talking about?; passed through Padre Pio because there was no parking space anymore, and lucky for us there was one slot available inside the Monasterio de Sta. Clara, where a huge crowd had filled the grounds and many were offering dozens of eggs for their petitions.

Last stop was at the relatively new Shrine of St. Therese, fronting SM Masinag, but concealed by some business establishments. As if I was the tourist who wanted to take snaps here and there, and there was an image of St. Therese at the church balcony I prodded Jean to take a picture of, she warded me off telling to let her finish her prayers first. Of the three of us, it was Jean who was deep in her prayers.

Sigh, the Visita Iglesia had been our devotion, since Jean and Tish were born. Brought them in fourteen churches then, even when they were in diapers. I used to lead the prayers, but now, I even had time to think, in between stations, that probably soon, I would be towing my own grandchildren, and that would be a delight, telling them the story of the passion of Jesus, the Christ, our Savior, our Lord. if only suitors are knocking at my door, that would be true. In God’s time…. 🙂

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