During Holy Week, Catholics go the extra mile in their practice of penitence. Thousands of faithful visit churches to pray the Via Crucis or Stations of the Cross. Walking through seven churches, devoted pilgrims pray two stations in each church they visit.
Here is a route to seven churches in Manila that Catholics can walk through in their Visita Iglesia this Holy Week.
1. Our Lady of Remedies Parish (Malate Church)
Built by the Augustinian friars in 1588, the Malate Church is one of the oldest Churches in the Philippines. The church features a “good blending of Muslim and baroque architecture”. It is also the first parish where the Columbans settled in their assignment in the country in 1929.
Before the pandemic, Malate Church receives numerous pilgrims yearly during Holy Week, designating its church patio for those who come to pray the Stations of the Cross.
2. Archdiocesan Shrine of Nuestra Señora de Guia (Ermita Church)
Heading northwest on M.H. del Pilar, pilgrims can dedicate 15 minutes of walk to Ermita Church. The church that enshrines the oldest Marian image in the Philippines was elevated to the status of an archdiocesan shrine in 2005 by then-Manila Archbishop Gaudencio Rosales.
M.H. del Pilar Street, Ermita, Manila
Official FB Page: https://www.facebook.com/DeGuiaErmita/
3. Archdiocesan Shrine of Nuestra Señora de la Consolacio y Correa (San Agustin Church)
A 25-minute walk from Ermita Church, San Agustin Church in Intramuros, Manila stands as the oldest stone church in the Philippines. With its Baroque architecture, this historic church was declared a National Cultural Treasure by then-President Marcos, Sr. in 1973 and was inscribed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1993.
181 Gen Luna Street, Intramuros, Manila
Official FB Page: https://www.facebook.com/LaConsolaciondeIntramuros/
4. Minor Basilica and Metropolitan Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception (Manila Cathedral)
Also inside the Intramuros, Manila, Manila Cathedral is just 5-minutes away from the San Agustin Church.
The Manila Cathedral, being the Premier Church, Cathedral, and Basilica, serves as the Episcopal Seat of the Archbishop of Manila. It is the first Cathedral in the Philippines and also the only church in the country “elevated to the rank of a Basilica by the Pope’s own initiative (motu proprio)”.
5. Minor Basilica and National Shrine of San Lorenzo Ruiz (Binondo Church)
Twenty minutes from Manila Cathedral, pilgrims can proceed to the Binondo Church in their Visita Iglesia. The Church was dedicated to the first Filipino saint, San Lorenzo Ruiz. The saint once considered the church as his spiritual home. In 1992, His Holiness, Pope John Paul II granted the Binondo Church the “minor basilica” title “in honor of the first Filipino saint.”
6. Archdiocesan Shrine of the Blessed Sacrament (Santa Cruz Church)
In just 10 minutes of walk from Binondo Church, pilgrims can reach their sixth church – the Santa Cruz Church. The church enshrines a replica of the statue of Our Lady of the Pillar venerated in the city of Zaragoza, Spain. The Church was once headed by Spanish Augustinian Recollect, Fr. Exequiel Moreno who was beatified by His Holiness, Pope Paul VI in 1975 and was eventually canonized Saint by His Holiness, Pope John Paul II in 1992.
7. Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene (Quiapo Church)
Five minutes from Santa Cruz Church, pilgrims can pray their last two stations of the Cross in Quiapo Church. Who wouldn’t recognize this church flocked by multitude of devotees annually to honor the Black Nazarene? The church having a significant role in deepening devotion to Jesus Christ was recognized as the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene by His Holiness, Pope John Paul II on December 11, 1987.
Malate Catholic Church – About: https://malatecatholicchurch.org/about.html
Ermita church now mother of all shrines: https://www.philstar.com/opinion/2005/12/24/313514/ermita-church-now-mother-all-shrines
The History of the San Agustin Church: http://www.artesdelasfilipinas.com/archives/119/the-history-of-the-san-agustin-church
Manila Cathedral – About Us: http://manilacathedral.com.ph/about_us
Minor Basilica of San Lorenzo Ruiz – About Us: https://rcam.org/minorbasilicaofsanlorenzoruiz/about-us/
Santa Cruz Parish – About: https://www.rcam.org/santacruzparish/about-us/
Quiapo Church – Brief history of the Black Nazarene and Quiapo Church: https://quiapochurch.com.ph/about-quiapo/history/