Most Filipinos consider Holy Week as the perfect time for spiritual reflection. One such observance is the traditional Visita Iglesia, an ancient pious practice among devout Catholics wherein seven churches are visited on Maundy Thursday to pray before the blessed sacraments.
In Pasay where several churches are situated, embarking on a Visita Iglesia with the whole family can be engaging and convenient with the many spectacular church architecture and surrounding landmarks that the city has to offer.
Below is a list of seven churches in Pasay City where devotees can have a sacred and memorable Visita Iglesia.
• Our Lady of The Airways: Being an area where the country’s major airports are located, this church in NAIA Road is a good choice for your first stop. The red-painted church has a bell tower beside it and a prominent statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Most churchgoers go here to seek intercession from Mother Mary who is also revered by the Philippine Navy as intercessor for grace, good remedy and a safe flight.
• Shrine of Jesus, The Way, The Truth and The Life: Located at the Central Business Park, Reclamation Area in Pasay City, this enormous church has a generously adorned sacred altar at the pulpit complemented by good interior and exterior lighting during the evenings not to mention good ventilation. The church also houses the Pope John Paul II Youth Center, a dream project shared by the late Pope with then Archbishop of Manila, the late Jamie Cardinal Sin, D.D. and conceptualized during the latter’s visit in the country for World Youth Day 1995.
• Our Lady of Sorrows: This small parish located at F.B. Harrison is where iconic senator Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino and his wife, former president Corazon “Cory” Aquino got married on October 11, 1954. The altar’s centerpiece depicts “Pieta” or the image of Christ at the hands of His Holy Mother at the foot of the cross after the crucifixion. Aside from churchgoers, avid photo enthusiasts also go here to capture the parish’s many aesthetics.
• Santa Clara de Montefalco: This church in Burgos St., also has a towering bell tower on the right and a catholic school on the left. The church is one of the oldest in Pasay being founded in 1864. History wise, the church’s two images are of San Roque and Santa Clara de Montefalco, both meaningful to the church’s establishment and the desire of the Pasay citizenry for independence.
• San Isidro Labrador: Now situated along Taft Avenue, this parish once held services at Dominga Street in 1851 as a temporary church. The altar was later consecrated in 1966 with a background of the crucifixion at the backside of the church building, which can also be seen inside the church. The spacious pulpit gives off a sacred ambiance as well as the parish’s Adoration Chapel for churchgoers who want to pray in silence.
• Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament: Established as a parish in 1996 by former Archbishop of Manila Jaime Cardinal Sin, Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament used to be a humble and small chapel made of four wooden pillars and a makeshift roof intended for a small community at Teacher’s Bliss in Pasay City. Going on its 20th anniversary this year, the parish is a prime example of miracles happening in real life as what used to be a church hut is now a church edifice made of concrete and an altar with a beautiful brick wall backdrop.
• Shrine of Therese of the Child Jesus: For the last stop of a fruitful Visita Iglesia in Pasay City, no other church is more fitting than the Shrine of St. Therese of the Child Jesus in Newport City. Developed by the Magnificat Ventures Corporation, in cooperation with the Military Ordinate of the Philippines, this sprawling 6,244 square-meter sacred ground is within walking distance of Resorts World Manila, an integrated resort where families can take a well-deserved rest after their Visita Iglesia.