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Tarlaquenos observing the long time Catholic tradition of Visita Iglesia (Spanish words meaning “Visit Church”) in our province. (Tarlac).

"The Seven Churches Visitation also known as Visita Iglesia is a pious Roman Catholic Lenten tradition by attempting to visit seven churches or religious sites. Traditionally observed on Maundy Thursday, it is commonly practised during any day of the Holy Week.” -Wikipedia

The First Word:
“Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they’re doing.”
(Luke 23:34)

Forgiveness is the very first word that Jesus has spoken while he was at the cross. Even though he was wounded, hurt, been mistreated and misjudged, he still forgives those people who did those to him. We can see how Jesus is really forgiving as he died at the cross to save us all. He forgives because he loves us. I remember that verse that he told once to Peter to forgive his brother’s sin not only seven times, but seventy seven (Matthew 18:21) which means that we should always forgive the ones that sinned.

As I learned my lesson about forgiving, I know that I’ am still not good at showing forgiveness to those I forgive because I’ am still scared of misjudgement again. I may forgive wholeheartedly, but I never forget the pains that I had which is just being kept into me. I’ am not mad at what they did to me, it’s just I’ am scared that maybe I don’t deserve forgiveness as well as they are being affected by my self fears. But someday, I know He’ll help me stand up and face each and every regrets that I have on myself.

When I was a kid, I didn’t know why is there a Visita Iglesia. I mean, people would visit seven churches for what? For them to wish? For them to call something a sacrifice? For them to explore places? Or to discover Christ more? My curious little mind (in the age of 5 or 6) was asking, what is there about number seven???

Visita Iglesia is a common practice among Roman Catholics and this became a tradition to many of us, Filipinos. But, as one of those Filipinos who embraces their culture, do we know why we do this?

As I’ve been always expecting, I knew Visita Iglesia is dirctly influenced by the mystical number seven (7). Noticed the 7 colors of the rainbow, 7 scripture passages of Christ’s arrest and trial, 7 last words, 7 days a week, the famous lucky 7, 7 ancient Basilicas of Rome, the signs of 7 in Harry Potter, etc? Of all the numbers (including my favorite, 8) why seven (7) is very significant, well used, and overused by the ancient history, the Science, and even modern stories? Tell me.

Visita Iglesia (English: Church Visit), also known as Seven Churches Visitation is a Roman Catholic tradition observed on Maundy Thursday, the Thursday of the Holy Week. The custom in the Philippines was to visit a single church and pray before the Blessed Sacrament placed on the Altar of Repose. The tradition multiplied to seven churches [in the Philippines] because there were seven churches in the pre-war Intramuros, the Walled City of the Spanish colonial period.

Visita Iglesia (Spanish for “Visit of the Churches”) is a Holy Thursday tradition of Philippine Roman Catholics, brought to us by the Spaniards. It is the practice of visiting 7 churches to pray and meditate. The tradition has its roots to the early years of the establishment of the Church, when there were 7 great basilicas in Rome that Christians would visit for adoration of the Blessed Sacrament after the Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday. The practice continues not only in the Philippines but in other Roman Catholic countries, especially in cities with numerous churches. Adoration may continue up to midnight.

Visita Iglesia, also known as Seven Churches Visitation is a devoted Roman Catholic Lenten tradition wherein you attempt to visit seven churches or religious sites done every Maundy Thursday or Good Firday. In the Philippines, Visita Iglesia is practically the same but for the stations of the cross are recited in one church. At most time, devoted Catholics would visit fourteen churches and, again, they recite the stations of the cross in each church they go to. Others simply visit one church or a handful. Others attempt to do the Alay Lakad where they do a pilgrimage to a religious site. The most common would be the pilgrimage to the Antipolo Cathedral to visit Our Lady of Peace and Voyage.

You know how when you were a little kid and you believed in fairy tales, that fantasy of what your life would be, white dress, prince charming who would carry you away to a castle on a hill. You would lie in bed at night and close your eyes and you had complete and utter faith. Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, Prince Charming, they were so close you could taste them, but eventually you grow up, one day you open your eyes and the fairy tale disappears. Most people turn to the things and people they can trust. But the thing is its hard to let go of that fairy tale entirely cause almost everyone has that smallest bit of hope, of faith, that one day they will open their eyes and it will come true.

Learn to enjoy every minute of your life. Be happy now. Don’t wait for something outside of yourself to make you happy in the future. Think how really precious is the time you have to spend, whether it’s at work or with your family. Every minute should be enjoyed and savored. @tintinjoiz #nationalsiblingsday #family #sister #palawan #pictureoftheday #puertoprincesa #photooftheday #tbt #tour #throwbackthursday #trip #iphone #igdaily #igmanila

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