Freestyle Friday: Images from our Visita Iglesia

Freestyle Friday :  Holy Week

Today is Good Friday.

I originally wanted to skip this Friday as part of my self-imposed ban from social media on this holy day.  But I made a commitment to you on having a regular Friday post. Coincidentally, it's the 4th of 5 Fridays for this month, so...it's Freestyle Friday, and I guess I can let this slip since there will be 'more photos, less words' for this entry anyway.

I went on Visita Iglesia (church visits) yesterday with my parents, as is customary every Maundy Thursday for most Filipino Catholics who pray at all 14 stations of the cross while visiting churches. We usually go around 7 churches and pray two stations of the cross in each one. This year, I brought along my little girl, her very first Visita Iglesia experience.

Historic churches stand proudly with their magnificent architecture...
Church # 1

Church # 2
Church # 3
Church # 4

In and around the churches, you'll see throngs of parishioners, peddlers, vendors and hawkers of an assortment of locally made goods, trinkets, and street food.

A delightful feast for the senses! It was exhilarating, fascinating, and at the same time, exhausting, especially on a warm summer afternoon!

We ended up only visiting 4 churches in down town Manila and the girl fell asleep as soon as we rode off and headed home. My parents continued on their own with three more churches to visit.

Through the cobblestone road...

I did not plan on featuring our visit but the colonial images of old Manila were just too hard to resist. So, I meticulously took these photos using my humble phone camera. Thank God for bright, natural light... and Gimp! :)

Can you guess the four churches we visited?

Here's hoping you had a blessed week.  Advance Happy Easter to all!
"Christ has died...Christ is risen...Christ will come again."

Wikipedia - Visiting seven churches
The tradition of visiting seven churches on Holy Thursday is an ancient practice, probably originating in Rome, where early pilgrims visited the seven pilgrim churches as penance. They are Saint John Lateran, Saint Peter, Saint Mary Major, Saint Paul-outside-the-Walls, Saint Lawrence Outside the Walls,Holy Cross-in-Jerusalem, and traditionally Saint Sebastian Outside the Walls. Pope John Paul II replaced St. Sebastian with the Sanctuary of the Madonna of Divine Love for the jubilee year of 2000.
In the Philippines, the faithful carry out this tradition of Visita Iglesia (Spanish: Church visits) and some expand it to include fourteen churches and say the Stations of the Cross, with one station in each church.
In several countries in Latin America it is also a tradition to visit seven churches on the night of Holy Thursday.

Take a look at my first Freestyle Friday post:
The Girl and The Bob

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