Visita iglesia is a yearly tradition for Catholic Filipinos. Every Maundy Thursday, we visit 7 churches, some fourteen, as we reflect on Christ’s passion and death. It is said that our wishes or petitions will be granted if we had managed to visit all seven churches.

Notably, Filipinos would look for different churches during Visita Iglesia. Most of Filipinos would really travel miles to miles just to complete the 7 hurches. But Lipa City is blessed as there are many churches here. In fact, starting from Brgy. Pinagtong-ulan and ending up in Brgy. Balete made you visit more than 7 churches. But I have suggested 7 churches to visit as these would be easier to find.

St. Benedict Monastery

Located at Brgy. Pinagtong-ulan, this chapel of the Benedictine Sisters of the Incarnate Word, is the one of the most visited chapel in Lipa City during Visita Iglesia because the monastery has the garden for Catholics who want to have a Via Crucis or Way of the Cross that is located just beside the chapel. This chapel is known for its quiet ambience during its ordinary days. Its patron saint is St. Benedict Man of Miracles.

Archdiocesan Shrine of St. Vincent Ferrer

Because of the patron saint who is healing the sick children, St. Vincent Ferrer (SFV), this church located in Banay-banay is also one of the good churches to be visited during Visita Iglesia. With its newly established vigil room named as the Blessed Sacrament Chapel, people may now reflect Christ’s passion and death as the theme of the vigil room is one with nature — all woods. People may also do their Way of the Cross inside the church at the Wood-carved Stations.

Divino Amor Redemptorist Chapel

Divino Amor Chapel found in M.K. Lina street, or simply known as redemptorist, is run by the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer or better known as Redemptorist Missionaries. Though this church is not as big as Cathedral nor Carmel Church, its novena for Our Lady of Perpetual Help had made this church known. In fact, last year, there is a presumption that Our Lady of Perpetual Help embodied itself to one of the cut branch of tree at the said place. During Visita Iglesia, Via Crucis can be done outside the Church as prayers are being held inside.

Divine Master Chapel

Being the private chapel of one of the congregation of the sisters, Daughters of St. Paul, this chapel is only open for the public every Maundy Thursdays. Located just beside the Redem, it would be an easy access for the Catholics who do the Visita Iglesia. According to one of the sisters I had interviewed, the peaceful ambiance of the chapel sets the mood of every Catholic who would go there. The chapel was built in the 1960’s but had opened for public in 2007.

Our Lady of Mount Carmel

The feast day of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mediatrix of All Grace, is the same date when Carmel in Lipa was established. From being just a monastery for the Carmelite sisters, the church had opened its door to the public. The national pilgrimage held at this church made this church a famous church not only in Lipa but in the whole Philippines as well. Thus, many Catholic go to this place every Maundy Thursday and do their Via Crucis inside the Church.

San Sebastian Cathedral

Standing tall at the heart of Lipa, this church is rarely empty. Many Catholics go to this church every Maundy Thursday. Its life-sized statues of the reenactment of the 14 Stations of the Cross made the Church also one of the most visited church in Lipa.

Marian Orchard

Overseeing the Taal Volcano from this famous place of Bo. Malabanan, Balete, the Marian Orchard had became one of the most visited place every Maundy Thursday not only by Lipeños but also by other Catholics. With the life-sized statues of the reenactment of Jesus’ way to Golgotha, in the Marian’s Prayer Garden, Catholics may feel like they are one in Jesus’ suffering. Thus, the orchard has also a mini-station of the cross for Catholics who has no capacity to make their Via Crucis at the Prayer Garden. The Garden of the Divine Will that is for the people who want to meditate, Sto. Niño’s White Chapel, the 45-stepped Tower of Mary, 28-stepped Tower of Christ the Redeemer, wishing well, and the wishing jar (located in the Tower of Mary) had also added up to the serene beauty of this orchard as it is one with nature.

Well, whatever churches you would visit, it would still be the manner on how you reflect Christ’s passion and death during the Visita Iglesia that would matters…