The Holy Week is a season of repentance and of meditation on Christ’s passion, death, and resurrection. For Christians, it is during this time that we reflect upon our sins and how our Lord Jesus Christ suffered and died for us all, how great His love for us indeed.
Visita Iglesia is a yearly tradition during the Holy Week where Catholics visit at least 7 churches to meditate on the 14 stations of the cross. A week ago, for this year’s Holy Week, our family chose to have our Visita Iglesia in the province of Laguna, a home of beautiful old churches.
1. Bay: St. Augustine Church
2. Pila: St. Anthony de Padua Church
3. Paete: St. James the Apostle Church
4. Majayjay: St. Gregory the Great Church
5. Pagsanjan: Our Lady of Guadalupe Church
6. Magdalena: Mary Magdalene Church
7. Nagcarlan: St. Bartholomew the Apostle Church
It was both a road trip and a pilgrimage. We had time to reflect upon our sins and offer prayers and we also had time to let ourselves be charmed by the different towns of the province, the old heritage houses lining the streets of Pila, the what seemed like complex, interesting roads of Paete, the wood carvings of Paete, the zig zag road, the underground cemetery of Nagcarlan, and oh so many more.
The old, baroque churches of Laguna are definitely attractive destinations for travelers whose eyes and souls are hungry for culture and architecture. But let us not forget what fuels the beauty and elegance of these churches, and that’s none other than the faith of the Catholics.
These churches were made beautifully because these are shrines of our faith, the house of the Lord, the house of worship. These intricate structures may make pilgrimage a very interesting activity, but more than that, they are reminders of one of the most important things on earth, one thing from which humankind would put in so much of their effort and passion into in the highest of forms. And that is none other than our faith. Faith that withstands hundreds of years, a belief to the truth so beautiful that one would find it difficult to even dare to destroy. And in silence, this is is how gracefully the churches speak. All for God’s glory.