Visita Iglesia is one of the traditional religious activity done by Filipinos every Lenten season especially during the Holy Week (particularly done every Maundy Thursday or Good Friday). Visita Iglesia is basically a Spanish term that means “to visit church”, a Roman Catholic Lenten tradition in which Catholics are encouraged to visit seven churches but sometimes it could be 14 much like what my family did this Holy week.
They said that this tradition originated in Rome as early pilgrims visited the seven basilicas as penance. This tradition was adapted in many countries. During the Visita Iglesia, pilgrims will visit one church after another and in each church, they will recite one or two Stations of the Cross (depending on the number of churches). In our case, we were able to visit 14 different churches in Cavite in one day so we just had to recite one Station of the Cross per church.
Visiting fourteen churches in Cavite in one day is not really a new challenge for us. We actually took the same route last 2015 (Check My Visita Iglesia 2015). We took the Southern Route of Cavite (you can also check Cavite Pilgrimage Tour Western Route) and allow me to share it with you. I have blogged almost all the churches on this list so I’ll provide the link below each image so you can get more details about them.
1. Saint Mary Magdalene Church in Kawit, Cavite – The church was built in 1737 making it one of the oldest churches in Cavite. The church was also located few blocks away from the historical Aguinaldo Shrine (Check: Exploring Aguinaldo Shrine). On its convent, you’ll find an ecclesiastical exhibit featuring some relics and items related to their patroness, Saint Mary Magdalene and also some historical items related to Emilio Aguinaldo (Check : Saint Mary Magdalene Exhibit) . You can check more details about this church in this post Saint Mary Magdalene Church ~ More Photos Here
2. Our Lady of Fatima Parish in Binakayan, Kawit, Cavite – Another church in Kawit Cavite which is relatively new but distinctively beautiful. It features a very serene atmosphere with an open altar showing a huge grotto of Our Lady of Fatima along with the three children Lucia, Jacinta and Francisco. The church was built in December of 1996. Check : Our Lady of Fatima Parish of Binakayan ~ More Photos Here
3. Saint Michael Archangel Parish in Bacoor Cavite – The new addition in our list is the Parish of Saint Michael Archangel in Bacoor. It was another historically significant church which was built since 1669. The first church was initially built with Bamboos and nipa leaves until it was renovated in 1824 to 1872 with adobe and tegula as main materials. The renovation took 48 years before achieving its current state. The church was located on the former Bacoor City Hall which is just few blocks away from the Famous Digman Halo-Halo (Check: The Famous Digman Halo Halo of Bacoor) and also the historical Bahay na Tisa. ~ More Photos Here
4. Imus Cathedral (Cathedral of Our Lady of the Pillar) in Imus, Cavite – The seat of the bishop of the Diocese of Imus, the diocese that has jurisdiction of all the Catholic parishes in Cavite. The parish is under the patronage of two. First is the Our Lady of Pillar and Saint John the Baptist who is considered as the patron saint of the city. The present church was constructed in 1823 when the town proper was moved to Brgy Balangon. The Cathedral is just in front of the Imus Plaza (Check : General Licerio Topacio Plaza in Imus). Check more details about this church in this post : Revisiting Imus Cathedral ~ More Photos Here5. Immaculate Conception Parish in Dasmariñas, Cavite – . The Immaculate Conception Church is actually the first Catholic church established in the city of Dasmariñas The stone church was constructed right after the establishment of Dasmariñas as a separate parish in 1866. Check: The Immaculate Conception Church in Dasmarinas, Cavite ~ More Photos Here
6. Our Lady of Candelaria Parish in Silang, Cavite – The parish was first established on February 3, 1595 where they initially built a small chapel made of light materials under the patronage of St. Diego of Alcalá and a small school and took charge of Silang until 1611. The stone church was built from 1637 to 1639 and was placed under the patronage of Nuestra Senora de Candelaria (Our Lady of Candelaria) in 1640. Check : Our Lady of Candelaria Parish in Silang Cavite ~ More Photos Here
7. Pink Sisters Convent in Tagaytay – Pink Sisters or officially known as Adoration Convent of Divine Mercy is a chapel of a cloistered order of nuns wearing pink habits, thus they were called the pink sisters. Check : Pink Sisters Convent in Tagaytay ~ More Photos Here
8. Angels Hills Retreat Center in Tagaytay -It’s getting dark and we still have 7 more churches to visit. Angels Hills is basically a Retreat and Formation center which is just few walks away from the Pink Sisters convent. It is founded in 1999 and covers a total of 2 hectares of land. Check : Angels Hills in Tagaytay, Cavite ~ More Photos Here9. Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Tagaytay – Another church in Tagaytay is the Our Lady of Lourdes Parish. Known as the Healing Church, Our Lady of Lourdes Parish Church in Tagaytay City is administered by the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin. The church’s reputation as a miraculous and healing shrine is favored for Catholic weddings. It is said that couple who hold their weddings here will be granted healing and blessing right from the very moment they say their “I Do’. Check : Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Tagaytay ~ More Photos Here
10. Saint Augustine Parish in Mendez , Cavite – The small and peaceful town of Mendez has St Augustine Church which is really accessible as it can be found at the highway across the town plaza. One thing I love about visiting this church is the overwhelming greetings from their parishioners. We are always warmly greeted by them and they even offer free meals to the pilgrims. Mendez Church or officially known as St. Augustine Parish was was established in 1881 although other sources were claiming that it was established around 1712 but the church was destroyed during the second world war. Check: Saint Augustine Church in Mendez ~ More Photos Here
11. Saint Gregory the Great Church in Indang, Cavite – Indang Church was originally a chapel established in 1611 but later became a full pledged parish in 1625. The church was impressively restored capturing the 18th century atmosphere with highly articulate and decorated ceilings and walls that reminds me of those churches in Batangas (Check Batangas Pilgrimage Tour). Check : The Stunning St Gregory The Great Parish of Indang. ~ More Photos Here
12. Saint Jude Thaddeus Parish in Trece Martires , Cavite – Saint Jude Thaddeus Parish has a very interesting facade. They have a huge balcony on top with a life-sized image of Saint Jude. It has an arch-shaped facade facing in four different direction forming a cross-like shape if you viewed it from top. Check : Saint Jude Thaddeus Parish in Trece Martires, Cavite ~ More Photos Here
13. Saint Francis of Assisi Church in General Trias, Cavite – History wise, the first church in General Trias was established under the Franciscan orders in 1611 and it was just a subparish of Kawit Cavite. In 1753, Saint Francis of Assisi Parish became a separate parish and the first stone church was erected in 1769. Outside the church lies a small building that is almost identical to building that houses the Magellan’s Cross in Cebu. It houses a sculpted image of Saint Francis of Assisi from a century old Acacia tree. Beside the church is a convent musuem (Feel free to check – Museo De San Francisco de Malabon, The Porziuncola-Inspired Adoration Chapel and the Historical Acacia Tree). Check: Revisiting the Saint Francis of Assisi Parish / San Francisco De Malabon Church in General Trias, Cavite ~ More Photos Here
14. San Roque Parish Church in Cavite City ~ Of course, we concluded our Visita Iglesia in our very own parish church in Cavite City, the San Roque Parish church where the miraculous Nana Choleng (Our Lady of Solitude of Porta Vaga) is currently enshrined. Check : Feast of Our Lady of Porta Vaga.
Unlike our last Cavite Pilgrimage, we managed to complete all the 14 churches a little early despite of some accidents we encountered along the way. We are so grateful that we managed to visit all the 14 churches in Southern Cavite and went back home safe and of course, spiritually enlightened.
You can also check the complete List of Churches in Cavite For Visita Iglesia