It was another meaningful Maundy Thursday for me. I was grateful enough to join the Columbian Squires of San Roque Parish in their annual Pilgrimage tour. This year, they went to visit seven churches in Manila. The pilgrimage i had in Manila was three years ago and we took a different route (Check : Manila Pilgrimage Tour).
Usually, I do my pilgrimage every Maundy Thursday alone as I find it more solemn but I’m still happy i got myself a company this year. It is very interesting to note that despite being the commercial center of Luzon, Manila has so many great churches to offer. Intramuros alone houses two old churches that are absolutely worth a visit.
Anyway, we departed from Cavite at around 3pm so we were all expecting to conclude the pilgrimage at a very late hour. So without any further ado, here are the seven churches in Manila we visited last Holy Week.
Minor Basilica of San Sebastian – Quiapo, Manila
The first stop is the Minor Basilica of San Sebastian in Quiapo Manila. It never failed to amaze me! San Sebastian Church is truly special as it is the only all-steel edifice in the country since its inauguration in 1891 and is the only prefabricated steel church in the world. It was even once nominated as a possible destination as a World Heritage site in 2006. The church also enshrines the image of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, the first ever image of Our Lady of Mount Carmel given by Carmelite sisters from Mexico City in 1617. The image plays a huge significant role during the Feast Day of the Black Nazarene.
National Shrine of Saint Jude Thaddeus – San Miguel, Manila
Our next stop is not really that far from the San Sebastian Minor basilica. We headed to the National Shrine of Saint Jude Thaddeus. The church which is under the patronage of Saint Jude Thaddeus is one of three Chinese parishes established by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Manila in Metro Manila. The church was founded on October 1954, consecrated on October 23, 1960 and became a territorial parish on June 20, 1986. It was renamed the “Archdiocesan Shrine of Saint Jude Thaddeus” on June 21, 1994 and eventually elevated as national shrine in February 2010.
Archdiocesan Shrine of Our Lady of Loreto – Sampaloc, Manila
We decided to attend the mass in Saint Jude as the weather started not to cooperate with us. The original plan was to visit the National Shrine of Saint Michael and the Archangels but due to heavy rain, we had a change of plans. We headed to the Archdiocesan Shrine of Our Lady of Loreto in Sampaloc, Manila instead. The church was founded in 1613 and enshrines the Marian image of Our Lady of Loreto. The church also went numerous renovation and restoration after utterly damaged by different occasions. The original church was also destroyed during the Battle of Manila in 1945. Dur to the strong devotion to Our Lady of Loreto, the church status was elevated into an Archdiocesan shrine in 2002.
Saint Anthony Shrine – Sampaloc, Manila
Here’s what makes it more interesting. Adjacent to the Archdiocesan Shrine of Our Lady of Loreto is another catholic church dedicated under the patronage of Saint Anthony of Padua. It’s literally just few steps away and it is my first time to witness such case. In fact, people used to refer them as Twin Churches (Kambal na Simbahan ng Bostillos). The first small church was built and administered by the Venerable Third Order of the Franciscans just beside the church of Loreto. It was first dedicated under the patronage of Nuestra Señora de la Peregrina. The church however was destroyed along with the original Loreto Church in the Battle of Manila. In 1947, the new church was built but this time, under the patronage of Saint Anthony of Padua after Franciscans decided to transfer the devotional activities to St. Anthony from the now destroyed San Francisco Church in Intramuros to Sampaloc Church.
Related Articles : The Seven Great Churches of Intramuros
Minor Basilica and Metropolitan Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception – Intramuros, Manila
After leaving Sampaloc, the original plan is to visit Quiapo but then again, due to bad weather, we were forced to hit Intramuros instead. There are two main churches in Intramuros and we were able to visit them both. First was the Manila Cathedral which was overly crowded that night. The 448 year old Basilica is dedicated to Our Lady of Immaculate conception, the Patroness of the Philippines. Interestingly, today’s Cathedral is actually the eighth church to be erected on the site. The church underwent numerous restoration and renovation all through out its years as it was utterly damaged and destroyed several times due to natural calamity and during the world war. The church was mercilessly destroyed during the Battle of Liberation in 1945. The ruins of the church remained on site and the restoration took place in 1954.
San Agustin Church – Intramuros, Manila
We headed to another church in Intramuros, the San Agustin Church. Of all the seven great churches of Intramuros, only the San Agustin Church managed to survive the war and is the only building within the walled city not to be destroyed during the second world war. The church was built from 1587 and was completed in 1604 by the Augustinians and is now considered as the oldest building in Manila. The church was designated as World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1993 and was named a National Historical Landmark by the Philippine government in 1976. In 2013, the church underwent renovation where the colorful facade was replaced by a mature stone-colored one.
National Shrine of Our Mother of Perpetual Help/ Redemptionist Church – Baclaran, Parañaque
We concluded our pilgrimage in the National Shrine of Our Mother of Perpetual Help in Baclaran. Also known as Redemptionist Church and colloquially known as the Baclaran Church is one of the largest Marian Churches here in the Philippines. The Redemptorists brought the picture of the Mother of Perpetual Help to the Philippines in 1906. Forty years later, the Redemptorists introduced the Perpetual Novena to the nation. The honor of conducting the first Perpetual Novena in the Philippines goes, not to Baclaran, but to the Iloilo community, in May, 1946 in the Redemptorist Church of St. Clement. The Redemptorists community went first to a Malate parish in 1913 where they had a small, popular shrine to Our Mother of Perpetual Help. In 1932, the community transferred to Baclaran.
The Columbian Squires of San Roque Parish Cavite City in front of the Knights of Columbus headquarters in Intramuros
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Also check my other Pilgrimage Series
►Pilgrimage to Tarlac
►Pilgrimage in Bataan
►Pilgrimage in Cavite
►Pilgrimage in Zambales
►Pilgrimage In Manila
►Pilgrimage in Batangas
►Pilgrimage to Pangasinan
►Pilgrimage to Laguna
►Cavite Pilgrimage 2019