Filipinos love tradition. We care about upholding what our ancestors believed in and passing that on to future generations, such as the panata when completing a Visita Iglesia. But what is a Visita Iglesia, and why is it so important?

What Is The Purpose Of Visita Iglesia?

Way back in the 16th century, a certain saint called St. Phillip Neri started the tradition, which was brought and introduced by the Spanish friars to us Filipinos, and we embraced it. From then on, the tradition was observed continually during the Holy Week or Lenten Season.

The primary purpose of Visita Iglesia is to commemorate and remember the Ways of the Cross or the sacrifice that Chris gave to save humanity. Catholic devotees will walk to seven churches or a higher number depending on the belief and tradition passed from that devotee’s family.

Why Is It Called “Visita Iglesia”?

When translated into English, Visita Iglesia means “Visit Churches.” This is why devotees will go to not only one church to pray, but several! It is essential that when one goes to each church, a pure reflection is performed, along with sincere prayers.

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Why 7 Churches For The Visita Iglesia?

The number 7 holds a profound spiritual significance, symbolizing completeness in many beliefs. In the context of Visita Iglesia, the practice of visiting 7 churches carries a unique spiritual meaning. Each of the 7 churches represents one of the seven last words of Christ, according to the beliefs associated with this tradition.

While the standard practice involves visiting 7 churches, some devotees choose to visit 14 churches, aligning their journey with the stations of the cross. This variation in the Visita Iglesia tradition reflects the diversity of beliefs and practices among Filipino Catholic devotees.

Nonetheless, regardless of the number of churches you’ll be visiting, it’s essential to reflect and solidify your beliefs as you pray and journey through your Visita Iglesia.

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