With COVID-19 pandemic and areas are basically in lockdown, it does not mean Catholics will not be able to practice their Holy Week rituals or tradition. A very popular activity to do is the “Visit Iglesia”.
The tradition of visiting seven churches on Holy Thursday probably originated in Rome, as early pilgrims visited the seven basilicas as penance.
The Via Francigena was an ancient pilgrim route between England and Rome. It was customary to end the pilgrimage with a visit to the tombs of Sts Peter and Paul. In 1300 Pope Boniface VIIIdeclared the first Holy Year, granting a special indulgence to those, who meeting the requisite conditions, visited St. Peter’s Basilica and the Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls. Over time the number of prescribed churches increased to seven.
The tradition of visiting all seven churches was started by Saint Philip Neri around 1553. He and a few friends would gather before dawn and set out on their “Seven Churches Walk”. These pilgrimages were designed to be a counterpoint to the raucous behavior of Carnival. The Walks became very popular and began to attract others.
With the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ), devoted Catholics will not be stopped from their practice. Thank God for technology as one need just be creative.
Anyone with the internet can virtually visit the churches from the safety of their own homes. Just visit Google Maps on the web, type in a destination, perhaps a church you’d like to visit, and then view a specific area by dragging the Pegman located at the bottom right of your screen.
Meanwhile, if you’re using mobile you can type in your destination and tap on a place marker.
Here are some church suggestions from Google.
For your convenience, below are the actual links to the churches on Google Maps! Simply click on church’s name and it will lead you there.
With additional reports: JANNIELYN ANN BIGTAS, GMA News