As prescribed by Paulina Constancia

Lent Around the World (6) – Visita Iglesia

Easter (April 8, 2012) is coming very soon. This week  March 26- March 31 we will look into different Lenten Practices Around the WorldToday we will learn about “Visita Iglesia” or the tradition of “The Seven Churches Visitation” on Holy Thursday.
The tradition of visiting seven churches on Holy Thursday during Holy Week is especially popular in Italy, Poland, Mexico and the Philippines. It was brought to the USA by immigrants from those and other predominantly Catholic lands. Here is an example: the Polish Christians of New York continuing with the tradition.
Watch a video on the traditional ‘seven churches visitation’ on Holy Thursday in Buffalo’s Historic Polonia (New York)

So where does this tradition come from?
Source:Seven Churches Visitation -Wikipedia 
Our Sunday Visitor

The Seven Churches Visitation also known as Visita Iglesia is a pious Roman Catholic tradition observed by faithful Christians during Lent by attempting to visit 7 Christian sites or parishes. Customarily observed during Maundy Thursday, today it is commonly practiced during any day of the Holy Week.

Various associations have been made during Lent with regards to the significance of number seven. Altogether, they range from the following:
Seven scriptural events of Jesus Christ’s capture
Seven Last Words on Mount Calvary
Seven Wounds of Jesus Christ (Five wounds plus Scourging and Left Shoulder)
Seven first holy Christian sites in Israel
Seven Deacons of the Twelve Apostles
Seven ancient basilicas of Rome

The tradition of visiting seven churches on Holy Thursday during Holy Week is especially popular in Italy, Poland, Mexico and the Philippines. 

The general consensus seems to be that the custom originated in Rome, where there are seven “pilgrim” churches traditionally designated as places to visit for those seeking indulgences during a Holy Year. These include the four patriarchal basilicas — St. John Lateran, St. Peter, St. Mary Major, St. Paul Outside the Walls — and three minor basilicas: St. Lawrence Outside the Walls, Holy Cross in Jerusalem and St. Sebastian Outside the Walls (which, in the Great Jubilee Year 2000, Pope John Paul II replaced as a pilgrim church with the Sanctuary of the Madonna of Divine Love).
VISITA IGLESIA Crowd at Asilo de la Milagrosa
Cebu, Philippines

photos source: Flickr


In the Philippines, where the tradition is known as the Visita Iglesia, some pilgrims visit 14 churches instead on Holy Thursday, observing one of the 14 Stations of the Cross at each church.
The question still remains why the original pilgrimage in Rome involved seven churches (rather than, for example, only the four patriarchal basilicas). I think your speculation is the best: In Scripture and Tradition, seven has always been regarded as the number symbolizing perfection, from the seven days of the week created by God in the Book of Genesis (2:2-3) to the “seven spirits before the throne of God” in the Book of Revelation (1:4) — a book which is full of sevens, by the way (including Jesus’ message to “seven churches”, 1:4).
Read More about Visita Iglesia on Wikipedia
The 10 Most Beautiful Churches of the World
30 Stunning Church Pictures from Around the World

Watch a video by Franco di Capua
of my favourite church in the world – 

La Sagrada Familia
an absolute masterpiece inside and out
La Sagrada Familia is a large Roman Catholic church in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain, designed by Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí (1852–1926). Although incomplete, the church is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and in November 2010 was consecrated and proclaimed a minor basilica by Pope Benedict XVI.

Expected date of completion is 2026,
the centennial of Architect Gaudi’s death.
Visit the official website of La Sagrada Familia

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This entry was posted on March 31, 2012 by in Uncategorized.
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