Friday, April 13, 2012

Visita Iglesia may download a free Visita Iglesia Guide here or here. (two forms).

This practice among Filipinos on Holy Thursday is rooted in a practice in Mexico (as most of our practices are), and in turn this Mexican practice is rooted in a Roman practice.After some search in the internet, I found this explanation which I thought was the most meaningful:

The Seven Churches Visitation or Visita a las Siete Casas in Mexico commemorates:

the stops (visits or stations) that were made by Jesus on his way to Calvary:

1st Visit: Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane (Luke 22: 39-46)
2nd Visit: Jesus bound and taken before Annas (John 18: 19-22)
3rd Visit: Jesus taken before the High Priest, Caiaphas (Matthew 26: 63-65)
4th Visit: Jesus taken before Pilate (John 18,35-37)
5th Visit: Jesus taken before Herod (Luke 23: 8-9; 11)
6th Visit: Jesus taken before Pilate again (Matthew 27: 22-26)
7th Visit: Jesus given the crown of thorns and led to his crucifixion (Matthew 27: 27-31)

Upon entering the church one kneels, makes the sign of the cross, reads the above noted scriptures, reads a special meditation and ends with 5 Our Fathers, 5 Hail Marys and 5 Glorias. After this, one makes a personal reflection before moving on to the next church. In Mexico they sell small booklets outside the churches with the prayers to be used as a guideline. However, most eliminate the actual scripture leaving only the meditation (which may or may not coincide with the scripture). Many Mexican Catholics perform a “Holy Hour” (Hora Santa) after the last visit.

I translated a Visita Iglesia Guide and you can download it here or here


Other sources: - with a sample prayer in Spanish - prayers in English - a bit of history

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