As I was browsing through my Facebook one evening, I found a notification from a friend posted in one of my Facebook groups. She shared a link from the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Manila site where the Archbishop, Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle, declared five churches around the metropolis to be Pilgrim Churches during the Year of Faith.
I have traveled for different reasons and purposes: business, relaxation, volunteerism and communing with nature. I always wanted to do some sort of traveling for spiritual rejuvenation as what many pilgrims do. So when my friend invited us to join her to visit these five churches, I immediately jumped ahead and gave my confirmation.
The pilgrimage, though only for a day, gave me a sense of joy and thrilled me physically, emotionally, mentally, socially and spiritually. I wrote a different piece on that spiritual experience but in this post I’ll share with you certain details about the churches we visited.
National Shrine of the Sacred Heart of Jesus
#4 Sacred Heart St., San Antonio Village, Makati City
The shrine was built in 1976 at the heart of Makati. It is near the commercial business district as well as in a residential area in the city. On June 15, 1982, Vatican gave the church the title of National Shrine of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. In the Jubilee Year 2000, the church underwent a major renovation and its main altar has a magnificent rendition of the Sacred Heart. On its side alter, the relics of St. Margaret Mary Alacoque are enshrined.
Archdiocesan Shrine of the Divine Mercy
Maysilo Circle, Boni Avenue, Mandaluyong
In the church’s website, it stated that “The Archdiocesan Shrine’s history began on November 18, 1968, when the Ortigas and Co. Limited Partnership executed a Deed of Donation to the then Municipality of Mandaluyong, indicating that a 2,507 sq. m. area of land be the site for a Catholic church. But it took another 20 years before this dream for a new shrine finally took shape—in 1988, upon learning about the donation, the Plainview Homeowners and Residents Association, Inc. (PHRA) initiated the move to claim the lot and build a new church.”
The church is built at the very core of the city, within the compound of the city hall. The church is a venue for prayer gatherings by various Catholic organizations within the city.
St. John the Baptist Parish
140 Pinaglabanan Street, San Juan
Also known as the Pinaglabanan Church, St. John the Baptist Parish was built in 1896 by Architect Luis Arellano with the help of Mariano Artiaga and Martin Ocampo. It was built during the time of the uprising of the Filipinos against the Spaniards. The church was damaged during this time and was rebuilt several times through the course of its history.
Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene
910 Plaza Miranda, Quiapo, Manila
This is one of the popular churches in the Philippines, especially during the Feast of the Black Nazarene where thousands of devotees troop to the church and join the procession around the city. It is also called as the Quiapo Church and has a history that dates back in 1586. It was destroyed several times by fire and natural disasters.
Our Lady of Sorrows Parish Church
2130 F.B. Harrison St., Pasay City
The church, established by the Society of St. Paul in 1941, was the church where the late Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino and former Philippine President Corazon “Cory” Aquino, parents of the current President, tied the knot in 1954. Its fiesta is celebrated every first Sunday of May.