It is almost Lent and it is part of Roman Catholic tradition to visit at least seven churches as a form of penitence during the Holy Week. If you and your family are hoping to do the Visita Iglesia this year, here are some beautiful churches in the province that you can visit:
Basilica Minore del Santo Nino
Probably the most popular church in Cebu, this is the church where the image of the Holy Child was found. Every January, this becomes a sea of red and yellow as the faithful celebrates the Sto. Nino’s fiesta. A grand celebration, the Sinulog Festival, is also held in his honor. Lenten activities are also laid out for the faithful who visit the basilica.
Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral
The seat of Catholic power in Cebu, the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral holds the most elaborate Siyete Palabras (Seven Last Words) in the city.
Church of San Isidro Labrador (San Fernando, Cebu)
This coral stone church was established in 1858 with San Isidro Labrador as patron saint. His feast day is celebrated every May 15.
St. Catherine of Alexandria Church (Carcar, Cebu)
The church was built by the Augustinians from 1860 – 1875. St. Catherine’s feast day is celebrated every November 25.
Nuestra Senyora del Pilar Church (Sibonga, Cebu)
The church was completed in 1881 under the term of Father Enrique Magaz. It is just in front of Sibonga’s plaza so you should not have a hard time locating it.
Simala Church (Sibonga, Cebu)
A Cebu landmark, this castle-like church is home to the miraculous image of the Virgin Mary. Believers flock the church every day to pray for healing and other favors.
St. Michael the Archangel Church (Argao, Cebu)
One of the centuries-old churches in Cebu, this church’s highlights are the ceiling murals painted by the best Cebuano painters of their time. The first half depicts scenes from the Bible and the second part has a mural of St. Michael defeating Lucifer.
Patrocinio de Maria Parish Church (Boljoon, Cebu)
This church was built in 1783 using coral, hardwood, and a roof made of clay tiles. It made it to most people’s consciousness when a fire almost burned it down.
San Fernando Rey Parish (Liloan, Cebu)
A very prominent structure in Liloan, this church is also hounded by stories of mystery as, according to the locals, there is a secret passage in the church where a kugtong (grouper fish) lives.
Santo Tomas de Villanueva Parish (Danao, Cebu)
One of the oldest churches in the country, this church is blessed to have the San Alipio bell casted in 1845 and the Sagrada Corazon bells in 1917.
A lot of churches are found in Cebu and doing a Visita Iglesia will never be a problem. And while you’re at it, make sure to learn about the church’s history as well.