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Bulacan seminary opens doors for visita iglesia

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A woman prays before the Blessed Sacrament in one of the many chapels of the Immaculate Conception Major Seminary, March 24, 2016. (Photo: Kendrick Ivan B. Panganiban)

GUIGUINTO, Bulacan, March 25, 2016 – At the start of the Triduum of the Passion, Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Immaculate Conception Major Seminary, has opened its doors for the faithful’s annual visita iglesia.

For the whole evening of Holy Thursday up to early morning of Good Friday, the seminary of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Malolos welcomed pilgrims from different parishes both in and outside the diocese. They come to visit the seminary’s five chapels in which the repositories of the Blessed Sacrament are kept.

Presided over by the priest-formators of both the minor and major seminaries, the Mass of the Lord’s Supper started at 5:00 p.m. at the chapel of the Immaculate Conception Minor Seminary.

Corporal and spiritual works of mercy

It was followed by the procession of the Blessed Sacrament to the different repositories within the seminary complex.

Each department of the seminary prepared for the event by decorating the repositories.

For this Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy, the seminary community chose to dwell on the corporal and spiritual works of mercy, which the Holy Father Pope Francis stressed in his Bull of Indiction as “a way to reawaken our conscience, too often grown dull in the face of poverty and let us enter more deeply into the heart of the Gospel where the poor have a special experience of God’s mercy.” (Misericordiae Vultus, 15)

The five chapels where the repositories are located are: Immaculate Conception Chapel (Immaculate Conception Minor Seminary);

  • Propaedeutic Year Department Chapel;
  • Chapel of the Transformation (Immaculate Conception Major Seminary – Philosophy Department);
  • Theologate Chapel (Immaculate Conception Major Seminary – Philosophy Department); and
  • Chapel of Our Lady of Mount Carmel (Carmel of the Holy Family), the monastery within the seminary complex.

Stations of the Cross

These chapels become the venues for prayer and meditation for many of the Bulacan faithful on Holy Thursday every year, especially with the Church’s celebration of the Paschal Triduum.

Besides these, there are also the Stations of the Cross found within the complex for those who wish to pray in front of the Holy Cross. The seminary fathers are also stationed in the gymnasium to hear confession for the many pilgrims coming to the seminary.

Visita Iglesia is one of the Catholic Church’s pious exercises during the season of Lent in order to commemorate Christ’s Passion, held particularly during Holy Thursday.

The practice involves visiting seven churches which would signify the seven holy sites related to Jesus’ arrest and trial which started on Holy Thursday to Good Friday:

  • Garden of Gethsemane;
  • House of Annas;
  • Tribunal of Caiaphas, the High Priest;
  • Trial before Pilate;
  • Trial before Herod;
  • The Journey from Herod back to Pilate; and
  • The Journey from Pilate to Mount Calvary. (Kendrick Ivan B. Panganiban / CBCP News)

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