Every Good Friday, it has been a family tradition to visit 14 churches, and this year we were again south bound! Starting with three fixed stations on our annual church itinerary – Lapu-lapu, Mandaue and Cebu cities’ major parishes, and then en routed to Minglanilla heading farther down south to our last stop in Boljoon. We fondly call this pilgrimage “The South Cebu Church Trail.”
Itinerary’s first stop is Birhen sa Regla in Lapu-lapu City. The church which was built around 1730-1740s, houses the Lady of the Rule which we Oponganons (people living in Mactan are called) believe blesses the island with abundance. November 20 and 21, Oponganons commemorates the feast of the Lady of the Rule.
National Shrine of St. Joseph Church in Mandaue is the course’s second stop (still in Metro Cebu). Formerly known as Parrochia de San Jose located at the heart of Mandaue City functions as a sanctum of St. Joseph – the father of Jesus.
From where the church is standing, Basilica Del Sto. Nino is believed to be the site of the first church ever built in Cebu and where the image of the Holy Child was found burnt. Many devotees believe that the miraculous Holy Child Sto. Nino gives protection, redemption and guidance – bringing pilgrimage from around the globe. His feast, Sinulog, is the country’s most celebrated and grandest fiesta solemnized every third Sunday of January. Sinulog is a vernacular word which means ” imitate the current movement of the water,” thus explaining the forward- backward steps in dancing the Sinulog! With that said, Basilica del Santo Niño is the third list on the itinerary.
The first three stops are unchangeable on any of our yearly lenten itinerary. Now southbound – the 4th church on our list is Immaculate Heart of Mary Church in Minglanilla. According to wikipedia, this currently-pink-Church was established by the Augustinians in 1878. 🙂
Parish Church of St. Francis de Assisi, Naga Cebu was constructed from coral and limestone by Fr. Simon Aguirre in 1839 patterned after the designs done by Bishop Santos Gomez Marañon.The convent was made in 1864. Together the bell tower and convent were demolished in 1942 and reconstructed in 1974. Parish Church of St. Francis de Assisi is our 5th stop.
Church of San Isidro Labrador in San Fernando is our 6th stop. The parish was established by diocesan decree on January 19, 1858 with San Isidro Labrador as patron saint. Feast is celebrated every May 15.
St. Catherine of Alexandria Church Carcar Cebu is 7th church to visit on the list. Feast of Saint Catherine is celebrated every 25th of November. The church was built by Augustinians from 1860 – 1875 with the use of stones as its main material.
8th station, Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Ocana Carcar. Founded in 1962 and celebrating its feast every February 11. Its present parish priest is Rev. Fr. Sofronio dela Pena.
9th, Nuestra Senyora Del Pilar Church Sibonga Cebu. Construction of the church started between 1846-1868 and was completed in 1881 under the term of Father Enrique Magaz.
10th. Simala Church Sibonga Cebu. This is the house of the miraculous Mother Mary who is said to grant the prayers of her devotees.
When you are here, you are to light a candle depending on what you are asking. Here’s a guide. 🙂
Pink: Thanksgiving/Happiness/Joy (Spiritual, Physical)
Black: Souls (Forgiveness, Pardon)
Brown: Vocation (Marriage Bond, God’s Servant, Single life)
Gray: Deliverance (Bad ways, Things, Spirits)
Cream: Conversion/Faith (Children, Household, Couples)
Gold: Healing (Good health, Recovery, Spiritual, Family Tree)
Green: Prosperity/Success (Exams, Study, Financial, Business)
Blue: Perseverance (Employment, Career, Assignment, Promotions)
Violet: Achievement (Plans in life, Struggles, Endeavors, Journeys, Voyage)
Red: Love (Utility, Friendship, Engagement, Family)
Yellow: Peace (Courage, Strength, Hope)
White: Purity (Enlightenment, Guidance, Right Path)
Orange: Reconciliation (Sweetheart, Wife, Husband, Enemy, Family)
11th. St. Michael the Archangel Church Argao Cebu was founded on October 16, 1733 and was constructed by Fr. Mateo Perez from 1803 to 1836. Murals on the ceiling done by the country’s best painters. The first part were the murals of biblical scenes done by Canuto Avila and the second part on the altar, murals of St. Michael defeating Lucifer and his followers, done by Ray Francia.
12th, San Guillermo Parish Church Dalaguete Cebu. The church was built in 1802-1825.
The 13th station was the Church of Sta. Rosa de Lima in Alcoy Cebu, celebrating its feast every August 30. Rev. Father Virgilio Dolloso is its present parish priest.
Last stop was the beautiful Patrociñio de Maria Parish Church. Built in 1783 and is made of coral and hard wood. The church’s roof is made of clay tiles with 26 pilasters supporting the walls.
Beautiful and historic, each of our churches in Cebu has its own story to tell, making each an attraction of its own. Can’t wait to revisit them and discover the stories behind each church. Until next time! 🙂
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