April 06, 2020

Google Maps Allows You to Virtually Participate in a Visita Iglesia This Holy Week

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  • Google Maps Allows You to Virtually Participate in a Visita Iglesia This Holy Week
  • Visita Iglesia (Church Visit) is an annual tradition observed by devotees during Holy Week as an act of meditation and penitence for sins. Usually done on Maundy Thursday, the Lent practice encourages devotees to visit at least 7 churches.

    Due to the pandemic, social gatherings have been strictly prohibited as a precautionary health measure to prevent the spread of COVID-19. If you’re wondering how you can participate without having to compromise your health, we’re offering you a solution.

    Google Maps has a feature called Street View, which allows you to visit different local churches in a 360-degree view making it seem that you are present in that very place. Moreover, it offers you a virtual tour of the churches to help you appreciate its age-old classical beauty.

    This feature can be accessed directly on your browser or on your phone. For website users, a Pegman located at the bottom right of the screen will help you navigate your chosen destination. On the other hand, mobile users can use a page marker.

    The churches listed among Google Maps that you can virtually visit are the following:

    San Agustin Church, Intramuros

    Located inside the walled city of Intramuros, San Agustin Church, which is considered to be the oldest stone church in Philippines, stands tall with its beautifully crafted interiors. Having undergone multiple renovations due to the damage caused by wars, it has now become one of the most visited stops during Visita Iglesia.

    Google Maps link: San Agustin Church

    Our Lady of the Abandoned Parish, Sta. Ana, Manila

    Highly regarded as an important heritage site in Sta. Ana Manila, the 300-year old church houses notable fixtures and historical ornaments including the revered image of their patron saint, Our Lady of the Abandoned, which was created in Valencia, Spain in 1713.

    Google Maps link: Our Lady of the Abandoned Parish

    Daraga Church, Albay

    Initially purposed as a temporary shelter for evacuees and residents of Cagsawa during the Mayon Volcano eruption in 1814, the Daraga Church has turned into a place of worship in Albay after undergoing multiple renovations. Furthermore, because of its architectural beauty, several sections of the church have been considered as a National Cultural Treasure of the Philippines.

    Google Maps link: Daraga Church

    The Minor Basilica and Metropolitan Cathedral of the Immaculate Concepcion, Manila

    Widely known as the Manila Cathedral, it is a cathedral and basilica dedicated to the Virgin Mary. Noted for having three apostolic visits in the past with Pope Francis’ first Papal Mass back in 2015 being the most memorable one, the cathedral has become famous among devotees.

    Google Maps link: Manila Cathedral

    St. James The Apostle Parish, Pampanga

    The church, given its many names aside from St. James The Apostle Parish, has also been called as Betis Church and Sistine Chapel of the Philippines due to the intricate paintings of Catholic saints on its ceilings. Recognized for its intricate interiors, it has been regarded by the National Museum as a National Cultural Treasure.

    Google Maps link: St. James The Apostle Parish

    Saint Gregory The Great Parish Church, Majayjay

    Having been established in 1571 during the early ages of Catholicism in Laguna, Saint Gregory the Great Parish has a rich history. Additionally, it has also been declared as a National Cultural Treasure by the National Museum as it contains antique displays of saints and old liturgical objects.

    Google Maps link: Saint Gregory the Great Parish

    Basilica Menor del Santo Niño, Cebu

    Basilica Menor del Santo Niño was declared a basilica by Pope Paul VI in 1965. Recognized as a symbol of the birth and growth of Christianity in the Philippines, it has become one of the must-visit churches for the devotees in Cebu province. It also contains important relics, furniture, and documents that date back to 17th century.

    Google Maps link: Basilica Menor del Santo Niño

    San Pedro Cathedral, Davao

    The San Pedro Cathedral, which is located at the heart of Davao City, is said to be the city’s oldest church. It is also believed that the church was established by the first Spanish settlers in 1847. Currently, it serves as the seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Davao and is considered as a National Cultural Treasure as its architectural feature resembles that of a vinta (a traditional boat from the island of Mindanao) carrying a cross at the helm.

    Google Maps link: San Pedro Cathedral

    If you want to visit more churches or explore more places, access Google Maps on your browser or install the application on your phone to get started!

    Also read: Holy Week 2020: Online Masses and Services to Celebrate at Home

    This is a press release. Minor edits were made prior to publishing.
    Images courtesy of Google

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