Visita Iglesia or Seven Churches Visitation is a holy tradition among Catholics during the Lenten Season wherein devotees visit at least seven churches and recite the Stations of the Cross. Traditionally, it was performed during Maundy Thursday or Good Friday but it can also be observed during any day of the holy week.
Here is my list of 7 beautiful old churches in the province of Cavite which can be visited during Visita Iglesia. (The list is based on our road trip itinerary starting from Molino Bacoor going to Kaybiang Tunnel).
1. Imus Cathedral
The Cathedral of Our Lady of the Pillar is one of the oldest churches in Cavite founded in 1795. This century-old church made of brick and tuff stone is the seat of the bishop of the Diocese of Imus, the diocese that has jurisdiction of all the Catholic parishes in Cavite.
2. Bacoor Parish
Established in 1752, St.Michael the Archangel Parish, is another historical church in Cavite. One of the three martyrs of GomBurZa, Fr. Mariano Gomez, became its parish priest for 48 years.
3. Kawit Church
St. Mary Magdalene church was constructed in 1737. It is where the First Philippine President, Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo, was baptized in 1869. The church was almost destroyed during Philippine-American War but was restored in 1990 through the efforts of the people of Kawit and other Cavitenos as well.
4. Sta. Cruz Parish (Tanza)
The Diocesan Shrine of St. Augustine was founded in 1780. It is also known as Holy Cross Parish. It was called Sta Cruz because Tanza’s former name was Sta. Cruz de Malabon.
5. Naic Church
The Diocesan Shrine of the Immaculate Conception Church was constructed during the 1800s. During the revolutionary period, the church convent was used as the headquarters of Andres Bonifacio after the Tejeros Convention of March 22, 1897.
6. Maragondon Church
The Our Lady of the Assumption Parish Church was established by the Jesuit priests in 1627 and was completed in 1714 after a number of interruptions. It is one of the 26 Spanish colonial era churches declared by the National Museum as a National Cultural Treasure for its outstanding features and values.
7. Sto. Nino de Ternate
The old church of Sto. Nino Parish Church was established in 1663 by Jesuits missionaries. During the Philippine revolution against Spanish in 1899 the church was destroyed and only the Holy image of Sto. Niño was miraculously left unmarked. The church was reconstructed in 1906.