For centuries Catholics in many parts of the world have been visiting seven churches on Holy Thursday. In the Philippines, the tradition is known as Visita Iglesia. The Holy Thursday visitations are an excellent grace-filled way to end Lent and enter into the Triduum.
While it is an expression of our Catholic faith, many looked at the Visita Iglesia as an opportunity for sight seeing. It also offers a favorable circumstance for family bonding. For us runners, the Visita Iglesia offers an opportunity for a long slow distance (LSD) training run, especially of the heat training kind given the hellish temperature and humidity the month of April offers in our tropical archipelago.
Thus, this Thursday (Apr 13) early morning (5am), me and my old reliable running buddies Ernie and Bob embarked on our Visita Iglesia on foot from Libis, QC to the highlands of Antipolo via Sumulong Highway and back via Ortigas Avenue.
We ran and we walk for 34 kilometers. We kneeled and prayed in seven churches of varying shapes and vintages. The 7 are:
1. Diocesan Shrine and Parish of St. Therese of the Child Jesus.
2. National Shrine of Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage.
5. Christ the King Parish Church
1. Prayer for our country and the safety of its citizens from natural calamities like earthquakes and killer storms.
2. Prayer for our company and the prosperity of its projects.
3. Prayer for our Church and its leaders that it be bold and straight in its mission.
4. Prayer for the health of our family, especially our mother and my wife.
5. Prayer for the freedom of our sister.
A lot to wish and pray for. But us runners are solid as a rock with our faith. From the words of the Prophet Isaiah in the Bible - "Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will run and not grow weary; they will walk and not be faint."