Lenten Pilgrimage 2014
Diocese of Paranaque
San Antonio De Padua Parish
LENTEN PILGRIMAGE MARCH 29, 2014
St. Martin de Tours Basilica
Standing 96 metres (315 ft) long and 45 metres (148 ft) wide, St. Martin de Tours Basilica or simply Taal Church is considered the largest church in the Philippines and in Asia. The church, with St. Martin de Tours as the patron saint, was built on 1575 in the present day San Nicholas Batangas, three years after the foundationof the town in 1572 by Agustinian Missionaries and is also considered as one of the oldest churches in the continent. Also, Taal church is one of the only five churches in the South East Asia given the honor as a Minor Basilica. The basilica is known for its classical air and feature.
The interior of the basilica, including the kumbento, the dining hall and the bulwagan, where folk dancers usually reherse, gives the church an ambianceof the colonial time because the architectural design and furnishings are Spanish in influence. Another opportunity in visiting the church is going up by thr small doors, steep, dark and narrow stairs to the roof top where the whole town and Balayan Lake are visible.
Carmelite Monastery, Mediatrix of All Grace
Antipolo del Norte, Lipa City
Amid the busy of Lipa stands a church where solemnity and serenity can be best experienced – The convent of the contemplative order of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel. This church is well known among Batanguenos and perhaps to most Filipinos for this happens to be the site of the mysterious shower of rose petals decades ago.
Carmel, as the local folks refer to it, was founded on May 31, 1946, just a year after World War II left the town of Lipa in ruins (Lipa bounced back heavily and was made city in August 1947, after the Japanese killed mkore than 20,000 innocent Lipa natives, with more casualties resulting from masacres carried out by the Japanese when they were losing the war against the Americans in the ending years)
Through the initiative of Bishop Alfredo Verzosa and then auxillary Bishop Alfredo Ma. Obivar (who was the first father and chaplain of the monastery), the sisters from Carmel Manila left for their new monastery in Lipa on the same day Carmel Lipa was founded, which was the feast day of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mediatrix of All Grace. This is primarily the reason why the Carmel has been associated with several forms of the Virgin Mary.
Although veneration of Our Lady Mediatrix of all grace was permitted by Bishop Verzosa, the Philippine church heirarchy declared in 1951 that “there was no supernatural intervention in the reported extraordinary happenings including the shower of rose petals in Lipa.” Bishop Rufino Santos, who became apostolic administrator after Bishop Verzosa, ordered that 1) no petals be given to anyone by the Lipa Carmelite community; and 2) the statue of Our Lady of Mediatrix be withdrawn from public view.
While the committee of bishops appeared unanimous in their conclusion that Lipa was fraudulent, several of them confessed before they died that they too had been coerced, signing the negative “findings” only under threat of excommunication.
In 1992, Msgr. Mariano Gaviola, archboshop of Lipa, granted permission to dispaly again the image of the Mediatrix of all Grace. In 1993,he declared his personal convctin that Lipa apparitions were worthy of belief. For like three years now, the Carmel church has been the site National Marian Congress or the National Pilgrimage yo Lipa. Thousands of Marian devotees attend this special Mariam day every 12th day of September.
Divino Amor Chapel
M. K. Lina St., Lipa City
Popularly known as the Redemptorists Church, Divino Amor Chapel (Redemptorist) is considered as on of the most imperative sacred places for devotion in Lipa and Batangas. It is run by Redemptorist Missionaries or the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer founded by St. Alphonsus de Liguori in Scala, Southern Italy on November 9, 1732. The congregation came to the Philippines in 1906 and founded churches to establish the faith and devotion of Filipinos. The Chapel is the product of its humble purpose.
Every Wednesday, people from all walks of life gather at Divino Amor Chapel (Redemptorist) to attend the novena mass to Our Lady of Perpetual Help. The habit of doing the novena was carried to Lipa by the Redemptorist Rector of Lipa, fr. Gerar O’Donnel, CSsR, the one who administered the construction of the first Redemptorist parish in Malate, Manila – later relocated at Baclaran as the National Shrine in 1932. Divino Amor chapel is also the International Novitiate(formation house of candidatesfor religious life) of the Asia-Oceania Redemptorists, which includes Sri Lanka, Singapore, Malaysia, Australia and New Zealand.
The Redemptorist in Lipa became popular because of the image of Our Lady of Perpetual Help which was later found in a tree trunk cut by a church worker in 2009. The image since then attracted many devotees.
Parish and Archdiocesan Shrine of Saint Padre Pio of Pietreicina
San Pedro, Sto. Tomas
From a small chapel, St. Padre Pio Church has grown into a shrine with the altar bearing a huge crucifix and a painting of San Pedro by Jun Torres. This Holy Week more devotees are expected to visit the shrine to reflect and pray the Stations of the Cross, a Lenten reflection on the Passion of Jesus Christ.
Padre Pio was born in Italy in 1887 and adopted the name Pio when he became Capuchin priest after Pope Pius V, the patron saint of Pietrelcino – his home city. Pdre Pio, beinhg the patron saint of the church was world famous for carrying the stigmata or wounds of Jesus Christ in the crucifixion and the miracles attributed to him.
One famous miracle by Padre Pio was the blind young girl, born without pupil in her eyes, whom he healed to see again by blessing her with the Sign of the Cross.
Padre Pio National Shrine has Stations of the Cross where devotees can pray and refect the Passion of Jesus Christ.