Experience God’s presence through Makati’s historic churches (Feature)
April 19, 2014 10:25 am
By Aerol B. Patena
MANILA, April 18 (PNA Feature) — Visiting churches — whether individually or in group like in the "Visita Iglesia — is one of the traditions Filipinos practice during the Holy Week to strengthen their relationship with God.
Upon entering a church, visitors can feel a sense of tranquility and solemnity as they are provided an opportunity to interact with the Lord and express to Him their concerns, ask for forgiveness or express gratitude to all the blessings they have received.
Makati City, which is known for its modern and diverse culture, hosts several churches which have served as witness to history and stood the test of time.
The following is a walk-through among the city’s historic churches that may be visited not only during this Holy Week but on other occasions as well:
* Saints Peter and Paul Parish Church – Located in Barangay Poblacion, the church was built by Jesuit priest Padre de los Montes in 1620. Its architectural feature of a single rectangular nave consisting of an apse and sacristy is typical of churches during the Spanish Colonial Period. The church is dedicated to St. Peter and St. Paul, its local patron saints.
* Nuestra Senora de Gracia Church – Formerly known as the Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe, the church was established in 1629 and is currently being administered by Augustinian friars. Its roof collapsed from an earthquake in 1882 while parts of it were burned in 1898 during the Filipino-American War. Its walls remain intact after World War II. Situated within Guadalupe Viejo, the church is considered as one of the most popular wedding venues in Metro Manila.
* Santuario de San Antonio Parish Church – Located along McKinley Road in Forbes Park, the church is dedicated to Saint Anthony de Padua, known as the “finder of lost articles.” It was built by the Franciscans after its mother church in Intramuros was destroyed during the Second World War. The church spans the city’s posh villages of Forbes Park, Urdaneta and Dasmarinas
* St. John Bosco Parish Church – Situated along Arnaiz Avenue in San Lorenzo Village which is near the Makati’s Central Business District, the house of worship provides solace and comfort to office workers and nearby residents. The church was dedicated in honor of St. John Bosco who is an Italian priest who dedicated his life to improving the welfare of less fortunate youth and juvenile delinquents through teaching catechism and providing technical vocational education, thus earning him the title “Father and Teacher of the Youth.”
* Sto. Nino de Paz Chapel – Amidst the commercial establishments and offices surrounding it, the chapel which is also known as Greenbelt Chapel, is sought after by office workers and shoppers who want to spend few moments of their time with God and ask for His blessings. The structure is surrounded by green garden and a pond providing an atmosphere of tranquility and relaxation for the churchgoers as well as those who just stroll along the place.
* National Shrine of the Sacred Heart Parish – Located in San Antonio Village, the church has been a prominent pilgrimage site. Anyone who enters the church can feel the air of solemnity as a giant painting of the Sacred Heart of Jesus along the altar welcomes the visitors. The Adoration Chapel wherein a mosaic glass interpretation of the Sacred Heart with outstretched hands seems to encourage the faithful to express their intentions.
* Saint Andrew the Apostle Parish – The church is located in Bel Air Village and the structure was designed by renowned National Artist Leandro Locsin. It was dedicated in honor of Saint Andrew the Apostle, the patron saint of Metro Manila and BelAir Village. Its X structure symbolizes the manner the saint was crucified on an X-shaped cross.
Visiting these sacred places would encourage anyone to appreciate history and at the same time deepen his or her faith with God. (PNA Feature)