Visiting churches can enhance and deepen the faith.
This must be the reason why Filipino Catholics observe the tradition of visiting churches, also known as “Visita Iglesia,” on a Maundy Thursday during the season of Lent.
The practice entails faithful to visit seven parishes in their area to pray the Stations of the Cross, which commemorate certain incidents said to have occurred during the passion of Christ on His way to Calvary.
In line with this religious activity, the province of Pangasinan offers a top destination for religious devotees from all over the world.
This landmark is the Minor Basilica of Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary of Manaoag in Manaoag town.
Profuse testimonials and copious tales of the Our Lady’s miraculous cures and indubitably astounding powers of intercession for other blessings from God spread through word of mouth nationally and eventually to foreign shores.
These inspired the pilgrims and compelled those with morbidly dreadful diseases to seek Her renowned healing miracles and most potent intervention for other favors and blessings.
Thus, the Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary became known for being the patroness of the sick, the helpless, and those in need of favors from God especially through Jesus Christ.
As a minor basilica, the spiritual benefits that one gain by visiting the papal basilicas will also be received by those visiting the shrine of Manaoag.
The shrine is also an affiliate of the Papal Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome.
These special reasons make it a must-see haven for Catholic faithful seeking for spiritual fulfillment this Lenten Season.
The town of Manaoag is easily accessible by public transportation.
For the Catholic devotees, masses are scheduled every hour from five in the morning until 12 noon.
Aside from attending the mass, visitors should also see the Museo de Nuestra Señora de Manaoag.
The museum presents a storyline of the Dominican missions in Asia, as well as the rich history and the miracles of the Our Lady of the Most Rosary.
Select antique statues, religious accessories and embellishments, and an interesting display of souvenirs from devotees are displayed in the museum to delight the sight of locals and visitors.
Located behind the Church is the souvenir shop, parish office, candle gallery, pilgrims’ center, rosary garden and clean comfort rooms.
Religious items, souvenirs and local delicacies are also being marketed by local vendors outside the shrine.
So for those who will enrich their souls this Lent by doing their Visita Iglesia on Maundy Thursday, include in your itinerary a visit to the Minor Basilica of Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary in Manaoag.