Lazada Philippines

Monday, April 9, 2012

A Humbling Via Crucis Experience

Every year, we, Filipino Roman Catholics has this Via Crucis traditions. It is our simple way to be one with Jesus Christ who offered his life for our salvation. Via Crucis or Station of the Cross is usually done by visiting churches, 14 churches for every station of the cross. It is one my many "panata" during the Lenten Season, and as we celebrate Lent this year, I, and my two aunts, spent our Maundy Thursday visiting churches from the eastern metropolis, specifically Mandaluyong, Pasig and Quezon City.

This is my very first time to do it outside Manila City, and even though I feel bad for not visiting any Manila-base church, I am somehow happy too see other beautiful churches outside of Manila. As a Manileno, I thought we have the best churches in Metro Manila, well, that is until I saw some from this part. And despite of those some being so new and modern, I somehow felt how each of them were made with solid faith and love to God.

And one of those modern praying areas that we've visited that caught my attention is the St. Pio of Pietrelcina Chapel in Libis, Quezon City. It isn't really a church, but according to the staff there, this chapel that is inspired by the Church of Our Lady of Grace in San Giovanni Rotondo, Italy, it can hold up to 500 church-goers.

It is my first time to visit this chapel, and to my surprise, on that 4 p.m. of that Maundy Thursday, a line of devotees and visitors was already visible from the chapel right down to E. Rodriguez Jr. Avenue, causing a bottle neck to the traffic situation on that area.

There are two lines that day, a line for the chapel entrance and another for the Station of the Cross. One noticeable thing about this place is that, it is full of reminders. Reminders like these.

I honestly do not know then why children ages 10 and below are not allowed to go inside the Station of the Cross area. I was only enlightened when I reached the start of the line... A huge cross will be given to every participants.

I've been doing Via Crucis for almost two decades now, and this is the first time that I'll be reciting the prayers carrying a heavy cross. It wasn't easy, really, because first, with my bag on one of my shoulders and DSLR on the other, I really don't know how I'm going to continue.

But with the thoughts that all of these are for thanking God, I managed to continue my Via Crucis. At first, I thought, they only give crosses to men, but when I saw some women, young and old, carrying the same cross as mine, I carried my cross with all my heart and recited the prayers for the station that I'm in for.

It was a very humbling experience that I would love to do again. I didn't know that this small chapel offers this kind of experience, and I'm thankful that destiny brought me here, to experience a bit of what Jesus had gone through.

For those who are planning to visit this chapel, let me remind you of some few things.

First, this chapel enforces a strict dress code. Meaning, mini skirts, shorts and slippers are not allowed. If ever you come here on slippers, you can deposit it to their staff and continue your praying on barefoot. Otherwise, Don't be "Matigas ang Ulo". Second, since the place ain't that big, have some patience to wait. You'll be given enough time to pray, so just wait. :-) Third, the Station of the Cross here has 15 stations, so make sure you are though enough to last up until the last station. Fourth, this chapel has a good candle-lighting area, make sure to drop-by there to recite St. Pio's prayers and please do not forget to drop some coins on their donation boxes. Fifth, there's also a rosary station there, where visitors can hang their rosaries as their donations.

The rest would be self-learned, so just enjoy the experience! I know you'll be humbled as I was.

Thank you, St. Pio of Pietrelcina Chapel!
Happy Easter, everyone!


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