Our Life during the Lockdown

Hermit Crab


One of my unusual pet when I was a kid is the hermit crab. I used to amuse myself with it by scaring it into hiding to its scavenged shell. I then wait for it to cautiously get out of the shell just to be scared again. Well, I guess our pet hermit (may it rest in peace) is now amused with us and probably saying "that's karma for you" because we have been living like hermit for 8 weeks now thanks to the government-enforced lockdown. 

The pandemic disrupted our lives and shook the very foundations of our society. We have read many stories of suffering, from health workers working in hazardous conditions to no-work-no-pay people who are now reduced to begging just to survive. 

So far, this is our life during the lockdown. 


Working from Home


Fortunately, my work can be done in a Work-from-Home (WFH) setting and our company allowed us to have this set-up. Thus, our family still has income despite the lockdown.I am also fortunate that I ditched Smart Bro and moved to a better ISP. 

Transitioning to WFH is not easy because there are so many distractions at home. The kids ruin my focus and I also allot time to do house chores since My Beloved Wife is pregnant with our fourth child. 

To make up for the loss time, I tried waking up very early during the first weeks of the lockdown. It did not work. It took me a long time to get my work-from-home rhythm. Now, in the eight week of lockdown, I managed to juggle work and family concerns.

Despite the WFH struggle, I still don't work during the weekends. I avoid, as much as possible, working at night unless the office concerns are urgent. 

Paranoia is Real


We experience some sort of paranoia during the first weeks of the lockdown. The news of the spread of the virus and the number of dead people scared us, especially my pregnant wife. She was afraid for her children who might be infected by the dreadful virus. Facebook, with scary posts and constant fighting, is also not helpful.

There were also times when I was not motivated to work. I feel stressed and tired even if I am just staying home. I guess this is what some call as cabin fever. 

What we do is to distract ourselves. My Beloved Wife made me cook lunch. We also have our merienda in the front yard so that we can breathe fresh air. We also watched less news or entertained ourselves by watching movies. 

Homeschooling the Kids


One of our concerns is the education of our kids. We do not know how schools will operate in the midst of the pandemic. My Beloved Wife decided to teach our children herself. She researched about homeschooling and we recently bought some digital educational materials for our children. 

We Pray More as a Family


The greatest tragedy for us is that we can no longer attend the Holy Mass physically because of the lockdown. We attend Sunday Mass via online streaming but that is not enough. Our souls hunger for the physical presence of Christ at the mass. 

Our paranoia pushed us to pray more. Now we pray the 3 O'clock Prayer and also pray as a family before we sleep. This is the best positive effect of the lockdown for us.

Going to the Grocery is a Big Pain


One major difficulty that I experienced during the lockdown is when I buy our needs at the grocery. The lines at the grocery store are long and I spend at least half a day to finish.

Public transportation is prohibited so I just used my bicycle. Unfortunately, there was a time when I walked three kilometers from the grocery as I pushed my bike loaded with a boxful of grocery items.

I am a smart grocer now because I bring two backpacks and plenty of eco bags so I can still ride the bike while I carry all groceries back home.

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Our family is somehow coping with the disruptions caused by the pandemic. Sadly, the end is not yet in sight because there will be third and more waves of infections. In short, our temporary incarceration at home will be longer than what we imagined.
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Visita Iglesia 2020: Baclaran Church (Pasay)

Today, Black Saturday, is the day when we commemorate Jesus' descent to Hades and His liberation of the blessed ones from the shackles of Death. 

Today is also the seventh day of my virtual Visita Iglesia and the church that I am featuring today is the popular Baclaran Church. 

Baclaran Church in Pasay City

I don't usually go to Baclaran Church since it is out of my way. It is My Beloved Wife who sort of introduced me to this church when we are not yet married. Now, whenever My Beloved Wife wants to attend mass in Metro Manila she always chooses Baclaran Church. 

Baclaran Church in Pasay City

Baclaran Church is popular because of the people's devotion to Our Mother of Perpetual Help. Wednesday is the day dedicated to our lady and many devotees flock to Baclaran for their panata to the "Mahal na Ina". 

Baclaran Church History


The Redemptorists, officially known as the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer, reached the Philippines in 1906. They landed in Opon, Cebu and started their missionary works in Compostela, Cebu and Camotes Islands. Their missions then spread to Luzon where the Archbishop of Manila gave Malate Church under their care.


The Redemptorist, however, requested that they be posted in a more remote location because they considered Malate as an urban area. The archbishop granted their request and sent them to Baclaran.

Looking at Baclaran now makes it hard to imagine that that place was once grassland near the sea. Baclaran was a just fishing village when the Redemptorists built their wooden chapel in 1932.

Jesus on the cross at Baclaran Church in Pasay City

The wooden chapel for the missionaries where transformed when the novena to Our Mother of Perpetual Help was held for the first time in 1948. From the original 70 attendees in the first novena, it doubled to 150 attendees the next week, then to hundreds, and to thousands by 1949. Now, it was estimated that around 150,000 devotees go to Baclaran every Wednesday, which is aptly called as Baclaran Day.

The sudden growth of devotion to Our Mother of Perpetual Help necessitated the construction of a bigger church. The current structure of Baclaran Church was built from 1953 to 1958 and was designed by architects Cesar Concio and Jesse Bontoc. The church is of Modern Romanesque style.  

Baclaran Church in Pasay City

Actually, I always think that its facade resembles a big pipe organ.

Christmas at Baclaran Church in Pasay City

Baclaran Church is one of the biggest church I have been to. Its ceiling is so high and of interesting design.

Inside Baclaran Church in Pasay City

The website of Baclaran Church said that the ceiling was made to appear like big palms clasp as in prayer. Thus, Baclaran Church is the church that prays with the people. 

Ceiling of Baclaran Church in Pasay City

The altar Baclaran Church has interesting design. It consists of bronze wheat stalks crisscrossing together. 

Altar of Baclaran Church in Pasay City

At the top is the revered image of Mother of Perpetual Help.

Icon of Our Mother of Perpetual Help in Baclaran Church in Pasay City

The original image of the Mother of Perpetual Help has an interesting history. It was believed that the image was stolen by a merchant from the Greek island of Crete to Rome. At the hour of his death, the merchant asked a friend to return the image to Crete. The merchant's wife did not wish to relinquish such a beautiful image until the Virgin Mary appeared to the merchant's daughter. Mary instructed that the image be placed in St. Matthew's Church in Rome. 

The icon of Mother of Perpetual Help remained in St. Matthew's Church for three hundred years. Many people reported of miraculous healings that happened after praying to the image of the "Virgin Mary of St. Matthew's".

Altar of Baclaran Church in Pasay City

In 1819, the Irish Agustinians who managed St. Matthew's Church had to leave because the church and monastery was destroyed by the French during the Revolutionary Wars. The Augustinians moved to the Church of St. Mary in Posterula, where "Our Lady of Grace" is being venerated. Thus, the image of the "Virgin Mary of St. Matthew's" was placed in the chapel of the monastery hidden from public view.

The Redemptorists acquired the land where St. Matthew's Church once stood. After hearing a sermon of the Jesuit priest Francesco Blosi, the Redemptorists discovered the importance of the land that they acquired and the image of the Virgin of St. Matthew. The Redemptorists petitioned Pope Pius IX to get the image of Our Mother of Perpetual Help from the Church of St. Mary in Posterula. The pope granted their request and instructed the Redemptorists to make the Mother of Perpetual Help known to the whole world. The original image of Our Mother of Perpetual Help is now housed in Church of St. Alphonsus Liguori in Rome.

Our Mother of Perpetual Help in Baclaran Church in Pasay City

The image of Our Mother of Perpetual Help originated from Germany and passed through Ireland and Australia before reaching the Philippines in 1906.

Aside from the altar of Baclaran Church, the candle chapel has a big image of Our Mother of Perpetual Help.

Our Mother of Perpetual Help in Baclaran Church in Pasay City

This is where we usually spend a long time to pray. This is also my children’s favorite place in Baclaran Church because they can light candles and watch them melt.

The candle chapel is the place where devotees can get close and personal with Our Mother of Perpetual Help.

Love Locks in Baclaran Church in Pasay City

In the past, a smart aleck placed a “love lock” on the fence of the “wishing well” of Baclaran Church. The fence was soon filled with padlocks. 

Love Locks in Baclaran Church in Pasay City

This showy affection may be cute but cringeworthy and makes the place look ugly in the long run. Good thing that these love locks were removed and I did not see any of them during my last visit to Baclaran Church.

Dear lovebirds, placing a love lock does not guarantee your love will last forever.

Baclaran Church is one of the greatest Marian shrine in our country and I am sure that many people were blessed by our Lord after asking the intercession of Our Mother Perpetual Help.

Many people, especially the protestant ones, are scandalized by our veneration to Virgin Mary. I was once like them and accused my fellow Catholics of worshipping Mary. I was wrong because we Catholics do not worship Mary but we honor her like how the Israelites honored the queen mother in Biblical times. We know that Jesus’ loves Mary and placed her at the summit of His creations. We also know, as narrated in the Bible during a wedding at Cana, that Jesus listens to Mama Mary.

So, let us continue asking the intercession of Mama Mary and for sure she will prove to us the she is Our Mother of Perpetual Help.

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Prayer to Our Mother of Perpetual Help

Dear Mother of Perpetual Help from the cross Jesus gave you to us for our Mother. You are the kindest, the most loving of all mothers. Look tenderly on us your children as we now ask you to help us in all our needs especially this one

(Pause to recall your petitions).

While you were on earth, dear Mother you willingly shared in the sufferings of your Son. Strengthened by your faith and confidence in the fatherly love of God you accepted the mysterious designs of His Will.

We, too, have our crosses and trials. Sometimes they almost crush us to the ground. Dearest Mother, share with us your abundant faith and confidence in God. Make us aware that God never ceases to love us; that He answers all our prayers in the way that is best for us. Strengthen our hearts to carry the cross in the footsteps of your Divine Son. Help us to realize that he who shares the cross of Christ will certainly share His resurrection.

Dearest Mother, as we worry about our own problems let us not forget the needs of others. You always love others so much; help us to do the same. While praying for our own intentions and for the intentions of all here present at this Novena we earnestly ask you, our Mother to help us comfort the sick and the dying give hope to the poor and unemployed heal the broken-hearted walk in solidarity with the oppressed teach justice to their oppressors and bring back to God all those who have offended Him.

Dearest Mother, help us to avoid sin which separates us from our heavenly Father and from one another. Full of trust in you we place ourselves under the mantle of your maternal protection and confidently hope for your compassionate intercession. Amen.

I recommend that you visit the website of Baclaran Church to pray the whole Novena to Our Mother of Perpetual Help.

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We are now in the seventh church for our virtual Visita Iglesia so we pray the:


If you missed the earlier stations, I suggest that you visit the churches that we featured earlier in this year’s virtual Visita Iglesia:

Visita Iglesia 2020: Christ the King Cathedral (Tagum, Davao del Norte)

Today is Good Friday and also the sixth day of my virtual Visita Iglesia and the church I’m featuring today is the Christ the King Cathedral in Tagum City, Davao del Norte.

Christ the King Cathedral in Tagum, Davao del Norte

The Christ the King Cathedral is the seat of the bishop of the Diocese of Tagum.

Christ the King Cathedral in Tagum, Davao del Norte

The Diocese of Tagum (Dioecesis Tagamna) was established in 1980 but the current structure of Christ the King Cathedral was only finished in 2005. The construction was started in 1993 but it took the diocese 12 years to finish it. The 2-hectare land of the cathedral was donated by the heirs of Dr. Juan M. Gonzalez

Histroical marker of Christ the King Cathedral in Tagum, Davao del Norte

I could not find any information about Dr. Juan M. Gonzalez in the Internet. Probably he is a prominent person in Tagum since a city road was named after him.


Christ the King Cathedral is considered the biggest cathedral in Mindanao. I guess that the Catholics in Tagum wanted their cathedral to be big so as to befit their King.

Christ the King Cathedral is of modern architectural style. I was impressed by the first time I saw it because it resembled a European castle battlements.  The builders of this cathedral literally built a castle for their King.

Christ the King Cathedral in Tagum, Davao del Norte

On the cathedral’s facade are Christ’s symbols: the crown, and the Greek letters alpha and omega. Also featured at the facade are the golden images of Jesus on His sacred heart and the Virgin Mary on her immaculate heart.

Christ the King Cathedral in Tagum, Davao del Norte

Christ the King Cathedral is both grand and simple. It is grand in its size but simple in its decorations. The cathedral’s door, for instance, is simple.

Doors of Christ the King Cathedral in Tagum, Davao del Norte

Inside, Christ the King Cathedral is cavernous with a high ceiling and open walls.

Inside Christ the King Cathedral in Tagum, Davao del Norte

The cathedral’s altar also has the same scheme as the facade.

Altar of Christ the King Cathedral in Tagum, Davao del Norte

The altar has battlement, a crown, and the Greek letters alpha and omega. Unlike in the other cathedrals that I visited (i.e. Manila Cathedral, Bangkok Cathedral, Cebu Cathedral), Tagum Cathedral’s altar is very simple with only a big image of the Crucified Lord adorning it.

Above the altar is a triangular stained glass window that depicts the Holy Spirit.

Holy Spirit in Christ the King Cathedral in Tagum, Davao del Norte


Another glass window located on the facade indicates the image of Christ the King.

Chrsit the King in Christ the King Cathedral in Tagum, Davao del Norte

Christ the King Cathedral is a far cry from Tagum’s old cathedral, now called as Christ the Eucharistic King Church. The old cathedral may be smaller but its altar looks more ornate because it is adorned with the images of angels.

Altar of old Tagum Cathedral
Altar of Tagum’s old cathedral (Source: Christ the Eucharistic King FB page)

It was the Jesuit missionaries who brought the Gospel to Tagum during the Spanish Period. Their missionary efforts brought many people from the Tagum's native tribe of Mandaya to Christianity. Their conversion is not solely spiritual but also practical since they wished to be protected by the colonial government from the abusive rule of Muslims living along Tagum River.

I think it is the native people of Tagum who are featured as angels at the fountain in front of Christ the King Cathedral.

Fountain of Christ the King Cathedral in Tagum, Davao del Norte

The angels are holding the bountiful agricultural products of Tagum such as durian, corn, banana, rice, and vegetables. 

Indigenous angels of Christ the King Cathedral in Tagum, Davao del Norte

There are other religious images on the grounds of Christ the King Cathedral such as the scene on Mount Calvary.

Scene of Mount Calvary in Christ the King Cathedral in Tagum, Davao del Norte

At the back of the cathedral is the big image of the Risen Christ and the so-called “largest rosary in the Philippines”.

The Risen Christ in Christ the King Cathedral in Tagum, Davao del Norte

The Risen Christ was sculpted by the Mindanaoan artist Kublai Millan. Millan's artworks reflects the Philippine indigenous elements so I guess that the indigenous angels in front of the cathedral and Mount Calvary scene were also his works.

The grounds at the back of the Christ the King Cathedral gives visitor a good view of how massive the cathedral is.

Back of Christ the King Cathedral in Tagum, Davao del Norte

The place is also good place for photos since the image of the Resurrected Jesus is one of the iconic spots in Tagum City.

The Risen Christ of Christ the King Cathedral in Tagum, Davao del Norte

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Prayer to Christ the King

O Lord our God, You alone are the Most Holy King and Ruler of all nations.

We pray to You, Lord, in the great expectation of receiving from You, O Divine King, mercy, peace, justice and all good things.

Protect, O Lord our King, our families and the land of our birth.

Guard us we pray Most Faithful One.

Protect us from our enemies and from Your Just Judgment.

Forgive us, O Sovereign King, our sins against you.

Jesus, You are a King of Mercy.

We have deserved Your Just Judgment

Have mercy on us, Lord, and forgive us.

We trust in Your Great Mercy.

O most awe-inspiring King, we bow before You and pray;

May Your Reign, Your Kingdom, be recognized on earth.

Amen.

- - -

The Crucifixion of Jesus Christ
(Source: The Catholic Miscellany)

We are now in the sixth church for our virtual Visita Iglesia so we pray the:


If you missed the earlier stations, I suggest that you visit the churches that we featured earlier in this year’s virtual Visita Iglesia:

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References:

1. History from Tagum City website
2. Prayer to Christ the King from My Catholic Life
5. Diocese of Tagum from Claretian Communications Foundation, Inc.
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Visita Iglesia 2020: San Isidro Labrador Church (Pasay)

In the novel Spring Moon of Bette Bao Lord, one part that stood out for me is the scene about the Boxer Rebellion in China where nationalists attacked foreigners and their fellow Chinese who were converts to Christianity. In one scene, a nationalist mockingly called a lady as “worshipper of Carpenter God” while murdering her family.

Jesus the Carpenter God is a mockery from the mouth of pagans but not so for us Christians because Jesus is indeed a carpenter and that does not made Him a lesser god. In fact, He lifted the value of man’s hard work and showed us that there is dignity in our labors. 

Our Lord emptied Himself of divinity and became man - and not just that but he chose a lowly stature - He chose to be poor, to be a carpenter who is bound to labor all day just to get enough money to buy ample food for a day. In short, Jesus chose to be a daily wage earner - a “no-work-no-pay” kind of guy. It is indeed foolishness and illogical that the God who created the universe became someone who is in deep poverty.

This “foolishness” of our Lord is comfort to those who labor because He is one of them. The saints can see this wisdom of our Lord and of those saints is Saint Isidore the Farmer, who is also known as San Isidro Labrador.

Today is Maundy Thursday and the church that I feature today is the one dedicated to San Isidro Labrador located along Taft Avenue in Pasay City.

San Isidro Labrador Church in Pasay

San Isidro Labrador Church is one of the churches that I see every time I ride the LRT.  It is noticeable since it is the only big church along Taft Avenue.

San Isidro Labrador Church in Pasay

The church is also noticeable because of the big stained glass windows on the facade. The windows feature Saint Isidore holding a shovel.

San Isidro Labrador Church in Pasay

The facade of this church looks beautiful at night when the stained glass is lighted.

Another beautiful feature of this church is the image of the Last Supper at the facade.

The Last Supper on the facade of San Isidro Labrador Church in Pasay

The image of the Last Supper is the reason why I feature San Isidro Labrador Church this Maundy Thursday.

San Isidro Labrador is a farmer who is highly venerated not only in his home-country Spain but in many parts of the world. In our country, many towns, particularly the rural ones, celebrate feasts dedicated to San Isidro. The most popular and colorful feast dedicated to San Isidro is the Pahiyas Festival of Lucban, Quezon.

Statue of San Isidro Labrador in San Isidro Labrador Church in Pasay

San Isidro is a laborer just like Jesus. By the strength of his arms he plow the fields and through his sweat his master gets a good harvest. San Isidro is a peasant and just a farmer-tenant or a kasama in our language. Thus, he does not own the land that he till. I think this is the reason why many Filipino farmers devotees of San Isidro because he is a poor farmer just like them.


Despite his poverty, San Isidro gave the little that he had to poor. He even gave food to the hungry birds. Because of this, God gave him so much favor that he was able to do miracles while he was still alive. It was said that San Isidro was assisted by angels in the farms. Through prayers he brought back to life his master’s deceased daughter. The people of Spain continued to receive miracles through San Isidro after his death. Such is the power of someone who has great faith in God. 

San Isidro Labrador and Santa Maria de la Cabeza in San Isidro Labrador Church in Pasay

San Isidro Labrador Church in Pasay also honors Maria Torribia, who is San Isidro’s wife. She shared the holiness of her husband so she is also called Santa Maria de la Cabeza even though she is not yet canonized by the Church.

It is interesting to note that San Isidro’s wife is called Santa Maria de la Cabeza (Saint Mary of the Head) because her head was carried during a procession when the people are asking God for rain.

It was said that Santa Maria always had a pot of stew because her husband always bring to their home hungry beggars. Santa Maria continued her piety  and charity even after the death of her husband.

San Isidro and Santa Maria are good examples of husband and wife supporting each other in the path to holiness.

San Isidro Catholic School in Pasay

The area where San Isidro Labrador Church stands was under the jurisdiction of Santa Clara de Montefalco Parish. San Isidro Labrador Parish was established in 1951 while the church was constructed from 1961 to 1966.

Historical marker in San Isidro Labrador Church in Pasay

The bell tower on the left side of the church was only constructed in 2011 just in time for the 60th anniversary of San Isidro Labrador Parish.

Bell Tower of San Isidro Labrador Church in Pasay

Unfortunately, the church was under renovation and was closed during my visit so I had no choice but to stay outside.

San Isidro Labrador Church in Pasay

The church is spacious. Stained glass served as the background of the church’s altar.

Inside San Isidro Labrador Church in Pasay

I was not able to take a good photo of the altar. Well, I do hope that I could get a better view of what’s inside this church in the future.

San Isidro is a good example for us who labor on this earth. In Genesis, the Lord pronounced a curse that man had to toil so that he can eat. It was indeed a curse because while in the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve did not do hard work so that they could eat. However, Jesus showed that the curse is God’s way of teaching us that hard work is a path to holiness. Our Lord did not avoid hard work. In fact, He has the power to command the angels to do the work for Him and his foster-father Joseph. Yet, for many years, he toiled as a carpenter with Saint Joseph. He affirmed the dignity of labor.

This Holy Week, aside from meditating on the passion and death of our Lord, may we also meditate on Jesus as a humble carpenter. May we learn to honor all laborers, including those who are being looked down by society. May we also learn our hard works can be offered to God and become part of our treasures in Heaven.

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If you wish to contact the parish priest of San Isidro Labrador Church, please contact hime at telephone no. (02) 525-1188 and their Facebook Page.

The schedule of the Holy Mass in San Isidro Labrador Church is the following:

Monday to Friday: 06:00 AM and 06:30 PM
Saturday:  06:00 AM
Saturday anticipated mass: 06:30 PM
Sunday: 06:00 AM, 07:15 AM, 08:45 AM, 10:00 AM, 05:00 PM, 06:00 PM, and 07:15 PM

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Prayer to San Isidro Labrador

St. Isidore, you lived a humble life working the land. You attended Holy Mass each morning
which jeopardized the employment that allowed your family to eat. The Lord repaid your love
by sending his angels to plow the fields while you were at Church.

Dear Isidore, ask Our Lord Jesus to place deep faith in our hearts and water it each day with your prayers that we may progress in holiness as you did. Pray that as our heart grows in love and humility we may be a living sign of Jesus to those around us.

As a farmer who used his hands to bring forth nourishing food please ask Jesus to bless us with a bountiful harvest. Pray that our hands and bodies will remain strong that we may farm the land God has given us.
Ask Jesus to care for our gardens as he tends our hearts. Pray that weeds will be kept far from our fields and likewise give us an aversion to sin. Humbly we ask that you carry the petitions
we hold in our heart to our most loving and generous Lord.

Amen.

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Tenth Station of the Cross: Jesus is Stripped of His Clothes
(Source: Wikimedia)

We are now in the fifth church for our virtual Visita Iglesia so we pray the:

Ninth Station: Jesus falls a third time

If you missed the earlier stations, I suggest that you visit the churches that we featured earlier in this year’s virtual Visita Iglesia:

Holy Wednesday: National Shrine of Saint Jude (Manila)

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References:

1. San Isidro Labrador Church Facebook page
2. Novena to Saint Isidore from Catholic Doors
3. About St. Isidore from San Isidro Parish website
4. Isidore the Laborer and Maria Torribia from Wikipedia 
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Visita Iglesia 2020: National Shrine of Saint Jude (Manila)

When I was still reviewing for the board exams, our review center brought us to a church just outside of the MalacaƱan Palace Compound. Back then I didn’t know the reason why our instructors brought us to that particular church. What I do know is that my prayers in that church and the intercession of St. Jude helped me pass the engineering board exam with, surprisingly, “flying colors”.

The church I am talking about is the National Shrine of Saint Jude in San Miguel, Manila.

National Shrine of Saint Jude

St. Jude Thaddeus is one of the 12 apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ. He was often confused with Judas Iscariot, who betrayed our Lord, that it was said that St. Jude was only invoked during desperate situations when the petitioner no longer has other saints to ask for intercession.

National Shrine of Saint Jude

The National Shrine of St. Jude features the image of St. Jude Thaddeus where he is seen holding the image of Jesus. St. Jude is commonly depicted holding the face of Jesus because according to a legend, King Abagar of Edessa requested Jesus to heal him of leprosy. Since the king cannot go to Jesus, he sent an artist to draw His face. Our Lord is impressed with the king’s faith that He pressed His face on a cloth, leaving His face imprinted on it. Jesus then instructed St. Jude to bring the image of His face to the King of Edessa. This is why St. Jude is usually depicted as holding the face of Jesus.

St. Jude in National Shrine of Saint Jude

Just like the other Apostles, St. Jude went to various places to preach the Gospel. He is believed to have been martyred either in Armenia or Beirut, Lebanon. His remains were buried St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome where many pilgrims received powerful intercessions.

St. Jude in National Shrine of Saint Jude

The title of “Patron Saint of the Impossible” was revealed by God to St. Bridget of Sweden and St. Bernard.



Many people go to the National Shrine of Saint Jude every Thursday to bring their petitions and ask the intercession of St. Jude. Most of the petitioners are takers of board exams. St. Jude became popular to board examinees because passing the board exam is “impossible” and failing is not an option.

Inside National Shrine of Saint Jude

The Parish of Saint Jude, first named as the Espiritu Santo Chinese Parish, in San Miguel was established in 1954 to cater to the growing number of Chinese and Filipino-Chinese converts. The original Chinese parish church is the Binondo Church. However, the church cannot cater the growing number Chinese converts. The Chinese Catholics also spread to other parts of Metro Manila, beyond the reach of Binondo Church.

Binondo Church is now a Filipino church managed by secular priests. The Chinese identity of Binondo Church was already lost. The Dominican mission to the Filipino-Chinese was transferred to a small church at the back of Binondo Church.

Unlike Binondo Church, the Chinese identity of the National Shrine of Saint Jude is still alive. A proof of this is the image of a Chinese saint inside the church.

Chinese Catholic Saint in National Shrine of Saint Jude

Too bad that I did not get that saint’s name.

Saints in National Shrine of Saint Jude

The altar of the church features the crucified Jesus Christ. At the back of it is a stained glass that features balls of fire falling from the sun. The effect is that the ball of fire is descending upon our Lord on the cross.

Altar of National Shrine of Saint Jude

The beautiful altar also has the tabernacle at the center.

The National Shrine of Saint Jude transformed from a personal Chinese parish to a territorial parish that cater to communities in the vicinity of the church. This church successfully retained its Chinese roots while growing with the Filipino community in its midst.

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Prayer to St. Jude Thaddeus

Most holy Apostle, St. Jude, faithful servant and friend of Jesus, the Church honors and invokes you universally, as the patron of difficult cases, of things almost despaired of, Pray for me, I am so helpless and alone.

Intercede with God for me that He bring visible and speedy help where help is almost despaired of. Come to my assistance in this great need that I may receive the consolation and help of heaven in all my necessities, tribulations, and sufferings, particularly - (make your request here) - and that I may praise God with you and all the saints forever. I promise, O Blessed St. Jude, to be ever mindful of this great favor granted me by God and to always honor you as my special and powerful patron, and to gratefully encourage devotion to you.

Amen

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Seventh Station: Jesus Falls the Second Time
(Source: Wikimedia)

We are now in the third church for our virtual Visita Iglesia so we pray the:

Seventh Station: Jesus falls the second time

If you missed the earlier stations, I suggest that you visit the churches that we featured earlier in this year’s virtual Visita Iglesia:


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References:

1. St. Jude and History of St. Jude Parish from National Shrine of St. Jude website.
2. St. Jude Thaddaeus from Catholic Online
3. National Shrine of Saint Jude (Philippines) from Wikipedia
4. Novena to St. Jude - Desperate Situations and Hopeless Cases from EWTN
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