Visita Iglesia (2021): St. Michael the Archangel Chapel (Taguig City)

Of the three angels named in the Holy Bible, Michael is considered as the warrior since most of his "screen time" is him fighting some demons. In the Book of Daniel he fought the Prince of Persia, who is a demon who rule over the Persian Empire. In the Book of Revelations, Michael led the faithful angels against Satan and the fallen angels.

As the leader of the heavenly host, many Filipino soldiers consider him as their protector and patron saint. Because of this, the chapel located within the grounds of the headquarters of Philippine Army Support Group along Bayani Road in Taguig City is dedicated to St. Michael the Archangel.

St. Michael the Archangel Chapel in Taguig City

The facade of this chapel is unremarkable with a facade that is plain and forming the shape of a quonset hut, which are temporary structures popularized by the military.

Just outside of this chapel is an armored personnel carrier.

Armored personnel carrier at St. Michael the Archangel Chapel in Taguig City

So far, this is the only church that I encountered that has a war vehicle parked in front of it.

Despite being a chapel, the interior of St. Michael the Archangel Chapel is quite spacious.

Interior of St. Michael the Archangel Chapel in Taguig City

I finally saw this chapel's altar. I was disappointed during my last visit because a tarp covered the crucifix.

Altar of St. Michael the Archangel Chapel in Taguig City

In front of the altar is the image of the chapel's patron saint.

Icon of St. Michael the Archangel in St. Michael the Archangel Chapel in Taguig City

The church is under the care of the Military Ordinariate of the Philippines, which provides pastoral care to the members of the military, police, and coast guard.

Catholic military chaplains are a unique group of priests because they have military ranks and can be deployed to a battlefield. They minister to the wounded and the dying.

One striking scene in the movie Saving Private Ryan is of a military chaplain, possibly a Catholic, ministering to a dying soldier while under fire.

Catholic Military Chaplain in Saving Private Ryan
(Source: Quora)

In fact, the story of Saving Private Ryan is loosely based on the story of a military chaplain of an airborne regiment.

Military chaplains were also present during the 2017 Battle of Marawi. A military chaplain was the first priest to celebrate mass in Marawi Cathedral after it was retaken from terrorists.

First Mass in Marawi Cathedral during the 2017 Battle of Marawi
(Source: Rappler)

The Holy Mass was held while the sounds of war still rang all around Marawi. The dismembered image of a saint and the desecrated image of Christ is still around while the mass is ongoing.

Water Font in St. Michael the Archangel Chapel in Taguig City

I attended a couple of masses in St. Michael the Archangel Chapel and the celebrant is a military chaplain and the servers are members of the military. It is an unusual sight for a civilian like me.

St. Michael crushing the Devil at St. Michael the Archangel Chapel in Taguig City

Angels are classified into nine choirs or ranks. St. Michael is an archangel, which is the second lowest choir. Lucifer, who led the third of angels in rebellion against God, is a member of the cherubim, which is the second highest choir.

It is interesting to note that St. Michael of the low rank led the faithful angels and defeated Lucifer of the second highest rank. Revelation 12:7-9 tells us the story of that great battle:

And there was a great battle in heaven. Michael and his Angels were battling with the dragon, and the dragon was fighting, and so were his angels.

But they did not prevail, and a place for them was no longer found in heaven.

And he was thrown out, that great dragon, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, who seduces the whole world. And he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were cast down with him.

This story of St. Michael tells us that being in a lowly rank or humble situation in life is not a hindrance to serve God. All we need is to be faithful to Him so that we can away the evil dragons that imperil our soul.

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Visita Iglesia is a Catholic tradition of visiting seven or fourteen churches during Maundy Thursday. For each day, this Holy Week, I will feature one church as a sort of virtual Visita Iglesia.

Unfortunately, due to the pandemic and the lockdowns, I was only able to visit three churches. So, for this year's virtual Visita Iglesia I can only feature 3 churches, namely:

Palm Sunday: St. Polycarp Church in Cabuyao City

Holy Monday: St. Francis Church in Ortigas, Mandaluyong

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