Friday, May 11, 2012

Visita Iglesia 2012

In Hong Kong and Macau

Because of our busy and hectic schedule during the Holy Week, my wife and I have not visited 7 churches as part of our devotion and heritage. We were supposed to visit the churches of Cavite province from Bacoor all the way to Maragondon, Cavite. But everything was too tight for our schedule so we decided to have the Visita Iglesia some other time.
And when we travelled to Hong Kong and Macau on the last week of April, we decided to make this our Visita Iglesia for 2012.

1)      Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception – Catholic Diocese of Hong Kong


This is the Church’s Altar

The first Roman Catholic cathedral of Hong Kong was built in 1843 and was destroyed in a fire in 1859. The cathedral was rebuilt in 1883 and the first Mass was celebrated on 7 December 1888. It was a Cathedral from the time it was built, as the seat of the apostolic vicariate that preceded the establishment of the diocese in 1946; however, it was not consecrated as a cathedral until 1938.

The Cathedral underwent renovation in 2002, and the renovation project was recognized by an Honorable Mention in the 2003 UNESCO Asia-Pacific Heritage Awards for Cultural Heritage Conservation.

We attended our Sunday Mass at this Cathedral and it was a very pleasant scene to see different races of people worshipping the Lord as one. Whether Asian, European, American, African, Australian, Caucasian, White, Black, Brown, Dark, Tall and short - all are gathering before the Lord our God.

See the Church’s interior picture below

2)      St. Dominic Church - Macau

The St. Dominic's Church located near Leal Senado is a Catholic church. The church was built in 1587 by three Spanish Dominican priests, and it was where the first Portuguese newspaper, “A Abelha da China” (The China Bee), was published in 1822. The church is now part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The Church Altar

The Church Interior

3)      Cathedral Church of Macau and Bishop’s Palace

Do not confuse Macau Cathedral with the Ruins of St. Paul's Cathedral, which is now only a standing facade. The Macau Cathedral has been a church since 1576. The original church was rebuilt in 1850 to a much larger size. A typhoon severely damaged that church in the 1870s. It was finally rebuilt in 1937 in concrete, in the form which remains today. Adjacent to the Cathedral is the Bishop's Palace with a small museum and across from the church is a pleasant square with a fountain, large cross and many benches.

The Church Interior and Altar

The Cathedral Square and Bishop’s Palace

4)      St. Anthony Church - Macau

This church was first made of bamboo and wood before 1560, this is one of the oldest churches in Macao. The church was reconstructed in stone in 1638 and rebuilt in 1810 and 1875, while the present appearance and scale of the church dates back to 1930.

The Church’s Interior

5)      St. Augustine Church - Macau

The St Augustine Church is part of a monastery founded by Spaniards in 1586. The facade was originally of Baroque style but the existing facade is more neoclassic dating from 1814.

Did you know that? On every 1st Sunday of Lent, there is a procession of statue of Christ carrying the cross, Our Lord of the Passion, which is taken out from St. Augustine Church and transferred to the Cathedral for a night. Then return to St. Augustine Church on the next day.

The Church’s Interior

6)      St. Lawrence Church

St. Lawrence's Church was first made of wood in 1560's, replaced by Taipa in 1618 and reconstructed in stone during 1801-3. St. Lawrence's Church has twin towers, one of which was once an ecclesiastic prison, and a fine Chinese tile roof.

The Church Interior

The interior has wooden ceiling which hang elegant chandeliers. The high altar contains the figure of St. Lawrence. And above him hangs a crown held by a cherub and behind is a stained glass window with a dove of peace. Over the window is a wooden lamb.

The Church Altar

7)      St. Joseph’s Church and Seminary

This church was opened in 1758 as part of the Jesuit seminary of St. Joseph. Located on a hill, with twin brick roofed towers, it was a famous landmark that was often a subject for artists.

The Church Interior and Altar

During our visit to this church, the relic of St Francis Xavier was here. It is placed on the right side of the church which contains the bone from the arm of St. Francis Xavier, who followed his missionary successes in Japan by coming to the China coast, where he died in 1552 on Sanchuan Island, 50 miles from Macau.

8)      BONUS: Ruin’s of St. Paul Cathedral

The ruin is one of Macau's most famous landmark and used as an iconic symbol of Macau. The Cathedral of St. Paul (Portuguese cathedral dedicated to Saint Paul the Apostle) was built by Jesuit in 1602 adjoining St. Paul's College (the first Western college in the Far East). The church complex (church and school) was destroyed by fire during a typhoon in 1835. In 2005, the ruin was officially enlisted as part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site Historic Centre of Macau.

This is the place of the church’s interior

How to get there?

The Immaculate Conception Cathedral is a 10-minute walk from MTR Central Station.

View Larger Map
While most of the churches we visited in Macau are walking distance from the famous Senado Square.

From Senado Square walk northward going to the Cathedral, St. Dominic Church and St. Anthony Church. St Anthony Church is a 3-min walk from the Ruins of St. Paul.

From Senado Square, walk southward going to St. Augustine Church, St. Lawrence Church and St. Joseph Church

St. Joseph tourist MAP:

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