For the fifteenth year on Holy Thursday, Broadway Fillmore Alive has put together a self-guided pilgrimage to historic churches in the Broadway-Fillmore/Polonia, Downtown, First Ward and Kaisertown areas partaking in the traditional visitation of the Blessed Sacrament in seven churches on this holy night. One twist this year is we came up with a list of nine churches to offer people a wider selection. It’s great to way to experience these churches on one of the holiest nights of the year.
Churches this year include: Our Lady of Perpetual Help, St. Stanislaus, Corpus Christi, St. Adalbert Basilica, St. Luke’s Mission of Mercy, St. John Kanty, St. Casimir, and St. Anthony of Padua. We’ve prepared a Google that you can use on Holy Thursday for directions. You can access the map on this page, via this url: https://tinyurl.com/seven-churches, or with below QR code. You can use with your phone to navigate to churches.
Why Holy Thursday? Why seven churches? The Seven Churches Visitation is a tradition that grew out of the time of prayer and adoration following Holy Thursday Mass. At the conclusion of the Mass of the Last Supper, we remember when Jesus asked his disciples to stay and watch with Him while they were in the garden. The Seven Churches visitation is a pilgrimage to various altars of repose, in different churches that correspond to each of the seven places, or stations, that were made by Jesus between the Last Supper to His crucifixion on the cross. The seven stations consist of: Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus bound and taken before Annas, Jesus taken before the High Priest, Caiaphas, Jesus taken before Pilate, Jesus taken before Herod, Jesus taken before Pilate again and Jesus given the crown of thorns and led to his crucifixion.
Upon entering each church, pilgrims visit the altar of repose, kneel, make the sign of the cross, and engage in private prayer and adoration.
The origin of the Seven Churches Visitation is typically credited to St. Philip Neri. He and a few friends would gather before dawn and set out on their “Seven Churches Walk”. These pilgrimages were designed to be a counterpoint to the raucous behavior of Carnival. The Walks became very popular and began to attract others.
You can download the below flier in PDF by clicking here–>