Join the Holy Thursday Tradition
Also known as the Seven Churches Visitation, this tradition dates to the 16th century and was made known by Saint Philip Neri in Rome, Italy. Originally, the practice involved the visitation of seven basilicas in Rome to signify the seven stations of the cross from the arrest of Jesus to His crucifixion.
On Holy Thursday, Christians remember Jesus Christ’s last supper with his apostles on the night he was arrested, the institution of the Sacrament of the Eucharist, and Jesus’s Agony in the Garden of Gethsemane. After the Mass of the Lord’s Supper, the Blessed Sacrament is solemnly processed and placed in a tabernacle on the Altar of Repose, which is open late for silent adoration.
The Diocese of San José invites you to participate in this beautiful tradition by visiting and praying at several parishes’ altars of repose. A list of participating parishes can be found below.
Why 7 churches?
The seven churches signify the seven holy sites related to Jesus Christ’s arrest to his crucifixion.
- The Garden of Gethsemane – Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane (Luke 22:39-46)
- The house of Annas – Jesus bound and taken before Annas (John 18: 19-22)
- Tribunal before the High Priest, Caiaphas – Jesus taken before the High Priest Caiaphas (Matthew 26: 63-65)
- Trial before Pilate – Jesus taken before Pilate (John 18: 35-37)
- Trial before Herod – Jesus taken before Herod (Luke 23: 8-9;11)
- From Herod back to Pilate – Jesus taken before Pilate again (Matthew 27: 22-26)
- From Pilate to Calvary – Jesus given the crown of thorns and led to crucifixion (Matthew 27: 27-31)