The Philippine Islands, 1493-1898, Volume XXXVI, 1649-1666
Author: Various
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263. Only the family of one pious woman remained in the village, who (although sparingly) gave them food every day. But that charity could not last long, for necessity forced that family to take refuge with the insurgents, thus leaving the Spaniards destitute of all human consolation. They, seeing themselves wounded and without food, made a small boat of bamboo, dangerous at any time, and embarked in it in order to go to Butuan by way of the river, after they had dismantled the fort and spiked the artillery. In order that the so evident risk of that voyage might be more increased, their opponents pursued them with swift caracoas, from which firing many arrows they multiplied the wounds of the soldiers. The Spaniards, seeing that they could not defend themselves, entered the village of Hoot where the people had not yet risen. There they met an Indian called Palan, who was going to Linao for his daughter, so that she might not be lost amid the confusion of that so barbarous race. He took compassion on those afflicted soldiers, and, availing himself of fifteen Indians who were with him, accommodated them in his bark and took them to our convent of Butuan. They arrived there twenty days after the insurrection at Linao, so used up and crippled that they were already in the last extremity.

Sec. VII

Relation of the punishment of the rebels and their restoration to their villages

264. As soon as father Fray Miguel de Santo Thomas, prior of our convent of Butuan, learned what was passing in Linao, he sent a messenger to Tandag and to the royal Audiencia of Manila; for promptness is generally the most efficacious means in such cases. Afterward the afflicted Spaniards arrived at his convent, and he received them with great love, accommodated them in cells, set up beds for them, and gave them medicines—assisting them with the compassion of a father, to their consolation, and with extreme charity aiding in their entertainment. One of those soldiers, who was named Juan Gonzalez, had broken a leg, his body was full of wounds and a poisoned arrow had pierced his loins. When he was treated, he was so lifeless that all thought that he had expired. The father prior was not a little afflicted at that, for the man had not yet been confessed, as the father had been assisting the others. In that extremity the father applied to him a picture of St. Nicholas of Tolentino, and at its contact the dying man returned to his senses, confessed very slowly, and received the other sacraments with fervor; and had even twenty-four hours left in which to bewail the carelessness of his life, as he did. All held that event as a miracle worked by St. Nicholas, for whom the sick man and the religious had great devotion.

265. That fatal news having reached the city of Manila, a general revolt was feared as in the former year of 1631, when our churches were burned, our convents pillaged, our sacred images profaned, and our ministers seized and killed. In consideration of that, Governor Don Diego Faxardo sent Captain Gregorio Dicastillo to Tandag with a small band of Spanish infantry to join Bernabe de la Plaza, alcalde-mayor and captain of that fort, so that they might try all means to reduce the insurgents. They went to Butuan where they established their military headquarters. A general pardon was published with the warning that those who did not submit would bring upon themselves the full rigor of the war. But many of the Indians who presented themselves were hanged, and there were very few of those who descended the mountains to surrender who were not made slaves. The very persons who were under greatest obligation to fulfil the word that they had given in the name of their king broke that word.

266. Our whole convent of Linao was consumed by fire, except two chalices and some vestments from the sacristy, which three Indians were able to carry out. They presented themselves with it, thinking that they would thereby secure their freedom; but they were immediately thrown under the heavy yoke of slavery. With such acts of injustice, although the rebels were subdued by that expedition, their hearts were more obstinate than ever. The city of Manila and its environs were full of slaves. The Butuan chiefs who were the mirror of fidelity, suffered processes, exiles, and imprisonments; and although they were able to win back honor, it was after all their property had been lost. Some heedless individuals blame the superior officials with what their inferiors have done, and the excesses and abuses of others are considered to be done by the influence of the superiors. But the uprightness and honesty of the royal Audiencia of Manila can be seen in what they did. For after two years of imprisonment of one of the Indians whom that expedition prosecuted, his property was confiscated. Another was tortured and condemned to death by decapitation. Another was reduced to extreme poverty. All were persuaded that the heavy hand was entering there. Finally the governor committed the examination of the causes to Licentiate Manuel Suarez de Olivera, auditor-general of war and assessor of the governor of Manila. He declared in favor of the Indian slaves, and freed them all. The wretched Indians were overjoyed at the decree, but they were troubled because they had no one to solicit their freedom for them by attending to the necessary expenses of the court; consequently, they regarded the day of their redemption as a thing impossible to attain. They did not dare to ask the aid of the Recollect fathers, as they thought that the latter were angry at them, as they had murdered a religious in that insurrection. But since the Recollect fathers regarded that as [the vicissitude of] fortune, they took the part of the Indians and did considerable in their defense.

267. Father Fray Agustin de San Pedro was secretary of that province, who was known by the name of Padre Capitan because of his military feats which will be explained in part in recording his life. He had illumined those Indians with the light of the gospel, for which they held him in great affection. Therefore, he made a list of the slaves who were in Manila, and its environs, giving the name and surname of each, and the village where he lived. In the list he included many others who were not contained in the processes. He presented that list to the governor and asked him to order the slaves to be set at liberty. Such a writ was despatched very promptly, and the father went with the notary through all the houses in order to place the order in execution. That was a work that caused him great fatigue, and produced violent contentions. For since those who had paid their money for slaves were deprived of them, scarcely did he arrive at a house where some insult was not heard. The expenses were increased, but he obtained his purpose; for he secured all the slaves, and the [Recollect] order took care of them, providing them with all the necessities of life until they were taken to their own native places. A religious accompanied them, as it was considered necessary to have a person to defend them in case that any one attempted to injure them.

268. That race is not so rude that it cannot be conquered by kind acts. Therefore, those Indians talked over among themselves what the Recollect fathers had done for them without remembering that the Indians had killed a religious. As they did not remain in their villages, the notice of our method of procedure spread to the most hidden recesses of the mountains. In the year 1650 father Fray Joseph de la Anunciacion was elected provincial; and at the beginning of the following year, while making his first visit to the province of Caragha, he arrived at Butuan where he learned that the Indians were having some trouble with the soldiers. But they were very mild in telling them of the Recollect fathers. He became encouraged at that, and having placed his confidence in God, directed himself to the village of Linao. He entered the mountains, talked with the Indian chiefs, and exhorted them to become peaceful and return to the vassalage of his Majesty. He obtained that in a very few days, and left that region in the utmost peace.

269. At this point we must reflect upon what was insinuated above. I said that the king our sovereign wrote to the father provincial of Philipinas ordering him to see to it that his religious did not rouse up the Indians, since they ought, on the contrary, to take part in calming their minds. His royal letter is dated May 27, 1651, and in regard to it I mentioned that at the same time when his Majesty ordered it, he was obeyed in the village of Linao, and with that statement is already given the proof. I add to this that on the tenth of July of the above-mentioned year, while the father provincial, Fray Joseph de la Anunciacion, was in Manila, he wrote to our father vicar-general informing him of the visit to Caragha. Among other things (which do not concern the matter) he wrote the following, which is very suitable for our purpose: "I made the first visit to the province amid remarkable sufferings and contrary winds, and thus spent about one year there. But I considered that labor as well spent because of the fruit that was obtained from it; for God was pleased by my assistance to reclaim more than six hundred tributes in Linao, who had revolted and were disturbed, without greater cost than one decapitation and some punishments of little importance. All was left as quiet as it had been before, and it has been increased by some tributes. The only thing that especially troubled me was, that I could leave no more than one religious in each mission, while some missions were such that two were not sufficient. These are so separated from one another that the distance is at least twenty leguas. That distance must be made over troublesome seas, for the winds are not always favorable, so that one can only occasionally favor or console the other. It is a mercy of God that zeal for the conversion of souls has penetrated all, so that they put away their own welfare, relief, and consolation for those of others."

270. That section proves, first, the care of the superiors in aiding to pacify the Indians; secondly, that, to maintain them in peace, one cannot accomplish so much by the severity of punishment as by the mildness and gentleness of love; thirdly, the vast amount of hardship that those poor ministers suffer. I must only add now that some who had but little fear of God, seeing that the Indians in Tandag had become quiet through the efforts of father Fray Pedro de San Joseph Roxas, ascribed the sedition of Linao to father Fray Agustin de Santa Maria. No investigation was made in order to give the lie to the enormity of that falsehood, for he was purified from that accusation by the blood from his veins, and because Heaven itself gave some more than ordinary testimonies of his innocence. I am going to mention them by compiling a treatise on his life.

[Section viii treats of the life of father Fray Augustin de Santa Maria. He was born in Macan of Portuguese parents, and entered the Recollect order. After being ordained as a priest, he was sent to Caragha to learn the language of the natives, where he labored diligently. Some years later he was sent to Linao, where he was killed by the insurgents, May 16, 1651. His body, after being treated with indignities by the natives, was finally buried by a pious native woman. The section and chapter close with the recitation of several miraculous occurrences.]


Life of the venerable father Fray Francisco de la Resurreccion; and other events that happened in the year 1651.

[Section vi is the only part of this chapter referring to the Philippines.]

Sec. VI

The eleventh mission goes from Espana to the Philipinas Islands

328.... Our holy province of Philipinas was burning with the most ardent desire to enlighten the wretched Indians with the rays of the faith; but it found itself opposed by contrary winds; these blowing forcibly against the four corners of the house (as happened there with Job), God proved it in patience. The church and a great portion of the convent of the city of Manila had been ruined by earthquakes, and the religious had no other habitation left than some wretched cells, or rather huts, that they had set up in the garden. Governor Don Diego Faxardo had ordered the convent of Tandag to be demolished. The insurrection of that village (which thus far has not succeeded) was said to have been caused by our religious. The village of Linao had been withdrawn from its subjection to Espana, and the venerable father Fray Agustin de Santa Maria had been killed by lance-thrusts. The triennium of our father Fray Juan de San Antonio was passing; and during that time some missionaries had been seized and made captives—among them fathers Fray Martin de San Nicolas, Fray Miguel de la Concepcion (a native of Guadix, or as others assert, of Granada), and brother Fray Joseph de la Madre de Dios, a native of Mexico. The Jolo Moros practiced the greatest cruelties on those men; they also pillaged and burned the convents of Cuyo, Romblon, and Marivelez. The Chinese occasioned a great fire in the convent of San Sebastian de Calumpan, and the Dutch another in the convent of Cigayan. All those unfortunate events kept that holy province harassed to the utmost; but their fervor did not cool one whit. On the contrary, the fire of their zeal always mounted high and blazed more brightly the more they were oppressed by misfortunes, as it was a flame that never knew other paths.

329. In the year 1646 was celebrated the intermediary chapter of that holy province, during the provincialate of our father Fray Juan de San Antonio. In it the venerable father Fray Jacinto de San Fulgencio was chosen to come to Espana and attend, as one of the voting fathers, the seventh general chapter which was to be celebrated in the city of Valladolid in the year 48; and especially, so that he might enlist evangelical soldiers who should go to work in the spiritual conquest of the Indians—for, since so many religious had been captured, there was a lack of them. The said father Fray Jacinto could not embark that same year, because of the great disturbances caused on the sea by the Dutch, as already remarked. Consequently, he did not reach the city and court of Madrid until March, 1649, after the chapter had already been held. In that chapter, our venerable father Fray Pedro Manuel de San Agustin was elected vicar-general of all the congregation.

330. The said our father vicar-general was outside the court visiting the provinces, when the father commissary arrived. Accordingly, the latter wrote to him, petitioning him to advise the convents of his coming so that the religious might in that way learn of the opportunity presented to them to go to employ their talents in the new world. Our father vicar-general attended to that with the so holy zeal that he was known to possess. His pastoral letter was filled with the flames of divine love; for he inspired the souls of the religious in such a manner that, in a few days, he had the signatures of more than fifty of them. At that same time his Reverence received a paper from the convent of San Carlos de Turin (which belongs to our Recollect congregation in Italia) in which father Fray Celestino de San Christoval, lecturer in theology, father Fray Bruno de San Guillermo, and father Fray Archangel de Santa Maria petitioned him very urgently to admit them in that mission, binding themselves to get the permissions of their prelates. But, praising their good intention, our father vicar-general refused to admit them on the ground of the royal decree that forbids the passing [to the Philippines] of foreigners.

331. While all the above was happening, the father-commissary, Fray Jacinto de San Fulgencio, delivered to his Majesty the letters of the royal Audiencia, the city, and the most illustrious cabildo of Manila, which were given above for another purpose. He obtained a royal decree to take back eighteen religious. The king our sovereign gave him three hundred and sixty-two thousand three hundred and ninety-two maravedis for the journey, beside what his Majesty had assigned for the maintenance and transportation of the missionaries in Cadiz, Vera-Cruz, Mexico, and Acapulco. His Majesty also continued the alms for the four ministers of the convent of Manila, and the medicines; ordering also that four thousand pesos be given them in Mexico for the repair of the said convent, which had suffered almost total ruin in the earthquake of the year 45. In addition to that, the father-commissary petitioned that the father-procurator at Roma urgently request permission to send evangelical ministers to Japon, China, Siam, and other near-by kingdoms, showing in all his great zeal for the conversion of souls.

332. The eighteen missionaries whom the king hail conceded to the father-commissary for that so distant harvest in the Philipinas Islands gathered to him in a few days. He also took six more religious at the cost of that holy province, in its name contracting many new obligations, in order not to fail in the cultivation of the vineyard of the Lord. Of those who had volunteered, those who appeared to be most intelligent and zealous were chosen; and the procurator tried to get them to Sevilla as soon as possible, where they arrived on February 20, 1651. They finally embarked, and celebrated their spiritual exercises on shipboard just as if they were in the retirement and quiet of their own convents. They preached many afternoons; persuaded the sailors to be present at the prayer of the rosary daily, exhorted them never to let the sun go down on their sins, since they had the sacrament of penitence so near at hand; and were very urgent in teaching them all the Christian doctrine. God granted them the consolation of experiencing considerable fruit by that means; for morals were considerably reformed, and oaths and blasphemies were banished, so that the ship was like a religious house. The religious gave many thanks to God, because at their exhortation He conquered the obstinacy of a Moro who begged them to wash him with the holy waters of baptism. The Moro received those waters with great fervor, and died shortly after, leaving all in the great hope that he attained glory.

333. For twenty days they suffered violent and contrary winds, but God delivered them from that peril and from other very serious dangers. He preserved them also from an epidemic that was raging in the port of Vera-Cruz—a disease called vomito prieto, [30] from whose malignancy the greater part of those who had embarked died, although only one of our religious perished. They reached Mexico all worn out, and remained in that city until March 10, 1652. Finally they reembarked in the port of Acapulco, whence they had a fortunate passage to the Philipinas Islands. They arrived there so opportunely that the fathers were discussing the abandonment of some of the missions because of their so great need of ministers. Consequently, they gave many thanks to the divine Majesty for those religious who arrived at so suitable a season.

[Chapter iii consists of accounts of the lives of various Recollect fathers. Those who labored in the Philippines are the following. Miguel de Santa Maria was a native of Cadiz and a son of Rodrigo Lopez de Almansa. He professed in the Manila convent June 26, 1618, at the age of 28. Later he became prior of the Caraga mission, and founded the convent of Tandag. In 1624 he was elected procuratol-general of the Philippine province. He attempted in 1629 and 1630 to go to Japan; but in the first year the vessel was wrecked, and in the second the governor forbade the journey. He was sent finally to the mission at Cuyo, but the troubles with the Moros compelled him to flee. Reaching Manila, he refused the offer of the secretaryship to the visitor-general, and the remainder of his life was spent in that city, his death occurring in the year 1644 or 1651. Gaspar de Santa Monica was a native of the city of Orihuela, in Valencia, his family name being Padros. He took the habit in the convent at Valencia, November 1, 1613. He joined the mission organized by Andres del Espiritu Santo, and arrived at Manila in 1622. The following year he was appointed prior of the convent of Marivelez; and in 1624, when the first provincial chapter of the order was held in the Philippines, he was elected prior of the convent of Cuyo, where he suffered many hardships. He became secretary to Andres del Espiritu Santo upon the election of the latter to the provincialate in 1626; but, falling ill, he was unable to perform the duties of that office and was made prior of the convent of Calumpan, in 1627. In 1629 he was one of the religious shipwrecked in the endeavor to reach Japan surreptitiously. He became definitor of the province in 1632, and in 1638 prior of the convent at Linao. On the completion of that office in 1642 it does not appear that he filled other posts. He died in the city of Manila in 1651.]

[Chapter iv treats in great part of the life of Pedro de la Madre de Dios. He was born at Salamanca in 1580, and his family name was Lopez. He took the habit in the convent at Valladolid, in 1605. Somewhere between the years 1612-1614 he was sent as vicar-provincial to the Philippines, with the brief for the separation of the Recollects from the regular Augustinians, conceded by the pope. After the expiration of that office in 1615 he spent the time until 1623 in work among the novices and as prior of the convents of Manila and Cavite. July 1623 to February 1624, he acted again as vicar-provincial. In the latter year he was chosen procurator to Spain, and the representative of the Philippines to the general chapter of the order to be held in 1627. Sailing from Manila in 1625, the remainder of his life was spent in Spain in various employments and in retirement. His death occurred between the years 1649-1652. Section vi of this chapter treats of the Recollect convent of San Juan de Bagumbaya (for whose early history given in summary here, see VOL. XXI). In 1642, the governor Sebastian Hurtado de Corcuera ordered all the buildings in the village of Bagumbaya to be torn down for fear of the Dutch, among them the convent. Despite the endeavor of the religious to save their convent, it was demolished and a new fort begun there. The order had refused the 4,000 pesos offered them by the governor, saying that their possessions were worth more than 50,000. This action of the governor was made part of the charges in the residencia, and he was condemned to pay the order 25,000 pesos, and the ground-plots were restored to them. Thereupon the fort was demolished, and a new convent and church erected. Section vii details the placing of the holy image of the Christ of Humility and Patience (Santo Cristo de Humildad y Paciencia) in the Recollect convent at Manila in the year 1652.]

[Chapter v contains treatises on the lives of the following Recollect missionaries in the Philippines. Diego de Santa Ana was a native of Zaragoza (his secular name being Ribas), and was born in 1599. He professed in the convent of that city, July 26, 1616. Volunteering for the Philippine missions in 1620, he arrived at Manila in 1622. That same year he was sent to the islands of Calamianes, in company with Francisco de San Nicolas, where he labored amid great difficulties for the conversion of the rude people inhabiting those islands. In 1626 he was sent to the village of Caviscail in Paragua, where he labored for a year; then he was appointed prior of the convent of Linacapan, the most dangerous mission of the Calamianes, which was infested by the hostile Moros. He was in the district of Butuan in 1629 when the insurrection of Caraga broke out, where he was in considerable danger of losing his life. He remained in Caraga for several years after the insurrection was put down; but asked leave to return to the Calamianes missions. In 1652 he suffered extreme hardships while hiding in the mountains from the Joloans, who had made one of their numerous raids in the village of Dinay in the island of Paragua. Some assert that he died in the Manila hospital, while others say that he met his death in the mountains about Dinay. Lorenzo de San Facundo was born in Calaceyte in Aragon (his family name being Valls) and professed in the convent of Zaragoza, July 8, 1618, at the age of 36. He went to the Philippines in 1621. There he became prior of the convent of Marivelez, and afterward of Binalgaban in the province of Panay, of Masingloc in the province of Zambales, and lastly of Bacoag where he suffered various hardships and captivity. He especially obtained good results by his preaching in the island of Cuyo, and in Siargao in the province of Caraga. He was afterward president of the chapter, definitor of the province, and procurator to Spain with a vote in the general chapter (although he was unable to arrive in Spain in time for the chapter). In company with Juan de San Joseph, he was taken by Corcuera on his Jolo campaign to look after the Caraga natives in his army. The two religious penetrated the mountains alone in an endeavor (partially successful) to reduce the Joloans to peace. He died in 1652, after a long and deep-seated infirmity. Antonio de la Madre de Dios, son of Fernando Romero Pizarro of Truxillo, professed in the Madrid convent, September 24, 1615. He went to the Philippines in 1621. He was sent to the island Hermosa, where he remained until that island was abandoned by the Spaniards. On returning to the islands he was employed in various missions, dying in 1652 from fever contracted while nursing a secular priest. Juan de San Joseph was a native of Granada, and took the Recollect habit in Manila. Being sent to the missions of the Calamianes he proved very successful in the snaring of souls. He was captured in 1632 by the Joloans, and was a captive among them for more than two years. After his service in the Jolo campaign he returned to Manila, and finally died in the mission of the island of Romblon. Diego de San Juan Evangelista, son of Pedro de Olite, was a native of Zaragoza and took the habit in the convent of Manteria in Zaragoza, April 3, 1606. Shortly after, he deserted the order; but afterward returned to it. He left for the Philippine mission in the year 1622, where he became an eloquent preacher. He served as chaplain in two fleets, missionary in the Calamianes, and prior of Cavite and Manila. Death came to him in the convent of Bagumbaya in 1652. Antonio de San Agustin was a native of Manila (being born about 1592), where he professed. In 1634 he obtained permission to go to the Japanese mission, but the Chinese who had been hired to take them failed to fulfil their contract. In the great Chinese revolt of 1639 he acted as minister to the Zambal archers in the Spanish army. He served in various capacities, among them being the office of definitor. His death occurred in 1652.]

[Chapter vii treats of the lives of Onofre de la Madre de Dios and Augustin de San Pedro, the famous "Padre Capitan." The first was the son of Joseph Boquet, and was born in Perpinan in 1584, and professed in the convent of Zaragoza, March 16, 1606. Joining the Philippine mission, he reached those islands in 1620, where he was immediately sent to the new missions in the south of the archipelago, with the appointment of prior of Cebu. In 1624 he was elected first provincial of the order in the Philippines, serving in that office for two years, during which time he visited his province at the risk of capture from both Dutch and Moros. After the expiration of his term he asked and obtained permission to go to the Calamianes, and worked faithfully in the island of Culion, where he mastered the language. In 1627 he was sent to Spain as procurator, but did not return thence, as he was elected provincial of the province of Aragon. His death occurred in the convent of Calatayud in Spain, in 1638 (reported wrongly to have occurred at Barcelona in 1653, as he was confused with another religious of the same name). "Padre Capitan," the son of Miguel Rodriguez, was born in Berganza, Portugal, and professed in Valladolid, in 1619. Arriving at the Philippines in 1623, he was speedily sent to the Caraga missions, where he labored for the rest of his life in the conversion of its natives, and in defending them from the inroads of the Moros. He was many times prior of Butuan, Cagayang, Linao, Tandag, and Romblon. In Mindanao he personally baptized more than 10,000 adults. His death occurred in 1653, and he left behind a name long revered among the natives because of his prowess. The seventh section of this chapter is an answer to Father Combes of the Jesuit Society (who had tried to belittle the efforts of the Recollects in Mindanao), in which the good work that the Recollects have accomplished is shown.]



The attempt is made in Philipinas to subject the religious who are parish priests to the visitation of the bishops.

Sec. I

Relation of the practice that has always been followed in the spiritual administration of the islands; and what happened when the attempt was made to change it.

Year 1656

[In 1654 the first mutterings of the storm caused by the visitation of the regulars by the bishops break in the Philippines. The dates of the arrival of the various orders are given; and the narrative continues:]

719.... Those holy orders, each one doing its share, declared pitiless war against paganism, and achieved signal victories in that war, destroying the idols of Belial and planting solidly the health-giving sign of the cross; so that whatever is conquered in the islands is due to their fervent zeal. For they planted the faith, and watered that land with blood so that it might produce fruit abundantly; and God was the cause of so wonderful an increase. The system that they have always followed in the spiritual administration of the missions and villages which they have formed at the cost of their sweat is the same as that observed in America in the beginning by various apostolic privileges. In the provincial chapters held by each order, they appoint as superiors of the houses established in the villages of Indians who are already converted, those religious who are fit to exercise the office of cura by their learning, their morals, and other qualities. The same is also done in regard to the residences of the active missions, where those thus appointed continue the preaching to and conversion of the heathen, with very perceptible progress. Both the former and the latter exercise the ministries to which they are destined, without need of other approbation than that of the definitors—who entrust to these heads of houses the administration of the sacraments and the spiritual cultivation of those souls, in the respective territory where the convent is located, a superior being elected for each convent. This is done independently of the bishops. Likewise the definitors of each order in their meetings appoint various of the most learned and experienced men, to whom is entrusted and delegated the faculty of giving dispensation in regard to the obstacles of marriage, and the exercise of other favors and privileges contained in the pontifical briefs. Those powers are never exercised if the diocesans are intra duas dietas, [31] without their permission and approbation; and always this is done [only] in cases of evident necessity.

720. The provincials visit their provinces annually; and the said religious not only in what concerns their profession and regular observance, but also in what relates to their activities as curas. The diocesan prelates appoint their outside vicars for those territories which are in charge of the orders. They almost always avail themselves of those same religious for that, because of the great lack of secular priests. The religious submit to the visitation of the diocesan in matters touching the erection of chaplaincies, charitable works, the inspection of wills, and confraternities that are not exempt. They resist only what includes the violation of their privileges granted by the supreme pontiffs to the said holy orders for the purpose of the propagation of the faith in regions so distant. Such privileges, although not used in other parts of the Indias, ought to be maintained in Philipinas, for reasons that will be stated below. This is what has been observed from the discovery of the said islands until the present time; and the contrary has not been ordered by the king as patron, by the royal Council of the Indias, or by the apostolic see, although they have had full knowledge of the cause. This method has been practiced, both before and since the Council of Trent; and there has been no change in it—not even since the year 1652, when special provision regarding it was made for Nueva Espana and Peru; and it was ordered that the missionary religious of those provinces should receive collation and canonical institution from the ordinaries of those countries, in order to continue their exercise as curas; and that consequently they must submit to the visitation and correction of the bishops in officio officiando et quoad curam animarum. [32] But however thoroughly that was placed in execution in those kingdoms, it could not be carried out in the Philipinas Islands; for there even the reasons which influenced the exemption of the regulars are in force.

721. It is true that the bishops have always made the strongest efforts to subject the parish priests who are religious to their jurisdiction; but they have never been able to succeed in it, for the religious are unwilling to accept the charge with that burden. The first bishop of Manila and of all the islands, Don Fray Domingo de Salazar, tried to establish that subjection. The Observantine Augustinian fathers and the Franciscans made use of the means which prudence dictated, in order to quiet their scrupulous consciences. Seeing that nothing [else] was sufficient, they resigned their missions before the governor, as vice-patron, protesting that they would care for the conversion of the heathen, but that they could not keep the parochial administration of those who were converted, without the enjoyment of all their privileges. Therefore, his Excellency was forced to desist from his attempt, as he had no seculars to whom to entrust that administration. In 1654, the attempt was made to establish in Philipinas the practice recently adopted in the kingdoms of Peru and Nueva Espana by petition of the fiscal of the royal Audiencia. That body ordered that plan to be carried out, by a decree of October 22; and since the chapters of the two provinces of the order, the calced and discalced, were to be held in April of 55, that decree was communicated to them, with the warning that if they were not obedient they would be deprived of their missions, and the missionaries of the emoluments which had been assigned them for their suitable support. All the orders opposed that change, following logical methods in their defense, and averse to seeing the necessity of abandoning their missions. But at last, as there was no other way, the venerable fathers-provincial were reduced to handing over to the governor and bishops all the ministries in their charge, so that, as the former was the vice-patron and the latter were the ordinaries, they might appoint whomever they wished to the curacies.

722. That resignation was handed to the fiscal, and in view of it, in order that the most suitable provision might be made, with full knowledge, he asked that writs be made out—first, to show how many secular clergy were in the four bishoprics; second, so that the officials of the royal treasury might attest the amount of the stipends paid to the religious employed in the missions, and third, so that the provincials might send the names of their subordinates employed in the missions. That was ordered by a decree of May 10 in the said year 1655. It resulted that, in all, 254 religious were occupied in 252 missions; that the royal treasury only paid stipends corresponding to 141 missionaries; and that there were only 59 suitable secular priests in all the islands. The fiscal, seeing that according to the report the procedure that had been taken could not be maintained, in order to obviate the inconveniences that would ensue to the natives and inhabitants of those dominions if the religious were withdrawn from the villages, petitioned on January 4, 1656, that without innovation the orders be maintained in the missions, until it should be proved that there was a sufficient supply of secular priests to take care of them; and that they be assisted with the usual emoluments. He asked and charged the reverend fathers-provincial to look after the spiritual administration with their accustomed zeal. The royal Audiencia having so ordered in toto by an act of February 17, the holy orders returned very willingly to apply their shoulders to the work. Those acts were sent to the royal Council of the Indias. The cause having been discussed there, in view of the reports of the governor (which were throughout favorable to the orders), and of the manifestos presented by the orders in justification of their rights, the documents were approved on October 23, 1666, and the result was to make no innovation in what had been decided, and it does not appear that any other decree was enacted against the observance and practice that the religious have always maintained in those islands. Therefore the archbishop, having claimed that the appointments for the missions devolved on him by the form of canonical collation in cases where his Majesty did not make use of the privilege which belonged to him as patron; and endeavoring by that means to deprive the orders of the right which they possess of making those appointments without the intervention of his Excellency: the royal Council by a decree of September 26, 1687, ordered that the matter be continued in the form in which it had been administered until then, and that no change be permitted.

723. Shortly after the archbishop of Manila, Don Diego Camacho, making use of the most powerful means, attempted to subject the religious to his approbation, visitation, and correction in officio officiando. For that purpose he had recourse to his Holiness, to whom in the year 1697, he represented that there were many religious in the islands employed in more than seven hundred parishes, who had refused and were refusing to receive the visitation and correction of the diocesans; and he asked that they be compelled to receive such visitation. Upon seeing that, his Holiness Clement XI decided (January 30, 1705) that the right of visiting the parochial regulars belonged to the said archbishop and other bishops; but he made no mention of the other points which had been referred to him, and which were also under dispute. This appears from the brief despatched in this regard. This brief having been presented in the Council of the Indias, it appears that it was confirmed on April 22 of the same year. The said archbishop ordered it to be executed (October 26, 1707) with the most strenuous efforts; but he encountered in this such dissensions and disturbances that it is considered advisable to omit the relation thereof. It was necessary to resign the ministries once more, the superiors [of the orders] protesting that they would never agree to such a subjection, and that the archbishop could make appointments to the curacies as he wished. By that means his Excellency was so balked that, the cause having been fully proved, the evidence received, and the proofs adduced by both parties, the petition introduced by the orders was allowed on March 30, 1708; and it was ordered that the necessary official statements be given them. The authority of the governor was interposed extra-judicially, and he ordered that the religious should occupy the abandoned curacies, and that there should be no change. The archbishop himself, who had put forward that claim, was obliged to confess that he could not put it into practice.

724. It was sufficiently clear by that alone that the holy orders have more than enough reason for the independence from the bishops that they enjoy in their parochial ministry. For if they did not have in their primitive being the causes and motives for the apostolic privileges which exempted them, even from that of the ordinaries, it would not have been possible for them to maintain themselves so long with that prerogative which could not subsist in the kingdoms of America. But, since there are some persons who, as their understanding is on a par with their bodily senses, register events on the surface only without going within for the reasons (from which the report has been originated and spread through Europa, that the orders of Philipinas have seized all the authority without other reason than because they wish it so), I am compelled to vindicate them from so atrocious a calumny by making known some of the reasons why they have made (as they still do) so strong a resistance to this subjection. I shall first discuss all the orders in common, and then our reformed branch in particular. But I give warning that I do not intend to transform my history into formal charges. Adequate apologetic writings, founded on law, have been scattered through those holy families to demonstrate the exemption that attends them. Quite recently, in the former year 1734, a formal statement was presented in the royal Council by twenty-three graduates of the famous University of Salamanca (confirmed by eight who are not regulars) in which their testimonies agree in affirming that the religious act according to the dictates of conscience in administering the curacies without subjecting themselves to the bishops. Some add that they are bound in conscience to resist this subjection, as it is an imposition on the regular religious. Therefore, I shall treat that matter simply as an historian, taking for granted the right which, according to various apostolic privileges, supports them in not subjecting themselves to the bishops; and, in case the latter attempt this, in abandoning the ministries.

Sec. II

Some of the arguments that support the orders in Philipinas in not submitting to the visitation of the ordinaries in regard to the ministries.

725. That various supreme pontiffs, especially St. Pius V, conceded to the regulars of the Indias the privilege of obtaining their ministries with complete independence from the bishops, no one is so bold as to deny. The motive for that concession was the lack of secular priests in those countries. Consequently, the question (or doubt) as to whether that indult is or is not to be observed is not one of law, but one of pure fact. Its solution depends on ascertaining whether there are in those regions a sufficient number of clergy suitable to serve their parishes and exercise the care of souls. For, in case there are, it is not denied that that duty belongs to the seculars; for it is the peculiar duty of the religious to devote themselves to God in the retirement of their cloisters. If, on this hypothesis, the regulars should desire or be permitted to take charge of the said spiritual administration, they ought to submit to the bishops in officio officiando for then the cause of that indult would not exist. The fact of the exemption having ceased for the great part in the kingdoms of Nueva Espana and Peru, did not arise from the said privileges having been revoked (for they are not, especially that of St. Pius V) but only and necessarily because the impelling cause for conceding such exemption did not actually exist. For, in those kingdoms, the number of secular ecclesiastics increased so greatly that enough of them were found to administer the holy sacraments to their inhabitants. Since the motive has ceased, the privilege cannot endure. Now then, I suppose that there are more than two millions of people in the Philipinas Islands who confess the name of Christ, through the influence of the fervent zeal of the religious. In the year 1655, as was stated in the preceding paragraph, for two hundred and fifty-two missions in charge of the orders there were only fifty-nine secular priests. In 1705, when that subjection was attempted so earnestly by Archbishop Don Diego Camacho, the parishes were extended by his deposition to the number of more than seven hundred. For those parishes, according to the certification of the secretary of that prelate, only sixty-seven secular priests were found in his diocese; and of those only ten were suitable for administering the missions, as the rest were occupied in the duties of necessary residence. At present, the number of seculars is not much greater nor will it ever be—partly because those of Europa do not have any inducement to go to those islands, and partly because, since the Spaniards there are so few, there cannot be many persons sprung from these kingdoms who rise to the priesthood; further, because the Indians are generally unfit for that holy ministry. In view of all the above, who does not see that the orders avail themselves of their right in resisting the burden of the visitation which the bishops are trying to impose on them?

726. Nor does it avail the opposition that Pope Clement XI determined and declared, at the petition of the said archbishop, on January 30, 1705, "that the right of visiting the regulars in what concerns the care of souls and the administration of the holy sacraments belongs to the archbishop of Manila and the other bishops of the Philipinas Islands." For besides the defects of misrepresentation and surreptitious measures [obrepcion y subrepcion] which were then made manifest, contained in that brief, the said pontifical declaration, whether it be conceived as a law, as an order, or as a sentence, cannot fail to be appealed from. This is what the orders did, appealing to his Holiness, alleging before the archbishop who put the brief into execution the motives which, according to law, they rightfully had for resisting that visitation. In order to establish the truth that the religious had many arguments in their favor, it is not necessary to adduce other proof than what results from the fact that the said archbishop, who was the person most interested, desisted from the execution of the brief. Other diocesans of the islands who, notwithstanding the above-cited brief, have tolerated and tolerate the exemption of the orders for no other reason than the actual scarcity of secular priests, have authorized that procedure. Therefore, they practically admit that the indult of St. Pius remains in force, and that the mandate of Clement XI is impossible whenever the religious abandon the curacies.

727. Besides, the same fact that the said metropolitan did not put into execution the above-cited brief of Clement XI as its nature and authority demanded, gave one to understand either that it was notoriously surreptitious, or especially grievous and productive of some scandal, or of irreparable injury to the Catholic religion; for only through such motives can the mandates of the pope be suspended. If the first be correct, it is an implied or virtual declaration that the said order is null and void; therefore, the regulars can legally proceed with the administration of the missions without subjecting themselves to the ordinaries, making use of their former privileges. If the second or third—his illustrious Lordship having offered in that same act in which he provided for the suspension of the brief, to inform the pope of the predominant reasons that determined him to supersede the said brief—in the meantime, until the said information shall reach him, and the effect that is produced by it on his Holiness's mind shall be made known to the religious, the fact that they avail themselves of their privileges in the administration of the parishes cannot be imputed to them as guilt. The reason for that is, that they cannot believe that that prelate will neglect to inform his Holiness of the motives why he did not proceed with the execution [of the brief]. The fact that the Roman court has not made any new provision in regard to that matter shows that, just as in virtue of the allegations of the regulars the said archbishop found it necessary not to carry his pretension farther, so likewise the supreme pontiff has tacitly approved and has left the religious with the exemption that they enjoyed before the above-mentioned brief. Therefore, in regard to either law, they will safely be able to proceed with the administration of the churches in their charge without the intervention of the bishops.

728. Much less can the said brief of Clement XI stand in regard to the decree that "the regulars cannot resign from the missions or parishes under penalty of censures, loss of benefices, and other arbitrary penalties." For this clause alone is sufficient to persuade one that the representations that were made to obtain that decision from the pope were not ruled by truth. For had his Holiness well understood all the circumstances, how could he have issued an order from which would follow the inference of injuries terrible and irremediable to the holy orders? If those religious, in so far as they are curas, were to become subject to the bishops, they would not hold their curacies as a reward after serving his Majesty so much, but would regard their position as lower than that of those who remain free from responsibility in their communities. For the latter have no other obligation than to obey their superior or his two subordinates, so that there can never be any contrariety in the orders or any doubt for the religious of what he is to do; while the former, after all their anxiety, have to study very carefully over obeying their legitimate superiors and in keeping the bishops content (which, as will be said, would both be impossible things), whence must originate many disturbances and much restlessness. And if it is intolerable that he who serves his king with faithfulness be not rewarded, the order would be inverted on this occasion; for after so much labor they could only succeed in multiplying subjections, and be less free in their ministries. The orders would receive as their reward the abolition of the exemption which the holy see conceded to them as a recompense for the noble fruits which they have gathered in the universal Church by their virtue and holiness—preserving it fresh and beautiful by watering it with the blood of so many martyrs, by which they made it illustrious; and increasing it with new worlds, provinces, and millions of children whom they have subjected to it, of which the histories are full. They will be obliged to place in the curacies those who solicit them the most urgently, importuning by means from which the more retiring and the more worthy shrink. They will expose their religious to danger even after they have well fulfilled the obligations of their ministries, in case that they are not to the liking of the ordinary—besides many other annoyances which will inevitably come upon the regulars. And if the orders have no other means to avoid that and the rest which will be stated below than to resign their missions, how could the benign pontiff oblige them to stay therein if he knew those circumstances fully?

729. It cannot be denied that the office of parish priest even with the exemption from the ordinary is altogether accessory, and a heavy responsibility superadded to the religious estate. For in order that they might administer in the said form, an apostolic dispensation has been necessary which is founded on grave reasons—and that with attention to only what the religious estate demands from him who has entered it, according to what is taught by common law and the doctrine of the saints. If that method of administering with exemption from the ordinary is changed, and the regular who has charge of a parish should as such become subject to the correction and visitation of the ordinary, and in other respects to the heads of his order, it is certain that it would be an innovation so great that they would be quite changed in their respect for public opinion, and in their mode of life; and the religious would be like a man cleft in two, those in some houses being subject to one superior and those in others to another, all of different hierarchies, and with the dangerous consequences that will be stated. Will the piety of the pope bind the religious to so great a cross?

730. Let us suppose (as is feasible) that the bishop were to become displeased with any order, or with any missionary. In such case he could maintain or remove the missionary against the will of his provincial by very specious pretexts. If necessary, he could even threaten the latter with censures, in order to make him submit to his authority. How fecund a source of perdition and total ruin that would be for the orders, any one can conceive; but only those who have experience in those islands could perfectly comprehend it. Let the regulars of America tell how they have to tolerate it through compulsion. If a religious is found lacking, and the offense has the appearance on one side of belonging to morals and life and on the other to the office of cura, the poor missionary is left in the sane position as those goods which the law styles mostrencos [i.e., goods which have no known owner], and shall belong to the first one who seizes them; and even he is in much worse condition, because of the contests that must necessarily ensue. For, if the provincial commences to form a process and it comes afterward to the notice of the ordinary, the latter will issue an act—and, if it should be necessary, a censure—ordering the said provincial to quash the entire process, to deliver it to him, and to desist from the cause by saying that he alone has the power to try it. The provincial appeals to the judge delegated by his Holiness and he, as he has entire jurisdiction of the case, commands the ordinary with the warning of censure to leave the cause alone and deliver up the acts. The latter not obeying, the matter may be carried to such an extreme that two ecclesiastical prelates excommunicate each other, and threaten each other with interdict and the cessation of divine service. This is not fancy, for that has happened in like case in Manila. That is the greatest danger since, because of the great distance, redress moves with very dilatory steps. But in the meanwhile the suits concerning the religious are proceeding from tribunal to tribunal, contrary to the clearly expressed privileges of his exemption.

731. But let us suppose that the regular parish priest is unworthy to persevere in his mission because of secret sins, and that, even if he remain in it, he may run some risk of his salvation. The provincial learns of the matter secretly. In such a case, justice requires two things—one, the punishment of the guilty person; and the other, that the delinquent shall not lose his reputation by the declaration of his fault. Charity urges him to remove his subordinate from danger. If that regular administers without canonical institution and subjection to the ordinary, everything will be settled very easily, and justice and charity will be satisfied without any infamy to the criminal or any dishonor to the order. But if he is subject to the ordinary, the provincial cannot remove him by his own authority; but he must have recourse to the ordinary himself, and to the vice-patron, and then those two agree on the removal. In that case, what can the provincial say to them? If he should say that he will impart to them in all secrecy the [nature of the] crime of his subject, that means is harsh and less safe. The ordinary and the governor, as the father and the master, may correct and punish the faults of their inferiors without the least wound to their honor; and must a provincial do so by dis-accrediting his subordinate with the heads of the community? If it is decided that the superior do not tell the kind of crime, but that he asseverate in general terms that there is cause to remove the religious from that place, the trouble is not avoided. First, they may think that he speaks thus in order to go ahead with his oldtime custom; second, because even though the cause of removing him be not a fault, it can easily be alleged to be one, and the fact that he does not offer more explanation in that case comes to be the same as manifesting its gravity by his silence. Finally, honor is very delicate and is lessened by rumor and suspicion. Since God made the religious exempt from the secular judges, and the apostolic see exempted them from the ordinaries, the religious, when they have not professed as curas, will find themselves without courage to assume that charge with so many dangers and burdens. And will the apostolic see force them to that?

732. The fact that common law decides that the regular parish priest, as such, is subject to the visit of the ordinary furnishes no argument against my statement. For, leaving aside the fact that the supreme pontiff may abolish such a law—as in fact was done by Pius V, after the holy Council of Trent, while Urban VIII confirmed this action afterward; and various statements of the most eminent cardinals favor this when there is a lack of secular priests as happens in the Philipinas—it is answered that common law which orders such subjection is only in point when they wish to persevere in being parish priests; but does not order that they be so under compulsion. If a secular priest to whom the curacy has been given permanently by canonical institution can resign it, and the law does not therefor disqualify him, why cannot the regulars make that same resignation in order not to live with the risks from having so many superiors? The regulars are not curas for justice, but for charity, and they have taken charge of the missions for lack of other ministers. They do not administer them through right of proprietorship, but are removable at will. Consequently, they can be deprived of those missions even though they live like saints. Is it possible that when the will of another is sufficient to remove them from their curacies, their own volition will not suffice with the knowledge of the dangers which will follow from such a charge? Further, is the regular incapable of being a proper parish priest, or is he not? If he is, why, if the secular cura is perpetual—so that, if he does not become unworthy, neither the ordinary nor the vice-patron can remove him—will not the regular also remain a cura, supposing the incumbrance of collation and canonical institution? Why does that institution give all favorable things to the secular and deprive the regular of all relief? It imposes upon the regular the duty of feeding the sheep. It binds him to the territory, so that the provincial cannot remove him without the consent of the vice-patron and of the ordinary. He loses in great measure the privilege of the exemption, and with those duties does not have the comfort of being secure in his curacy, for he does not hold it for life. Neither is he master of the emoluments which the parish yields, unless it be imagined that he be dispensed from his vow of poverty. Consequently, he only gets the burdens by reason of the collation, and nothing to his advantage. If it be said that he is not capable of being a parish priest, why the pledge in this new form of administration?

733. Those who are striving for the subjection of the regulars as parish priests generally oppose the fact that that form of administration has been introduced into America, and that therefore it might serve as an example for the Philipinas Islands. But that argument is not convincing, and contains many remarkable disparities. First, because there are plenty of secular priests in Peru and Nueva Espana; therefore the bishops rightly compelled the religious either to abandon the administration of the parishes, or to submit to the visitation. For the motive of the privilege of St. Pius V was lacking, not by any revocation that he made of it, but because its force had ceased, its object not being realized. Second, because no one will say that the orders of America were obliged to remain in the charge of souls, with the insupportable burden of the visitations. On the contrary, they agreed to it willingly in order not to abandon the parishes. The fact that they consented to it there is no proof that they have to do the same in Philipinas. Third, because the experience of what happened in Mexico and Peru in regard to the diminution of strict observance by the regulars, which originated beyond doubt from that subjection, ought to open the eyes of the superiors of orders in Philipinas to prevent such harm in their houses. This is not to cast blame on those who are now enjoying the curacies in this manner in the said kingdoms; we ought to consider them all as very excellent religious. But it is an undoubted fact that, with the practice by which the missions are maintained, in a manner almost perpetual, the provincials not being able to dispose of their subordinates with complete liberty, that oldtime strict observance which was planted in those provinces at their first erection has been greatly obscured. Human nature is easily inclined to what promotes liberty; and as St. Bernard teaches, the same ones who love retirement because of their austere training in the rigors of the order from childhood, when they come to taste the life that is not so well regulated, desire, procure, and solicit it. Nothing of that has been seen hitherto in Philipinas, where, however much they have the parishes in charge, the holy orders flourish in the most strict observance—for no other reason than that, if a religious sins, the remedy is quite near at hand since it is administered solely by the head of the order.

734. Fourth, because there are things more to be wondered at than to be followed. Although the religious orders are alike, we see that, while the Church is also one and the same, one person elects one condition which the other does not adopt. From the same order some go to the Indias, and others do not go. Then why cannot the same thing happen in regard to being parish priests subject to the ordinary? Let the histories of the Indias be read. All of them consider earnestly whether the religious are to be curas of souls, and much more whether they are to be curas of justice. Resolutions of entire provinces will be found on the question whether they should abandon the missions; generals and illustrious men of the same orders will be found who approved it; and the reader will find bitter complaints for having admitted such a burden, recognizing it as the seminary of interminable discords. For, if those on the mainland, seeing a furious hurricane on the sea which is dashing the ships to pieces and endangering the lives of those who are sailing, fear to embark, how much should the regulars in Philipinas take warning from the new practice in America? How can one wonder that they follow the example of those who abandoned the missions joyfully, rather than of those who now live sorrowfully because they adopted the new method? The fact is, that no one can take it ill that each one procures what he thinks best so long as he uses means that are not unlawful in order to get it. This is what the religious are doing in the present case, taking care that no detriment follows to their estate and profession. For, before the souls of others, one ought to watch over his own. Let it not be (as says St. Paul) that we, preaching to others, behold ourselves in the irreparable danger of becoming reprobates.

735. Fifth, because the provinces of Philipinas are not, nor can they be, like those of America, but are as distinct as they are separate. The latter include, besides the ministries, many community convents where there are plenty of religious, who greatly exceed the parish priests in number. The former have but one convent apiece in Manila, which enjoys an adequate community as do the convents of Europa. The other houses are located in the villages of the Indians where those who have charge of the spiritual administration live, and there is no more community at times than the head of the house alone; and at the most he has one or two associates, if they are considered necessary for the exercise of the duties of the mission. Since that is true, an undeniable inconvenience will follow, namely: if they are subjected to the visitation and correction of the bishops all can call themselves not regulars—those outside, because they are parish priests; and those of Manila, because they have to go to take the places of the others in case of absence, sickness, or death. They cannot be excused from that by either the actual definitors of the outgoing provincials, and all to have to be employed if there is a lack of ministers. Since the provinces are composed of them almost entirely, and the consent of the ordinary and the vice-patron would be necessary for their removal, there would be some provinces which would have the name of religious government and in reality would be under the secular government, dependent on those two wills, to which they would make no vow of obedience. It is a fact that it would be a real change which those religious would have to endure, from free and unhindered evangelical ministers to seculars bound in justice to the care of souls. Can it be considered ill that they resist so great a transformation, and leave the missions if they find no other way?

736. Sixth, and last, because in America the practice of presenting three religious for each mission in the form ordered by the king can be easily observed, as there are many religious. But that presentation is mortally impossible in Philipinas because of the great scarcity of religious. For although the orders make the most painstaking efforts to get them from Espana, they succeed in this with difficulty. For lack of workers, they are often obliged to entrust the administration of many villages to one person, and sometimes to abandon districts in toto. Then how can three be presented for each ministry when there is scarcely one for each mission? Besides, since there are so many languages, there is no order which does not minister in four or five languages; and although all of them apply themselves to the study of the languages, few attain them so perfectly that they can explain entirely the height of the mysteries of our holy faith; and since there are so many missions, what order can present three times the number of ministers who will worthily serve the missions? Let us suppose a case also where there would be a sufficient number of capable religious. On that account there would be no assurance of better results; for of the three who would be presented, it is possible that the least capable would be chosen, as there would be no accurate information of his being less competent. That would be known better within his own order, where by continual intercourse it is learned who is most suitable for the ministry. Besides that, there might be a religious whom it would be proper to retire because of his demerits, but by virtue of the fact that the prelates have to present three religious for each mission, they are obliged to include him in the presentation for the sole purpose of completing the number. Who will prevent a froward one from slandering the electors, discrediting the worthy, and gaining the favor of friends and relatives by putting forth all his efforts to attain the desired liberty in order to escape from the observance and the cloister? Oh, beginning so full of troubles! If one had to describe all the troubles, it would be necessary to use much paper. Let the above suffice, so that it may be recognized that the reason why the holy orders resist subjection to the bishops is not so much for the sake of preserving their authority, as because they see the grave dangers that must ensue for them. Finally, they exercise their right in that, of which no one can complain, for they are doing wrong to no one.

Sec. III

Continuation of the matter of the preceding section, with especial bearing on our discalced Recollect branch.

737. The reasons thus far advanced touch all the orders in common. Let us now pass on to speak of our own in particular. There is no doubt that St. Pius V conceded the above-mentioned exemption to the regulars because they were employed in the conversion of the Indians, and so that they might proceed in their apostolic missions. That reason is clearly expressed in the bull; consequently, whenever it is found to exist, the orders ought to be maintained in the possession of that grace so long as it is not annulled by express revocation. Hence it is that, until the present, the bishops have not attempted to subject the missionaries who are laboring to allure the heathen to our holy faith and withdraw them from the darkness of their infidelity; for in order to effect those ends they acknowledge in its force the privilege of St. Pius V. I agree then that all the missions held by our holy reformed branch in the said islands ought to be considered as active missions, where the religious, although as parish priests they minister spiritually to those already converted, exercise also the arduous employ of missionaries, as the villages are surrounded by infidels, whose conversion they secure by the most diligent efforts. Therefore, the parishes of our jurisdiction ought to be considered not as villages of converts [doctrinas] already formed, where the only care is to administer the holy sacraments, but as new conquests where the flock of Christ is continually increased by apostolic attempts.

738. There are at present one hundred and five villages (besides those called active missions, which do not enter into this account) at present in the charge of our holy discalced branch, and they lie in more than twenty islands. In the principal island of Luzon, where the city of Manila is located, the order administers fifteen villages; in that of Mindanao, the second in size, thirty-four; in that of Paragua and others of the Calamianes, twelve; in that of Mindoro, twenty-four; in that of Romblon and its outlying islands, eleven; and in that of Masbate and its intermediate islands, nine. It is seldom that one of those villages has no infidel inhabitants; and the religious are kept quite busy in converting them. For beginning with the island of Luzon and the mountains of Zambales, the villages of Marivelez, Cabcaben, Moron, and Bagac are surrounded by blacks who are there called "de Monte" [i.e., "of the mountain"] [33] who are being constantly converted to our holy faith, for they are of a very peaceful disposition. Subic is a new conquest, where various Indians are settling who wander about and are forgotten by the Christianity of those districts. The settlements that follow from that point to Bolinao are so near to the black Zambals and Aetas that, when the latter revolt, one cannot go there without running great risk of his life. But when peace makes them tractable, some souls are obtained for God. The villages of Uguit and Babayan, which have recently been founded in this century with the converted blacks and wild Indians, [Zimarrones] clearly attest that fact. In Mindanao the territory conquered by our religious, namely, the district of Cagayang and the province of Caragha, ought to be considered as the rose among the thorns, oppressed by Moros, Mindanaos, and Malanaos, and by infidel Tagabaloyes and Manobos. Of those peoples, the former keep the evangelical ministers in continual fear, because of their persecutions; the latter keep us in a perpetual mission for converting them to our holy Catholic faith. As proof of the great and continual advance of Christianity there, it suffices to state that at the end of the last century the tributes which those who have been subdued paid to the king did not equal the expenses occasioned to the royal treasury by the maintenance of the said province; in the year 1720, the expenses and collections were equal; but now the royal income exceeds the expenses necessary for conservation. [34] Since the expenses have not decreased—for there is always the same number of infantry forces in the presidios of Tandag, Catel, and Linao, to which all the expense is reduced—it is inferred that the royal tributes have increased, and consequently the number of Christians.

739. There are so many heathen in the islands of Calamianes, especially in the island of Paragua, that at least one hundred heathens will be found for each Christian. In the island of Mindoro only the coasts are conquered, and heathen fill all the interior of the island. The same success as I said was obtained in the province of Caragha has also been secured in the above two provinces; although a very notable decrease of Christianity has taken place in them because of the invasions of the Moros of which I shall speak later. The island of Zibuyan, whose mountains are peopled by infidels—who, as they are exceedingly obstinate in regard to conversion, give us considerable anxiety, although some converts are obtained among them—is located in the Romblon district. The island of Maestre de Campo, formerly peopled by Indians who were almost all apostates from religion, has now in great part embraced the faith through the efforts of the religious, who scarcely ten years ago founded a new village peopled by families of the said Indians. It is not many years since the wild Indians [Zimarrones] were feared in the island of Masbate but these are now so few, through the persuasions of the religious, that one can cross the island without danger. The villages have increased greatly with the people who have been reduced to a Christian life and civilization. The village of Camasoso is a new colony peopled by that before indomitable people; and the same has happened in the island of Burias. Now then, I ask, since this is so (and it is a fact, and one that can be proved whenever necessary), in what are these ministries or curacies different from those in Nueva Espana and Peru, when St. Pius V conceded the exemption of the regulars? What difference is there between those missions or parishes and those founded in the Philipinas Islands when they began to be subject to the crown of Espana? There appears to be no difference. If the privilege conceded to the religious in America with those circumstances was considered justifiable, and was also observed in the said islands at the beginning, our discalced religious will proceed quite conformably with right in resisting any change with all their strength, as long as their individual parish priests are also, as stated, engaged as missionaries.

740. More force is given to this argument if one considers that, even in carrying on missions in infidel lands, our religious could not suffer greater hardships than those which they endure in the said ministries. That it may be seen that this is not imagination, I shall give a rough outline of what happened recently from the year 1720 until the present. I shall do it as briefly as possible, for those regrettable tragedies will occasion great extension to this history in due time. It is well known that our villages are the most exposed to the invasions of the Moros; consequently, they always serve as the theater of war and as the object of disasters. In the said year, then, they attacked the province of Calamianes with a powerful fleet. Landing on the island of Linacapan they burned the village, convent, and church; outraged the sacred images; and killed with lance-thrusts the venerable father, Fray Manuel de Jesus Maria, a native of Lupiana in Alcarria—while another religious who was there was able to escape miraculously, at the cost of incredible hardships that he suffered, by hiding in the mountain. In the year 1721 they did the same thing in the village and island of La-Agutaya, [35] and in Manaol, which is located in the island of Mindoro. The evangelical ministers fled thence in a small boat and thus saved their lives, although after very prolonged hardships; and from there they took refuge in the mountains, in order to endure, without other relief than that of God, the discomforts that one can imagine. In the year 1722 the Moros landed on the island of Cuyo, and although they could not take the redoubt, for the Indians (captained by our religious) defended it bravely, one can imagine what the latter suffered in a siege so immeasurably prolonged. In the year 23, the Moros bordering on the province of Caragha besieged the presidio of Catel. Father Fray Benito de San Joseph, son of Casal de Caceres in Estremadura, who, as its minister, undertook to attend to its defense, was left so exhausted from the fatigues of war in which no relief came, that after the retreat of the Moros, he lived but little longer; for he gave up his soul to God amid the plaudits of victory. Almost at the same time, in the island of Camiguin, the religious were compelled to hide in the mountains, where they were besieged by many fears. In Paragua, they killed father Fray Juan de la Purificacion (a native of Atea in the kingdom of Aragon) with an insidious poison. The invasions of the said Mahometans were continual until the year 30 through Calamianes and other districts; for, although they were not seen in large fleets, a great number of pirates were never lacking, and they caused those persecuted ministers repeated troubles. But in the above-mentioned year they had the boldness to assault the presidio of Taytay [36] with such swiftness and fury that two of the three religious who were there succeeded by great good luck, and without any preparation, in retiring afoot to the mountains; while the other, only saving the chalices and ciborium, retired to the redoubt where he suffered the hardships of the siege.

741. In the year 31 they attacked the village of Culion; in 32, that of Linacapan and all the villages of Paragua, where they committed innumerable acts of cruelty. In 33 they ruined the village of Calatan; and father Fray Antonio de Santa Ana (whose death I shall relate later), had no other opportunity than to flee to the mountain afoot and naked as he was in his bed, so that one can imagine what he suffered. In the year 34 they destroyed the villages of Malampayan, Dumaran, and Linacapan. Father Fray Domingo de San Agustin, a native of Aldeguela near Teruel, while escaping to the mountain remained for five days in a cellar with the water up to his waist without eating anything else than herbs. As a consequence of that and other hardships that he suffered on various occasions, various illnesses came upon him which finally ended his life, he refusing to turn his back on the evangelical enterprises, although he could have done so. Father Fray Juan de la Virgen de Moncayo (a native of Anon in Aragon) retiring first to the redoubt of Taytay and then to the mountains, as he had done at other times, became so ill that he surrendered his soul, though always fighting, in the island of Mindoro. The Moros went to that island also in the above-mentioned year and attacked several villages, and the religious remained in the mountains for a long time; this caused father Fray Joseph de San Agustin (a son of Azaret, in the said kingdom of Aragon) to contract his last illness, and he retired to Manila, where he ended the miseries of this life in order to pass to life eternal. In the year 35 they became masters of the villages of Paragua, whose Christian faith is little less than lost. In the year 36 they again besieged the presidio of Taytay; and although it was possible to defend it at the cost of miracles, in one of the assaults a bullet took away the life of father Fray Antonio de Santa Ana, a native of Gandia in the kingdom of Valencia. In the years 37 and 38 the Moros, already masters of the sea, filled Calamianes and Mindoro with horror. In the year 39 they had so closed the passage from the said islands to Manila that for more than six months nothing could be heard from the religious living in those fields of Christendom. In the year 40 they went to the coast of Mindoro opposite Luzon, where they inhumanly killed father Fray Leon de San Joseph (a son of Peraleda in Castilla) and captured another religious who was going as missionary to Mindanao; and it was a miracle that they did not capture all those who were returning from the chapter-meeting. In that same period, although I do not know definitely the year, they also landed at Hingoog, a village of the province of Caragha; in the island of Camiguin, which belongs to the alcaldeship of Zibu; and on the coast of Zambales at the boundaries of the village of Cabangan. The inference from the above is that the missionary religious had to hide in the caverns of the mountains in all districts; to look for their sheep in the deserts; go without food, or live on herbs of the field; to suffer the inclemencies of the weather, which is a martyrdom in Philipinas; and always to flee from one part to another without other relief by sea or land than fears and fatigues. What is lacking, then, to those ministers of the evangelical doctrine to enable them to say that they are toiling in apostolic missions? Now, did those who began the conquest of America or those of Philipinas endure the more grievous and continual persecutions? Therefore, if those were worthy of receiving the exemption, because they were employed at the cost of their lives in the promulgation of the faith, no change ought to be introduced in these missions.

742. The procedure of our religious in resisting the subjection of the ordinaries is justified even more by that which causes the anxiety of the ministers, if one considers the fact (on which their resistance is founded) that the proper administration of those souls is morally impossible. For that we must assume that the king assigns one missionary to each five hundred tributes or families. But our districts, especially those of the islands of Luzon, Calamianes, and Mindoro, although each does not exceed three hundred tributes; need each one or two religious in order that they may be looked after as is necessary for the preaching and for the [spiritual] food of the holy sacraments. This arises from the fact that each mission is extended over a distance of twenty or thirty leguas, without its being possible to make any other arrangement. For although the reduction into large settlements has been attempted, for the more suitable spiritual administration it has been impossible to attain that. On the contrary, whenever it has been attempted, Christianity has decreased. In the islands of Mindanao, Romblon, and Masbate, the missions have more people, for they contain from six to eight hundred tributes. But, for the same reason, each one needs three or four religious; and even that number must be on the road continually in order to fulfil their obligations as parish priests. Hence it results (the stipends not being received in proportion to the number of the religious but in proportion to the tributes), that they have to maintain three and sometimes four religious with what the king assigns for one minister. It is endured with the greatest kind of poverty, and they even lack the necessities for the maintenance of life.

743. I suppose also that, when once the new form of administration would be established according to the subjection that is claimed, it would follow that each ministry would have a prior appointed in the chapters, and a cura assigned by the ordinary with canonical institution. For this is the observance in America, in order to save the freedom of the elections in what concerns the regular superiors, and in order to prevent the religious who are curas from being free from the vow of obedience. Of these, the parish priest cares for the administration, the prior looks after matters pertaining to the regular estate but cannot assist in what pertains to the instruction [doctrina], for generally he does not know the language. The former has increased expenses with the visit of the bishop and other matters relating thereto; and the latter, with the journeys to the chapter and the visitation of the provincial; and all these expenses must be paid by the stipends of the mission, for there is no other source of income. Consequently, it is inferred that it would be necessary in this case, to reduce the ministries to a new form and assign one single cura to each five hundred tributes. It would be doing well if the product of those tributes sufficed for the maintenance of the two religious, prior and parish priest, with the other unavoidable and necessary expenses. But if at present two priests scarcely suffice to administer two hundred families well in our villages, how could a single one look after five hundred families? Then, if (and this could be proved with exactness) the children or neophytes begged the bread of the teaching of the faith, there would be no one to attend to that need. Therefore, our holy reformed branch foreseeing so formidable and unavoidable consequences do very well in abandoning the missions. For there is no reason why they should load injuries upon themselves which cannot be corrected afterward, and of which their prelates must render account to God.

744. Let us conclude this matter by stating one other motive for the justification of our religious in resisting exercise as parish priests, when one tries to subject them to the visitation and correction of the bishops. It is a constant fact that the Christianity of the Philipinas Islands cannot maintain itself unless numerous missions be continually taken thither from Europa. For there are few sons of Spaniards there (to whom only the habit can be given), and of those few the smallest number are inclined to the religious estate. I state then, that in case of the said subjection it would be impracticable to take missionaries there, especially those of our holy discalced branch. Consequently, the administration of the missions could not be cared for, as is already seen, when affairs are going to the prejudice of the Catholic faith. In order to prove the aforesaid, we must take it for granted that each religious causes an expense of practically one thousand pesos from the time he leaves his convent in Espana until he sets foot in Manila—about one-half of which is paid from the royal treasury, while the remainder is supplied by the order. To realize that sum, which amounts to huge figures, the ministries contribute with some voluntary offerings, and the province applies all its incomes and alms. Compare this now with that alleged in the preceding number, and it will be seen that in the said case it would not be possible for the missionary religious to attend to that necessity. For, even at present, they have to live like beggars in order that they may assist, taking from their necessary support what they give, so that they may support that expense. On the other hand, the province would not be able to employ its incomes in this either, for it would have to use them in establishing solidly the convents which are not ministries, There are five of these, namely: in Manila, in Bagumbaya, in Cavite, in San Sebastian, and the convent of La Concepcion in Zibu. Of that number only the first has a community at present, for the others can scarcely support two religious apiece. But in the said case it would be indispensable, so that the province might maintain itself as such, to place communities in the convents and to apply to them the incomes that it possesses; and on that account it could not attend to the expenses of the missions.

745. But let us suppose that some funds existed for those expenses. The trouble remains that the religious of Espana would not consent to go to the islands, if they were informed that they had to be curas, and submit to the bishop in what they have not professed. Thus has experience shown by what has happened to our province, because no religious went from these kingdoms from the year 1692 until that of 1710, during which time Archbishop Camacho was attempting to bring about the subjection. That is a precedent which induces the strong suspicion that no one could be found who would voluntarily submit to correction by a strange prelate, and at times be accused and denounced in a foreign jurisdiction as he had only promised obedience to his own superiors. Grant that some would be allured, but those would be the least capable who would be incited by the perverse desire for greater freedom. As a rule, when a mission for those islands is now proclaimed, those who volunteer in their desire for the conversion of souls are so many that one may choose laborers of excellent qualifications; for their zeal for the propagation of the gospel and for the spiritual health of those poor Indians impels them. But were that subjection inaugurated, what timorous religious after that would leave his cell (a safe port whither to escape during storms) only to serve in the employ of cura? That is, any change is accompanied by a very great alteration; and he who attempts to introduce it must be responsible for all the consequences, in order to prevent and forestall them. Nor is it prudent not to oppose oneself to the foregoing, when one foresees the sequel of conclusions so fatal. Therefore, our holy order opposes itself to the innovation of this subjection, for it considers the inevitable injuries that must result. In view of that and many other losses, it acts most holily in abandoning the missions, in order that they may remain in the full charge of the bishops.

[Chapter iii deals with the life of certain Recollect religious, of whom the following labored in the Philippines. Jacinto de San Fulgencio, the son of Vicente Francisco Claramonte, was born in Cocentayna, and was received in the convent of Valencia January 17, 1614. He joined the mission to the Philippines which was organized in 1619; and on his arrival at Manila began to study the languages, becoming fluent in the Tagalog, Zambal, Bisayan, and Calamian. In 1622 he was sent with Juan de San Nicolas to Caraga, where he worked to good effect. Later, accompanied by one religious and some converts, he ascended the river for fifty leguas to Linao, where his labors were crowned successfully. He was appointed prior of the convent of San Joseph in Butuan in 1624, where he continued his work, with the evident approbation of heaven. In 1626 he became prior of Bacoag, and later was the first prior of Iguaquet. He was the first to preach to the Caragas, among whom he remained for ten years, during which time he erected six convents. In Butuan he worked for four years, where he converted three thousand people and erected three convents. In 1635 he went to the island of Negros, where he converted six thousand Indians; and the same year was appointed prior of Tandag, where he brought order out of chaos. In 1638 he was elected definitor, and in 1640 became prior for the second time of Tandag, and vicar-provincial of Caraga. He was elected procurator to Spain in 1646, and definitor with vote in the general chapter in that country, which he reached in March 1649. His mission which he took from Spain reached Manila in 1652 and consisted of twenty-one religious. In the next chapter he was again elected procurator, but he died at Manila in 1656. He had served as chaplain for the Spanish fleets, and as ambassador to the natives, in addition to his mission work proper.]

[Section ii of chapter v contains an account of the life of Salvador del Espiritu Santo, who had formerly been an Augustinian of the Observant branch, but who joined the Recollects. He went to Manila in 1634 with the desire to go to Japan, learning some little of that language for that purpose. After much entreaty he obtained permission from the provincial of the order to go to Japan in 1635, but he was unable to effect his purpose. He served as prior in the Cavite convent, was twice superior of the convent of San Juan Bautista in Bagnumbaya, prior of the Manila convent, twice definitor; twice visitor of Calamianes and Mindoro. He was elected procurator in place of Jacinto de San Fulgencio, and after various setbacks arrived in Mexico in 1657, where he died in December of that same year.]

[Chapter vi deals with the life of Andres del Espiritu Santo. That valiant worker was born in Valladolid in January 1585, his father being Hernando Tanego. He made his vows in the convent of Portillo in 1601, and joining the first Philippine mission arrived at the islands in 1606. There he was sent immediately to the Zambales coast, where he founded the village of Masinloc, from which as a center he carried on his work. In 1609 he was elected vicar-provincial, which office he kept until 1612. He was elected vicar-provincial for the second time in 1615; and on the completion of that office in 1618, being elected procurator, he went to Spain for new missionaries, of whom he obtained a fine band, returning to Manila in 1622. The following year he was elected vicar-provincial for the third time, and in 1624 first definitor. The highest office of the province, namely, that of provincial, came to him in 1626 and at the end of his provincialate he asked permission to go to Japan, but in vain; he therefore continued the work among the Philippine missions until 1632, when he was again elected provincial. In 1635 he was again definitor, and at the expiration of that office he was appointed prior of the Manila convent; thence he retired to the Cavite convent where he worked with the most vigorous men, although worn out by his excessive toil. He finally retired to the Manila convent, where he died at the end of 1657 or the beginning of 1658, at the age of 78.]

[Chapter viii records the death, in 1659, of Nicolas de la Madre de Dios, who had labored in Cagayan, where he had accomplished most in quieting an insurrection that had broken out under a native heathen priest called Salur.]

[Chapter x contains a bull promulgated by Alexander VII, dated August 5, 1660, confirming a decree of the congregation Propaganda fide of June 28, 1660 (inserted in the bull) forbidding Recollect religious who had been sent to the Philippines from turning aside on the way or unnecessarily delaying their journey. The penalty imposed by the decree is that such fugitives are to be deprived of all active and passive vote, and can never hold any dignity or honorary charge in the order. That same year of 1660, a mission left Spain for the islands but did not arrive there until 1664.]


[After a prolonged address to Fray Diego Zapata, a high official of the Franciscan order and of the Inquisition, Fray Letona proceeds with a description of the Philippines in numbered sections. No. 1 states that it is written for Zapata's information; no. 2, that the voyage from Acapulco to Manila is more than 2,500 leguas in length. The course of the ships in that voyage is given in no. 3. Such parts of this description as are useful for our purpose are here presented in full; other parts are omitted, in each case stating the nature of such matter.]

3. Acapulco, in Mexico, which is the eastern port for the South Sea and for navigations from Nueva Espana to Filipinas, is in sixteen and one-half degrees of latitude. If in voyaging from Acapulco to Filipinas the ships sail in a straight line from the rising toward the setting sun, from east to west, without change of latitude, they will arrive at Baler, [37] a village in the northern part of the further coast of Manila Island, which is in the same latitude as Acapulco. But usually, as soon as they set sail from Acapulco, they descend to the eleventh or the tenth parallel in order to find the winds with which they can navigate; then they again go northward and follow their former course to a point five hundred leguas from Manila, and one hundred from the Ladrones Islands—among which they pass, in a latitude of fifteen degrees. Thence they sail again to lower latitudes, descending to barely thirteen and one-half degrees—on which line is the Embocadero of San Bernardino, one hundred leguas from Manila. Thence the voyage is made between that same island of Manila—which extends as far as the Embocadero, and remains on the right hand—and other islands which lie on the left, to the port of Cabite which is two leguas from Manila. Ordinarily this voyage is made in three months, although the return trip is usually much longer—sometimes requiring more than seven months; while in this year, sixty-two, it lasted eight months.

Distribution of these islands

4. Although they are innumerable, hardly more than forty of the inhabited Filipinas Islands are subject to the monarchy of Espana. The first and chief of these, and the head of all, is that of Luzon. It is large, being almost three hundred and fifty leguas in circumference; and has more than twenty bays and ports where ships of all sizes can anchor. It is the frontier [of the islands] toward Great China, which is a hundred leguas distant from Manila. The island lies between thirteen and one-half and nineteen degrees of latitude, and it has the form of a square with two narrow arms—one of which extends from south to north, the other from west to east.

5. In that which points northward lie, on its western coast, four distinct conquered provinces. The first and nearest of these on the bay of Manila (and belonging to the archbishopric of that name), and in latitude 15 deg., is Pampanga; it is very populous, and abounds in rice and other products of the soil; and it contains some gold-placers. Its natives have the reputation of being the best and bravest, and most faithful to the royal crown [of all in the island]; they have a language of their own. On the western outskirts of this province among its mountains, and within the archbishopric of Manila are some Negrillos; they are heathen, and natives of the country (which is yet to be conquered) that is called Zambales. They are very barbarous, resembling the Chichimecos of Nueva Espana who eat human flesh.

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