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the_philippine_islands_1493-1898_volume_32

The Philippine Islands, 1493–1898

Explorations by early navigators, descriptions of the islands and their peoples, their history and records of the catholic missions, as related in contemporaneous books and manuscripts, showing the political, economic, commercial and religious conditions of those islands from their earliest relations with European nations to the close of the nineteenth century,

Volume XXXII, 1640
The Arthur H. Clark Company
Cleveland, Ohio
MCMV

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[Contents]

Contents of Volume XXXII

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[Contents]

Illustrations

  • Indiæ orientalis nec non insularum adiacentum nova descriptio (map of Indian archipelago), photographic facsimile of part of map by Nicolaus Visscher [1660?], from copy in library of Wisconsin State Historical Society      153
  • Map of the East Indies; photographic facsimile, from the French edition of Mercator’s Atlas minor of 1635; from copy of original map in Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris      169
  • Autograph signature of Diego Aduarte, O. P.; photographic facsimile from original MS. in Archivo general de Indias, Sevilla      297

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Preface

In the present volume is concluded the excellent Historia of the Dominican writer Diego Aduarte, begun in Vol. XXX, and continued in XXXI; the period of mission history here covered being 1608–37. Aduarte died in 1636; but the events subsequent to 1634, with a sketch of Aduarte’s life, are added by the hand of his editor, Fray Domingo Gonçalez.

Continuing the life of Fray Luis Gandullo, who was prominent among the founders of the Dominican province, Aduarte narrates the marvelous conversions and even miracles wrought by him, and many of his visions and other wonderful experiences. In 1612, the chapter again elects Fray Miguel de San Jacinto as provincial. The persecutions in Japan become more widespread and severe; various incidents therein are related. Our writer sketches the life of Fray Diego de Soria, the second bishop of Nueva Segovia; and of another early missionary in that province, Francisco Minayo.

Book ii of Aduarte’s history recounts events from 1614 on, beginning with Japan, where a new and more cruel persecution of the Christians begins with that year; and orders are given by the shogun that all priests and religious must be banished from Japan. When this order is carried out, many of the [10]missionaries remain in the country, in hiding and disguised—traveling through the country to instruct and console the Christians, suffering great hardships and dangers, and finally, in most cases, dying as martyrs for their faith. In the long biography of Fray Francisco de San Joseph Blancas, the most interesting point is his linguistic achievements in the Tagal language, and the introduction of printing in the Philippine Islands, which Aduarte here ascribes entirely to Fray Francisco. This father also learned the Chinese language, and assumed the charge of instructing the negroes and slaves in Manila.

In 1615, the Cagayán mission is much disturbed and injured by the flight to the mountains of many Indians who had been gathered into the mission reductions; this is caused by the machinations of the aniteras, or priestesses of the old idols, who try to draw these half-tamed Indians back to their old superstitions. In this year come a large company of religious; and in 1616 the provincial elected is Fray Bernardo de Sancta Catalina—who dies soon afterward, and of whom Aduarte writes a long biographical account. He is succeeded as provincial (April 15, 1617) by Fray Melchior de Mançano. The persecutions in Japan steadily increase in severity, in 1615–16, in which latter year Iyeyasu dies. In 1617 two missionaries—one a Dominican, the other an Augustinian—deliberately go to Omura to rebuke the daimiô for his cruelty to the Christians, and to preach the gospel in public; they, with other captive religious, are put to death. Their example in so bravely enduring martyrdom encourages and strengthens the Japanese Christians, many of whom give their lives for the faith, and compels the respect [11]of the heathen. Other missionaries are arrested, and suffer great privations while in prison.

Aduarte recounts the progress of the work undertaken by the Dominicans for the Chinese in Manila. For many years the missionaries live at Binondoc, the village to which the Christian Chinese go to live when they receive the new faith; but they conclude that it would be better for all concerned to build a convent and church within the Parián. In 1617 they begin to erect these buildings, and priests of the order take up their residence therein, in the midst of that great market and its crowd of traders and artisans. Their labors are crowned with notable and prompt success—not only in securing the baptism of the sick and dying, but in the instruction of those who are in health, who carry the gospel into their own country, wherein the missionaries hope to effect a great conversion some day. The church first erected is a poor and unsubstantial affair; but afterward a large and very handsome church is built—in the Chinese fashion, of wood shaped and fitted without any nails. When the Parián is burned in 1628, the church is saved by placing an image of the Virgin in front of the approaching flames. Later, the timbers begin to decay, and another building is erected, with stone pillars; its walls are covered with paintings, which serve greatly for the instruction of the heathen. During fifteen years, the number of baptisms in this church amounts to 4,752. The Dominicans win the great respect and affection of the Chinese, who seldom die without having received baptism.

This order extends its labors to some other countries. China is, of course, the chief goal of its desires; but the Dominicans are unable to effect an [12]entrance therein. One of the friars, attempting to go there (1618), is obliged by storms to land on Formosa; and to his subsequent report of the advantages of this island is ascribed its later acquisition by the Spaniards. Another mission sets out for Korea, but is unable to go farther than Nangasaki, and is thus frustrated. Twenty-four new missionaries arrive this year from Spain. A new residence is established at Cavite, the priests in which accomplish much good, among both Spaniards and natives. A new mission is begun in the Babuyan Islands, north of Cagayán; it is very arduous and full of privations, but the religious gladly labor therein, and find the people excellent Christians, although they are most poor and needy. The fathers often ask alms from the convents and the Christians in Nueva Segovia, to help these poor disciples of the Lord. Some of the religious who have remained in Japan are martyred in this year of 1618; yet amid the fierce persecutions new converts are made, and the native Christians show much loyalty and generosity to their spiritual fathers.

In 1619 the intermediate chapter session meets at Nueva Segovia, on which occasion the college of Santo Thomas at Manila is formally added to the province; an historical sketch of this institution is presented. In November of that year occurs an unusually severe earthquake in Luzón, of which various features and incidents are recorded. Among the buildings overthrown is the Dominican convent in Manila, all its inmates, however, escaping in safety. In 1621 Fray Miguel Ruiz is elected provincial. On November 6 of that year occurs a revolt among the Gadanes in northern Luzón, of which a [13]full account is given. One of the Dominican missionaries, Fray Pedro de Santo Thomas, courageously goes alone and unarmed, to the mountain stronghold of the insurgents, to win them back; and some months later he returns with three hundred families of these rebels, who settle peaceably on the lower lands. Aduarte fills chapters xviii–xxvi with accounts of martyrdoms of Dominicans in Japan, during 1621–23, and sketches of their lives—matter which is presented to our readers in brief synopsis, as but indirectly concerning the Philippines.

The election of provincial in 1625 elevates to that dignity Fray Bartholomé Martinez, who has long labored among the Chinese of Manila. In this year occurs another revolt among some of the Cagayán Indians; two religious are treacherously slain by them, and then they flee to the mountains. In 1626, Fernando de Silva sends an expedition to conquer Formosa, which is accompanied by Dominican missionaries, who hope to find in Formosa a stepping-stone to an entrance for them into China. A fortified post is established in the island by the Spaniards; the Dominicans act as spiritual guides for the soldiers, and, after learning the native language, are able to win the confidence of the inhabitants and begin instructing them. Many of the missionaries in the province die, but a reënforcement comes to them in this same year. In 1627 is held the intermediate chapter-session. By that time the revolted Mandayas have been pacified, and by the efforts of their Dominican pastors induced to return to their villages and to the care of the missionaries. In this year occur many martyrdoms in Japan, of which accounts are given. In 1628, the four orders of friars in the [14]Philippines unite to send a reënforcement of missionaries to Japan, but this attempt is frustrated by the wreck of their ship. Aduarte at this time arrives at Manila with a large company of religious. A Spanish expedition is sent to Camboja, and the Dominicans send missionaries thither; but both enterprises result in failure. In Formosa they are making some progress.

The provincial elected in 1629 is Fray Francisco de Herrera. Soon afterward dies Fray Bartolomé Martinez, of whom Aduarte writes a long biography; he ends his life in the Formosa mission, which he had established. The persecutions in Japan continue (1629–30), hundreds being martyred for the faith, and rigorous search being made everywhere for all Christians. It is with difficulty that any news of events there can be sent from that country. At the end of 1630, some Spaniards, accompanied by two Dominican friars, go on an embassy to the Chinese city of Ucheo; on the way, the Chinese crew mutiny, and kill most of the Spaniards. Four of these, including one of the friars, escape to the Chinese coast; the father remains there, and labors among the heathen. In December, 1633, the preaching of the gospel is introduced into Itui, in Luzón; two Dominican friars go thither, of whose mission, and of that region and its people, some account is given, followed by a long biography of Fray Tomás Gutierrez, head of the mission. The new provincial this year is Fray Domingo Gonçalez, Aduarte’s editor; at this session of the chapter an important change is made, the abolition of the intermediate chapter. The missions are extended farther than ever before, but new workers are greatly needed. [15]Many religious meet a martyr’s death in Japan this year, and the persecution steadily increases in severity; biographical sketches of several martyrs are given, one of whom had achieved much in Formosa. In that island arises a rebellion among the natives, who murder (1633) one of the missionaries.

Aduarte describes the mission to the Mandayas of northern Luzón, begun in 1631; it has been very successful, and many of those fierce and warlike people are now quite tamed and Christianized. The martyrdoms (in 1634) of several missionaries and Christian women in Japan, with sketches of their lives, are related. Two chapters are devoted to an account of the Dominican missions in China, which contain many devout Christians; at times, the missionaries are in danger of being slain by mobs. The Dominican mission in Formosa has not accomplished many conversions, and it has lost many devoted missionaries.

At this point ends Aduarte’s own work in this history; the remaining chapters are added by his editor, Fray Domingo Gonçalez. He relates in full the late effort made by Fray Diego Collado to divide the province of Filipinas, and to appropriate its best posts and revenues for his congregation of “Barbones.” This attempt greatly disturbs Aduarte, whose last days are saddened, and perhaps even shortened, thereby. But not long after his death this cloud passes away, and the province is restored to its former condition—a result mainly ascribed to the intervention of the Virgin Mary; and Collado’s new congregation melts away. Gonçalez then presents a long and elaborate biography of the illustrious Aduarte, which we abridge considerably, retaining [16]especially such information about that prelate, and such account of the missions, as has not already appeared in his Historia. His virtues are recounted at length, and the many benefits which he secured for his order, for the poor and needy everywhere, and for the Indians.

Fray Gonçalez completes Aduarte’s history up to the year 1637, thus comprising the first fifty years of the history of the Philippine Dominican province. In that year, Fray Carlós Gant is elected provincial; and in Japan the last Dominican friars remaining there are martyred, of whose lives and deaths sketches are given. At the end of the book is printed a letter from Felipe IV to the Dominican provincial at Manila, ordering that the recent partition of the province be annulled, and Collado sent back to Spain.

The Editors

August, 1905. [17]

Historia de la Provincia del
Sancto Rosario de la Orden
De Predicadores

(Concluded)

By Diego Aduarte, O.P.; Manila, 1640.

Source: Translated from a copy of the above work in the possession of Edward E. Ayer, Chicago.

Translation: This is made by Henry B. Lathrop, of the University of Wisconsin. This volume includes chaps. lxxi–lxxviii of book i, and all of book ii—partly in synopsis.

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History of the Dominican Province of the Holy Rosary

By Fray Diego Aduarte, O.P.

(Concluded)

[Contents]

Chapter LXXI

The arrival at Manila of father Fray Luis, his assignment to Pangasinan and the events there

[Father Fray Luis was assigned to the province of Pangasinan and went there in the company of the two other fathers who were sent to the same place. Suffering from disease as a result of exposure, he was miraculously cured. The Lord wrought miraculous conversions by means of father Fray Luis, and supported him in his sufferings and illness with visions. Being taken back to Manila for care, and fearing that he might be sent to some other province, he prayed God to renew his strength that he might return to Pangasinan. The Lord heard his prayer and he was able to return to the duties which he loved. The Lord blessed the mere word of father Fray Luis, sometimes even more than the great labors of other religious; and he took as his special charge those Indians who had been given up by others. At one time when news came that smallpox was raging in one of the villages named Bimmalay, and that [20]many children were dying in it, father Fray Luis instantly went there to baptize as many of the children as he could. The fathers were not usually permitted to baptize the children, except in cases where it was certain that they were not going to live, and then they were permitted to do so only as a result of prayers and importunities. At one time a soldier came to Binalatongan with news that Don Luis Perez das Mariñas was dying in the province of Ylocos. He sent word to father Fray Luis, but without asking him to come, as the sisters of Lazarus wrote to the Lord. Father Fray Luis went to his choir to intercede for his friend, and there remained constantly in prayer and sacrifice until he received news that he was better. From the very day when the soldier reached father Fray Luis, the governor began to recover his health. On many occasions sick children were healed by the prayers of father Fray Luis. He was ready to risk his life for his duties. In many cases it seemed as if God had kept children alive only until they received baptism that they might be saved.]

A case which illustrates this point happened to father Fray Luis in Calasiao. He would never tell of this unless compelled by his obedience. He was called upon to see a child who had been baptized, and who was dying; and he went there with a boy named Andresillo, and with others. When they came near the house where the child was, they heard a great lamentation with which they were weeping over him; and in another house very near they heard a great noise of people who were drinking, as was then very common among the heathen. Among others was their chief named Catongal, a man fierce by nature, and furious when he had taken wine. On [21]this occasion he came up with the others, full of wine, and said to the father, “You kill many”—intimating that he killed them with baptism, because few of those who received it escaped. The father replied that the reason of this was, that the Indians did not permit the children to be baptized until there was no hope for their lives; and he said that the good that the religious did to them would cause them to rejoice greatly if they knew it. Catongal was not mollified by this; and the father tried to leave him to go on, but it seemed best to have the child shrouded first that he might take it and bury it—to prevent superstitious acts, such as were customary. He saw it lying dead in the arms of an Indian woman; and, looking upon it as such, he directed them to shroud it. But a voice within him seemed to say that he should repeat a gospel. He went to look at it again, found upon it all the marks of death, and said, “Why should I say a gospel for it?” They shrouded it; but he was still more urged on by that inner impulse to repeat the gospel, until at last he did so. It was the gospel of St. John, In principio erat verbum.1 After he had repeated this he made the sign of the cross upon the brow of the infant, saying, “O Lord, I ask no miracles of thee; but if it is to thy glory, the credit of thy faith, and the conversion of these heathen, I pray thee to work them.” He added, Evangelica lectio sit tibi salus et protectio, placing his hand upon the head of the child; and, before he took away his hand, the Lord looked upon the child and gave it life. All were astonished, and the father [22]in confusion said, in order to humiliate himself, that it could not have been dead; and the chief was convinced that the fathers did not kill children. The child sucked immediately, like a well and healthy child. It would have been a miracle, even though it were not dead, for it so suddenly to have recovered its health. Father Fray Luis passed the rest of that day in great embarrassment, being anxious lest some part of what had happened should be attributed to him, as the instrument of it. On the following day he went to ask how the child was, and found it well and strong. He asked the Indians who were there what they thought of the event, and, before they replied, the Lord gave him an answer from within: “This is excessive curiosity.” He blamed himself severely, and was so ashamed that he went away immediately, and never more looked upon the child or spoke of the matter; and on the occasions which offered themselves for any father to make any reference to it (because it had been public), he changed the subject of conversation, without appearing to understand. [In the villages of Gabon and Magaldan, father Fray Luis succeeded in overcoming the hardness of heart of the heathen.]

[Contents]

Chapter LXXII

Some special favors received by father Fray Luis from the Lord, and some temptations which he suffered from the enemy.

[However glorious the success of father Fray Luis in this country, he was desirous of going to Great China, the conversion of which the religious of this region had most at heart. He was taught in a [23]vision that the conversion of China was soon to be attempted and saw also a vision of a man such as the missionaries to China ought to be. He was constant in prayer and had frequent visions which guided him in his religious life. The Lord granted him the blessing of great purity. At one time, having been careless in prayer, he was visited by the Lord with a punishment of strange trembling which went from the feet to the top of his head, and seemed as if it would shatter his bones. When the fathers of this province decided to send two to make an exploration of the great kingdom of China, father Fray Miguel de Benavides asked for the prayers of father Fray Luis—and, in particular, that the idols might fall to the earth before the presence of God. Father Fray Luis offered his prayers, and received from God the reply that he asked much. But he answered, “Thou canst do it, O Lord.”

It is not only favors which the Lord grants His servants; hence father Fray Luis suffered many temptations of the devil, which were permitted by the Lord that the virtues of the father might take firmer roots. At one time the devil appeared to him in the form of Christ; but father Fray Luis, not being moved by the affection which he commonly felt for holy visions, said to him, “Thou art not that which thou seemest.” When father Fray Luis made the sign of the cross, the devil took the form of a great cat, fierce, black, and terrible, which by sending fire from its eyes and mouth exhibited its rage and torment. “That is your real form, I think,” said the father, and without paying any further attention to him, he went on with his holy exercises. The devil strove to interfere with him in his prayer, but he [24]was able to drive him away. He was at times tempted to be guilty of improprieties in saying mass, such as looking into the chalice, but the angels protected him. The devils at times strove to make him flee from the church where he was performing his discipline.

Father Fray Luis suffered as much from the temptations of others as from his own. He comforted Brother Juan de Soria of Manila, who, under the direction of God, laid aside the habit of the order. On another occasion, he assisted a novice who was moved by affection for a woman. He had a vision of Christ crucified, with drops of blood falling from his head upon his breast, but not upon the ground; this signified that the novice should leave the order, but not to his destruction.. He did so, and was married; but in a few days he was left alone, his wife going to the aid of her poor and widowed mother. This the Lord seemed to have ordained. On another occasion, father Fray Luis succeeded in converting a Spanish sinner of the most obstinate sort, who had been exiled from Nueva España to the Philippinas for his scandalous life. The wretch confessed, and received communion, girt himself with a haircloth garment, and, during the rest of his life (during which he was confined in prison), he fasted often on bread and water.]

[Contents]

Chapter LXXIII

The fervor of spirit of father Fray Luis, and his expedition to China

[Although grace perfects nature, it may work so vehemently that it weakens it and takes from it health and even life. This happened in the case of father [25]Fray Luis, who, although he was of robust constitution, sometimes lost his health and was in great danger of death as the result of the vehemence of his spirit in receiving the favors of God. He prayed to the Lord to moderate this vehemence of spirit, and begged that he would take it from him. Father Fray Juan de Soria prayed the Lord to take from father Fray Luis this intensity, and to give it to Don Luis Perez das Mariñas. From that day forward the father lived with the greatest calmness, while the knight became so fervent of spirit that he seemed like a living fire; and finally he said to father Fray Luis that he should die of the love of God. Father Fray Luis, after having received this peace and calm, became eager to go to the conversion of China. Father Fray Juan had a vision of Christ our Lord, seated upon a very spirited horse, which was biting the bit and leaping about. The saddle, the girths, the reins, and all the other accoutrements all seemed so weak that saddle and horseman were sure to fall to the ground; but he held his seat firmly, and made charges in one direction and another, brandishing a lance with great dexterity. The horseman said to the father, “Who, think you, can control this horse?” He answered, “Thou only knowest, Lord.” “It is I alone,” said the Lord, giving him an inward understanding that this horse represented China, and the weak accoutrements signified the scarcity of ministers for its conversion. He added aloud, “Go straightway and tell Fray Luis what thou hast seen, which is a corroboration of what has at other times been said to him.” Visions were manifested to others, which ratified the visions which had already shown Fray Luis that he was to go to China. Before the [26]departure of the governor Gomez Perez, Cathalina Diaz—a Spanish woman of holy life, to whom God vouchsafed to see the future in visions, at times—had a vision of the governor with his head cut open and bathed in his blood, the death of the governor by treachery being prophesied in this way. Although the difficulties of going to China seemed as a result of this act of treachery to be greatly increased, in reality the Lord made it the means by which father Fray Luis was sent there; for he received a commission as ambassador, in company with father Fray Juan de Castro. The ambassadors, reaching the province of Canton instead of that of Chincheo, for which they were bound, were arrested as pirates. Father Fray Luis thus had the opportunity to convert an apostate Christian among the Chinese. He also found many slaves from Macan who had apostatized in that country; and to them he preached with much spirit, but little fruit. The voyage was one on which they suffered greatly, particularly father Fray Luis, who traveled with nothing but the habit in which he was clothed; and they were exposed to the rain and to the cold, which was excessive. The viceroy of Canton was very wrathful with them because they did not show him the courtesy customary in that country, threatened them, and commanded them to leave the province within fifteen days, taking with them not more than twenty-five picos of rice. On his way back to the port he found a number of apostates, but was unable to bring them back to the faith.

There is a law of the king of China that any poor foreigner shall be supported at the public expense so long as he is in the kingdom; but that, if he desires to depart, he shall pay the mandarin the cost of his [27]clothing, and something more. The allowance was twelve maravedis a day. This is sufficient for three meals, since things are cheap in that country. It is plain from this that there is no law in China against admitting foreigners. On the contrary, there is a law to attract them and to keep them. Knowing this, the slaves of the Portuguese in Macan flee to China, where they have their liberty and are well received. Father Fray Luis made one or two conversions. Neither in Chincheo nor in Canton did they find a trace of the galley which they sought, because it had gone to Cochinchina. The mandarins in Chincheo played a trick upon them, when the fathers asked permission for religious to go from Manila to their country. Pretending to give it, the mandarins handed them a plate of silver with some Chinese characters upon it, for which they received large payment. The father obtained this money as alms from the Spaniards who accompanied him on the voyage; but, when he showed the plate in Manila, it was found only to give permission to buy food there without hindrance. At the time of this journey father Fray Luis was actually prior of the convent of Manila. On one Easter day he had a vision of the Holy Spirit coming down upon all the religious of the convent of Manila. After his term was at an end, he was assigned to Nueva Segovia, where the faith had been newly planted.]

[Contents]

Chapter LXXIV

The silence, occupation, and virtues of father Fray Luis, and his happy death

[Father Fray Luis had the three virtues which St. Ambrose, the doctor of the Church, affirms to be [28]fundamental ones: the power to keep silence, the power to speak in due time, and the contempt for worldly things. His habit of silence seemed excessive to some, but when it was necessary he spoke with great spirit; and he so contemned worldly things that, in spite of the high offices which he held in the order, he had not even, as many good religious have, an image or any other trifling thing of his own. When he was ambassador in China, he left the rich table of Don Fernando de Castro and sustained himself, as one in poverty, by the allowance granted to the poor in China. Contrary to his nature, he was very humble. He was devout in prayer, and careful in saying the divine offices. He distributed his time with the greatest accuracy. He was most modest in the presence of women, and, though he sometimes had to speak to them, he never looked upon their faces. He was so charitable and tender-hearted that, when the judges were about to execute any rigorous sentence, they always concealed it from father Fray Luis, because they knew they could not resist his prayers for pity and pardon. He could not bear offenses against God, however willing to suffer wrongs to himself. He slept on a mat on the floor of his cell. His pillow was a piece of wood hollowed to make it light. Though the rules of the order permitted him two blankets, one to lie on and the other to cover himself with, he contented himself with one, folding it so that it would fulfil both offices. He wore his serge tunic a month without changing it, which in such a hot country causes great annoyance, because of the great amount of perspiration. He said that custom had made it not uncomfortable for him. He constantly wore a hair-shirt next [29]his skin, and over that a corselet of mail. In his extreme old age, the bishop of Nueva Segovia compelled him to lay this last aside. He wore his breeches in such a way that the fastenings cut into the flesh of his legs. He was very sparing in his eating, giving his suppers, when the constitutions permit them to us, to the poor; and his noon allowance was more theirs than his. His lunch was two biscuit crusts and a banana, or two guavas, when there were any; and except at these times he neither ate nor drank. When he was vicar of the convent of Nueva Segovia, a father visited him as his guest, bringing with him two crawfish, which he boiled and put on the table; but father Fray Luis would not permit them to be eaten, saying it was not a feast, that they should have anything so unusual. He scourged himself every night, with the energy which was his by nature. He was most patient, and, though his body was mortified, his spirit was open to divine influences. He had great power of insight into the souls of those whom he saw. At one time he caused the bishop of Nueva Segovia, whose vicar-general he was, to dismiss two youths of his household—saying that he saw in them the marks of wickedness, and that one of them was a thief and the other a traitor. This was not known at the time, but the truth was afterwards discovered, one of them having ransacked a desk of the bishop’s and the other having been condemned to be hanged for murder. When he was engaged in contemplation, his mind was so absorbed that he could hear and see nothing else than the visions of God. This life of penitence continued from his youth to an old age of almost eighty years. In his last illness he was taken to the convent of Sancto Domingo [30]at Manila, where he died. Testimony of miracles wrought by him during his life was given after his death. He is mentioned with honor in the records of the provincial chapter of 1612 and in the general chapter held at Bolonia in 1615.]

[Contents]

Chapter LXXV

The election as provincial of father Fray Miguel de San Jacintho, and the condition of the province and Japon.

On the thirteenth of May, 1612, father Fray Miguel de San Jacintho was a second time elected as provincial, not because there was any lack of religious of much virtue, knowledge, and prudence to take the place of father Fray Baltasar Fort—who had just completed his term, and had governed like an angel—but because father Fray Miguel had left all the religious of the province so devoted to his good government that they finally determined to elect him again. They regarded it as more prudent to select one whom they knew by experience to be of great skill in the government of the province, than to try the government of others who, though they gave good hopes, could not offer so much certainty.

[At this time the bishop of Macan, Don Fray Juan de la Piedad, was in Manila. He was a religious of our order; and when he saw the interest of our religious here in the conversion of the Chinese, he was desirous that some of the fathers of the order who understood the Chinese language might be given to him to enter the kingdom by way of Macan. Two fathers, Thomas Mayor—a very successful minister among the Chinese race, and excellent in their language[31]—and Bartolome Martinez, were assigned for this purpose; but they met with so much opposition at Macan from the religious of another order that they were unable to carry out their purpose. Father Fray Thomas went to España, and father Fray Bartholome returned to the Philippinas. Their voyage was not entirely without fruit, inasmuch as it resulted in the conversion of one Chinaman from Chincheo.

At this time, although our religious and the Christian people in the kingdom of Figen in Japon enjoyed peace and quiet, there were persecutions in other kingdoms of that realm. After the death of Father Gregorio Cespedes of the Society of Jesus in the kingdom of Bugen, in 1611, the tono of that region, who had protected Christianity out of respect for the father, banished two other fathers who were there, and tore down the churches. The tono of Firando martyred in October of this year three Christians; and that of Caratzu,2 a cruel renegade, banished many. Thus the devil began that which afterwards took place. The Lord gave warning, by means of crosses miraculously found, of the persecution which was to occur. In this year there went to Japon father Fray Alonso Navarrete and father Fray Domingo de Valderrama, sent there by father Fray Baltasar Fort; and in the following year father Fray Baltasar himself, at the end of his term as provincial, went as vicar-provincial to this kingdom.

For a long time the emperor of Japon3 had shown [32]much dislike to Christianity, and in the year 1612 he began to persecute it. Don Pablo Dayfachi, the secretary of a man who was very intimate with the emperor, received a great quantity of money from Don Juan, tono of Arima, to help him in the recovery of some lands which had been lost by his ancestors in war. Don Pablo, who was a Christian, could do nothing for the cause of Don Juan, who complained to the emperor. The emperor commanded that Don Pablo should be burned alive in the sight of his wife, and that his son should be killed. The emperor thereupon began to persecute the Christians, saying that deeds like these were not done by the Japanese, and that Don Pablo had degenerated from them because he was a Christian. Fourteen knights with their wives and families and servants were exiled. The tono of Arima was banished, because he had endeavored to get back by favors lands which others had gained by war, and was finally executed. A certain English heretic, named Guillermo Adam [i.e., Will Adams], who knew the Japanese language and who pleased the emperor by giving him an account of European affairs, vomited forth the hate which he felt against our holy faith whenever he had opportunity. He told him that the plan of the king our lord to conquer kingdoms is to send religious first, that they may make the way plain for soldiers, citing for example Nueva España and the Philippinas—although, in point of fact, neither there nor here did religious precede, but invaders who intended to conquer the country. In addition to this, Safioye, the governor of Nangasaqui, had difficulties with certain fathers, and had complained of them to the [33]emperor. The result was that the hatred of the emperor for Christianity grew greater and greater. He finally commanded all the churches in that part of Japon known as Cami to be demolished, and gave the same commands for the kingdom of Quanto.4 He required the Christians in certain parts of the country to deny their faith. A number of the Christians proved weak; while of those who refused to obey the commands some were martyred, some banished, and some driven to the mountains. The conduct of the governors in different parts of the country varied from very great rigor to as much kindness as was consistent with obeying the commands of the emperor. The tono of Figan, who had shown so many favors to our order, directed the religious of our order to leave the kingdom, but did not at that time persecute the Christians. The command to depart was received by the religious in September, 1613. Two of the religious retained their habit, and went on to Nangasaqui; but the third, disguising himself in Japanese costume, fled to the country of Omura, and went about secretly animating and encouraging the Japanese Christians. Don Miguel, the tono of Arima, who had married a granddaughter of the emperor,5 requested eight gentlemen of his household to pretend to have abandoned the faith, in order that he might satisfy the emperor that he had ceased to be a Christian. Five finally consented. The other [34]three were executed with their wives and children, eight persons in all, in October, 1613. They were burned alive with a slow fire. The religious having been driven out from nearly all the kingdoms and having assembled in Nangasaqui, two of our religious were sent out to go secretly to comfort the persecuted Christians, to hear their confessions, and to celebrate the sacraments.]

[Contents]

Chapter LXXVI

The servant of God, Don Fray Diego de Soria, bishop of Nueva Segovia, and one of the founders of this province.

[Among the most highly honored religious in this province a very important place is taken by Don Fray Diego de Soria, second bishop of Nueva Segovia. It was he who began the conversion in this province, and who might therefore be called the father in Christ of that church. Father Fray Diego was a native of Yebenes, near Toledo, and professed religion in the convent of the order at Ocaña. Giving signs of promise as a student and a preacher, he was sent to the college of Alcala, where he continued to follow the rigorous rules of the order forbidding the eating of flesh. When the holy and prudent vicar-general, Fray Juan de Castro, assigned his companions to their various duties, he gave father Fray Diego the chief place by making him superior of the convent which was to be founded in the city of Manila. The number of the religious at that time was so few that the superior of Manila rang the bells, assisted in the singing, took messages to the sacristy, and was general confessor of the many who, influenced [35]by the great virtue of the new religious (the Dominicans), came to put their consciences in their care. The Lord had endowed father Fray Diego with two qualities which appear to be opposed to each other. The first was natural freedom of speech in rebuking evil with great courage and zeal; the other was marked gentleness and suavity of nature. At one time when the governor of Manila—who was a very good Christian and a learned man6—was confessing to him, a certain difficulty arose in which it seemed to father Fray Diego that the governor had erred. When the governor strove to defend his conduct, father Fray Diego said to him that in this matter he was, although learned, not a judge but a party, and indeed defendant; that in cases of conscience the confessor alone was the judge; and that, after reflection, he had formed his conclusion, which was that the governor’s conduct could not be approved. He required him to accept his decision or to seek a confessor elsewhere. The governor, with tears in his eyes, professed his readiness to obey. At one time when a very rich man was sick, and feared death and the judgment, he sent to call father Fray Diego to him that he might confess; but the father refused to go, sending back as an answer that the rich man must return the tribute which he had wrongfully taken from an encomienda, and must give the Indians there a minister. The sick man put himself in father Fray Diego’s hands, and thus his conscience was composed, to the great advantage of the wronged Indians. When the bishop of these islands, Don Fray Domingo de Salaçar, was about to set out for España, he asked for father Fray Diego as a companion; [36]but the governor at that time [i.e., Gomez Perez Dasmariñas], being very different from the previous one, refused to permit him to go to España, fearing the freedom with which he might speak there. Father Fray Diego was therefore sent to Pangasinan, where he learned the language of the Indians; thence he went to Nueva Segovia, being the first minister to the Indians there. Among them he made many conversions, especially that of the most important Indian in that region, Don Diego Siriban. He was afterward elected prior of Manila, and was then sent as procurator to España. He went on his voyage in complete poverty, trusting in the Lord for what he might need. He received enough not only for the support of himself and his companion, but for the purchase of the convent and garden of San Jacintho—where, from that time forward, the religious who came from España to this province were lodged. This was so important a matter that if father Fray Diego had done nothing else for this province, this would have been enough to entitle him to its gratitude and perpetual thanks, since it receives here a perpetual benefit whenever new religious come. He had planned for other similar prudent arrangements in España, but the province declined them for the time, failing to see the advantage of them; and afterward, when they were desired they could not be obtained, because there was no Fray Diego de Soria in España. In that country, great and small thronged to consult him in regard to spiritual matters, for he had singular power in prudent counsel. He gave his chief attention to sending many good religious to the Philippinas, and for this purpose went on to Roma clad in the same lowly fashion as in his poor province. [37]He was very small of stature, and went clothed in a habit of serge which was short and patched. In spite of his unfavorable appearance, he made a great impression, not only upon the general of the order, but upon the supreme pontiff, who at that time was Clement VIII. The pope desired to retain father Fray Diego with him in Roma, in order to put into execution the reformation of all the religious orders; but the father was unable to remain, because he was very much occupied with assembling religious for this province. It usually happens that many of those religious who have purposed to come to the Philippinas have fallen off; but in the case of father Fray Diego not one of those who had been assigned and prepared for this journey failed him, while many others came to see if they might be accepted. This happened at the time of the great plague of 1601, which raged with especial fury in Sevilla, where the religious were to assemble. Father Fray Diego was highly regarded at court, especially by Queen Margarita. The bishopric of Nueva Caceres in these islands was vacant, and was offered to father Fray Diego, who declined to accept it because he did not understand the language of the Indians of that region. But when the bishopric of Nueva Segovia was offered to him, he could find no excuse for declining it. It was desired to keep him in España in some bishopric; but, as he wrote, he would not give up his poor apostolic bishopric for the chief bishopric in España. When he became bishop, he did not change his manner of living or lay aside his serge habit. The only thing which he did to maintain his dignity as a bishop was to keep one servant. He kept his pectoral covered with his [38]scapular, until the nuncio directed him to make his appearance more dignified, and to wear his pectoral openly. His prudence was so highly regarded that he was asked to carry the news of her mother’s death to the daughter of the Duchess of Lerma, the wife of the Conde de Niebla, which he did with such discretion that she accepted her bereavement with Christian resignation. On his departure from España, he brought with him a good company of religious. On the way he was delivered, as by the hand of God, from some Moorish galliots. When the others were rejoicing at the opportunity of disembarking at the island of Guadalupe to get wood and water, the bishop was in great anxiety, as if he saw the evil that was to follow; and strove, but without success, to keep the others from going on the land. The bishop disembarked, and after saying mass instantly returned to the ship. The rest of the religious, following the usual custom of those who go to that island, remained till evening. Five of them lost their lives, and four came back wounded, by the arrows of the Indians on that island. Somewhat later, a storm attacking the fleet, some of the other vessels were lost; but that in which the bishop was came safe to land—as it seemed, miraculously. In Nueva España he inspected the convents of the province, under direction of the pope, the general of the order, and the king; and he performed this visitation with such justice that even those who were grieved by his chastisement were obliged to admit that he was a saint. On the way a mule laden with a number of rich and exquisite pieces of cloth which had been given him in España by many lords, and by the queen herself, for his pontifical vestments, was drowned. [39]All that the bishop said was Dominus dedit; Dominus abstulit—“The Lord gave it, and the Lord has taken it away; let Him be praised for all things.” The muleteer was overcome with shame; but the bishop consoled him, and caused him to be paid as if he had delivered his entire load safely.]

[Contents]

Chapter LXXVII

The personal habits of Don Fray Diego de Soria and other matters in regard to him up to his death.

[After reaching his bishopric, Don Fray Diego made a visitation of it. Striving so far as possible to relieve the Indians of burdens and of other labor, he made these visitations with as little baggage as possible. He immediately paid those whom it was necessary to cause to carry loads, and put the Indians to no expense whatsoever, even in matters in which he might justly have done so. He constantly wished to give them much, and not to ask even for the little which was his due. He delighted in labor, and rejoiced particularly when there were many to be confirmed. He observed the discipline and the rules of prayer of this province. He rose at dawn and prayed until six, when he said mass and gave devout thanks. If there was any business to be done, he gave audience or attended to necessary matters. When he was not obliged to attend to any of these occupations, he read and meditated upon holy books and upon the sacred scripture and its expositors. He did not generally write, but read and meditated, and received the Lord. Thus he was occupied up to the time for saying prayers at the sixth and the ninth hour; and [40]then he ate some eggs and fish, as if he were still in the convent of the order. After his meal, he conversed with his companion upon some useful subject; and, after resting awhile, returned to the exercise of prayer until the time of saying vespers. Then, if necessary, he gave audience, or engaged in works of piety; and then he returned to his sacred reading and contemplation. He never had any other entertainment or amusement, however lawful, nor did he go out to refresh himself in the garden, or in the chase, or in fishing, taking pleasure in none of these things. He made a personal visitation of his bishopric every year, and confirmed many Christians, sending word beforehand, that the ministers might prepare those who were to receive this holy sacrament. He gave much to his church and to his convent of Manila, in spite of the poverty of his bishopric, but gave very little help to a poor brother of his. In the province of Pangasinan he gave great alms, and sent a large sum of money to buy rice to be kept on deposit, as it were, in the cities, and to be distributed in times of famine. He spent but little upon the persons of his household, directing them to eat as he did, twice a day, eggs and fish, and to be clothed plainly as suited ecclesiastical persons. He lived in such poverty that he sometimes lacked tunics to make a change. He was given to ejaculatory prayer. At the festival of Pentecost in the year 1608, a dove lighted on his head, which he was unable to drive away, the Lord thus showing him honor. In the following year, at the celebration of this festival in Abulug the dove came and sat upon the shoulder of the bishop. When the fever with which his last illness began came upon him, he knew that his death [41]was approaching. So far as he could, he followed the constitutions of the order even in his sickness. After twenty-seven days of sickness, and twenty-seven years of labor in these regions, his works were at an end, and he went to receive the reward of them. In his last illness he gave to the college of Sancto Thomas, at Manila, his library and three thousand pesos.]

[Contents]

Chapter LXXVIII

Father Fray Francisco Minaio and his death

[At this time the death of father Fray Francisco Minaio was much regretted in the province. He was a native of Arevalo in Castilla la Vieja. He assumed the habit and professed in Palencia, and was sent to finish his studies in arts and theology to the convent of Sancta Cruz at Segovia. He came to the province, very near its beginning, with the bishop Don Fray Miguel de Benavides. He was assigned to the province of Nueva Segovia, which was practically all heathen. He labored much and with good results, and was stationed at the utmost borders of the province, in the village of Pilitan. He learned the language well, and was very devoted and compassionate to the Indians. He labored most affectionately with the poor and sick, and cared for the latter with his own hands. He and his associate, father Fray Luis Flores, went about through all that region, searching for, and burning the huts where superstitious sacrifices were offered to the devil, who was consulted as an oracle in these places. These huts were generally hidden among the mountains and crags in the midst of bushes. The servants of [42]God traveled over the rough paths, and all the rest that they could take was in finding one of these huts and in burning it. The devils were greatly angered by these insults; and the Indians heard, in their fields, the complaints of the devil because they believed in these men with white teeth. But they were obliged to confess their weakness to the Indians, who in this way were converted to the true faith. Father Fray Francisco, not contented with work in these villages, began upon the conversion of the idolatrous tribes of the great and spacious plains in the neighborhood of Pilitan, which are known as Zimbuey. So diligent was he that churches were built on those plains, and practically all were baptized and became good Christians.] At one time when the father went to visit them he found one of the principal chiefs of that country, named Guiab, lying sick. He talked with him about matters of the faith and his salvation; and Guiab, although he did not listen to them with displeasure, was still unwilling to embrace them. Since his sickness was not at that time severe, father Fray Francisco left him, telling him that if his disease grew worse he should send for him. Father Fray Francisco returned to his village of Pilitan. The sickness of Guiab increased in severity; and the physicians who were there—perhaps the aforesaid sorceresses—told him that the cure for his disease consisted in killing a child and in bathing himself in its blood. He immediately sent for the child; but so great was the respect which they had for father Fray Francisco that, although they supposed that the life of Guiab was departing, they were unwilling to put this order into execution without first asking permission from the father, and sent for some one to [43]ask it. The father heard the message, and, without letting the messengers return, went with them, fearing that even if he refused his permission they would go on and kill the child. At this same time Guiab heard, perhaps from the devil, that the father was coming. He sent other messengers to say that there was no necessity of the father’s taking the trouble to go to the village; that if he was not pleased that they should kill the child, they would not kill it. This message reached the father while he was still on the way, but he did not stop on that account, and kept on with all the rest. When he entered the house of Guiab he found it full of people; and immediately beheld there, weeping bitterly and hoarse with crying, the child who was designed for the inhuman remedy which should slay its soul. Full of pity, he told the sick man of the great error which he was committing, and the frightful sin against God which would result; the uselessness and unreasonableness of striving to obtain health for an old man by bathing him in the blood of a child; the indignation of the Spaniards if they should hear of this act; and the vengeance which they would take for this unjust and cruel murder, if not upon his person, at least upon his gold and treasure. Guiab admitted his error, and ordered the child to be given to father Fray Francisco. In the course of the father’s conversation, Guiab received instruction as to matters of the faith, which the father explained to him, taking as the principle and subject of what he said the control of God our Lord over the lives of men. The father took the child in his arms, and, on his way back with him, he found a man tied fast to a ladder. This was the father of the child, who was placed thus that he [44]might not interfere with the killing under the influence of his natural paternal love. He had him untied, and left him in freedom and in great happiness with his son. The sickness of Guiab was mortal, and the father taught him thoroughly and baptized him. Following the directions of the new Christian in his will, father Fray Francisco divided his gold among his relatives, and gave liberty to many slaves whom he wrongfully held. To the child whom the religious had ransomed (at the price of six reals), he likewise gave baptism; and named him Feliz [i.e., “fortunate”], since he had been fortunate in being rescued from the gates of eternal damnation, where he was already standing, and placed by baptism in the beauty of grace and on the right path for glory. [It could but be that the devil should burn with infernal wrath against one who did so much against him; and that the Lord should reward him, as He rewards His servants in this world, with sufferings which result in their spiritual good. A bad man brought a false accusation against father Fray Francisco of most nefarious wickedness, and supported it with evidence so plausible that it seemed as if the father must be guilty. The author of this charge exchanged a religious letter which father Fray Francisco had written to his superior, for a forged one very contrary to father Fray Francisco’s real manner of writing. In this way father Fray Luis Gandullo, at that time vicar-provincial, was convinced of the truth of the charge. The innocent man took this so much to heart that one day, when he was saying mass before his Indians, he fainted and fell on the floor, as if he were dead. The Indians fled from the church, in fear that they should be charged with having [45]caused the death of their minister. He was withdrawn from his ministry and placed in confinement; but in the course of the trial the truth was made clear, and father Fray Francisco was set free with honor. Some years afterward, he was appointed prior of the convent at Manila, and afterward, was very nearly elected provincial. He greatly augmented the devotion to our Lady of the Rosary, and adorned her image with rich vestments and jewels, and her chapel with a large retable and other ornaments. He was not forgetful of the necessities of the poor, and greatly increased the alms which were ordinarily given at the door of the convent. After he had finished his term as prior, he returned to Nueva Segovia. When he came back, the Indians, learning that their good father and teacher had returned, came fifty leguas to visit him. The Lord gave him a peaceful death, and he was buried in the church of our father Sancto Domingo at Nueva Segovia.]

[End of Book I]

[47]


1 i.e., “In the beginning was the Word.” The other quotation reads, in English, “May the reading of the gospel be health and protection to thee.”

2 Karatsu is a town in Hizen, north of Nagasaki; it possesses large deposits of coal and kaolin. It was formerly called Nagoya.

3 The shôgun at that time was Hidetada (1605–1623); but his father Iyeyasu, although nominally retired from the government, still inspired its proceedings in great degree, until his death in 1616.

4 For description of the Kuwantô, see Vol. XVI, p. 47. This group of provinces lies near the center of Hondo, and includes the city of Tôkio (Yedo).

5 According to Rein (Japan, p. 304), he had put away his Christian wife to marry a daughter of Hidetada, and had become an apostate. Then he removed his residence from Arima to Shimabara, and began a fierce persecution of the Christians.

6 Evidently referring to Santiago de Vera.

[Contents]

Book Second of the History of the Province of the Holy Rosary

[Contents]

Chapter I

The sufferings of the religious in Japon in the persecution which arose against Christianity

[The church in Japon was like the primitive church as it was founded by our Lord, which from the beginning suffered persecutions. The first persecutions of the church were not so severe but that the disciples when persecuted in one city could flee to another; thus, by sinking its roots deep, it was able to endure the greater persecutions which followed in the days of the Neros and the Domitians. All the persecutions in Japon up to the year 1614 were like those in the infancy of the early church—tempered, and without much shedding of blood; and giving the ministers an opportunity, when they were expelled from one kingdom, to flee to another. That which arose in this year was like the universal persecution of the church. The emperor, seeing that it was impossible to cut off the trunk of Christianity in Japon, and that to martyr a few would only give the creed greater strength, decided (perhaps advised by the devil) that it would be better and easier to cut off only the roots—namely, the religious, by whose [48]teachings Christianity in Japon had been brought into existence and was sustained. In the beginning of January in this year he sent out an edict to all his tonos that the priests and religious in their lands should be gathered together and sent to the port of Nangasaqui, to the governor Safioye, to be put on board ship and banished to Maccan or to Manila, so that not one should be left in Japon. After this the rosaries, images, and other sacred objects were to be taken from the Christians; and they were to be compelled to worship idols, the disobedient being tortured and put to death. Great care was to be taken that the bodies of the martyrs should not be permitted to fall into the hands of the Christians, who might venerate them. This decree was thoroughly carried out, and the Christians, deprived of ministers and sacraments, went out of the cities and fled—some to the mountains, others to caves, others to thick woods; and others set sail in little boats for other countries. It made the heart burn simply to hear the cruel destruction wrought by the emperor among the faithful. Some were hung alive by one foot to high trees; others were tied to stakes and exposed to the rigors of winter by night and by day; the ears and the noses of others were cut off. Others were branded on the brow with hot irons. Men and women were being put to shame by being exposed naked, and chaste women were threatened with being sent to the brothels. Some were put in sacks of straw, dragged about the streets and derided; and others were hung up in panniers and baskets. Others suffered confiscation of their goods, and were banished, all people being forbidden to give them food or lodging. These last were, for the most part, noble and rich persons [49]who had been brought up in luxury.1 The religious, laying aside their habits, went in secret throughout Japon, animating and strengthening the persecuted Christians to suffer for the Lord. Among these religious there were three of our order.

In this extremity of persecution confraternities were formed, for the mutual support of their members. They took pledges to be faithful, and were likely to be of great use because the Japanese, being a people who think much of their honor, would be ashamed to lapse from such agreements and promises. They made many processions, and subjected themselves to severe disciplines. On the second of June, Safioye was visited by all the superiors of the religious orders, whom he received with courtesy and a great show of kindness. As soon as they had returned to their convents, he sent them word from the emperor that they should prepare all the members of their order to go to Macan or Manila in the following autumn; and an inspector was sent to see that the mandate was carried out. All the officials of the city of Nangasaqui were compelled to sign a paper to the effect that they would not conceal any religious or secular clergymen, or show them favor, or assist them to remain in Japon. It was pitiful to see the Japanese Christians as the time for the departure [50]of the religious approached. On the fourteenth of October, our religious tore up the crosses which had been erected, and burned them, together with other things from the church, that they might not be profaned by the heathen. After partaking of the holy sacrament on the following day, they put out the lamps and left the altars. They put on board the ships the relics and the bodies of the saints, and most of the ecclesiastical ornaments and things from the sacristies, though of these they left some to the Christians who were to remain in hiding. They were able to take only a few of the bells. On the twenty-fifth, they were ordered to leave the city for the port of Facunda, till their ships should be ready. After they had set sail, certain priests returned in small boats. There were five secular priests out of seven. Six of the ten Franciscan priests remained, and seven out of the nine priests of our order. Of three Augustinian fathers, one remained. Of seventy priests of the Society, eighteen or twenty remained.2 More would have returned to land if it had not been for the failure of one of the boats agreed upon. The names of the fathers who remained are given in all cases, except in that of the Jesuits. After the departure of the clergy, the profanation of the churches was begun. The fathers disguised themselves as well as they could, and went out upon their mission. Many of them were obliged to remain in Nangasaqui [51]and its vicinity, because the greater number of Christians were there. They traveled secretly, however, all over Japon. They labored chiefly at night, and suffered greatly, being obliged to travel much, and lacking food and sleep.]

[Contents]

Chapter II

Father Fray Francisco de San Joseph Blancas

[Though father Fray Francisco de San Joseph was not one of the first founders of this province, he came in the second shipload from España. Because of his great virtue he is worthy of an important place in this history. For this purpose it has pleased God that there should come to my hands from the bishop of Monopoli, Don Fray Juan Lopez, an accurate account of the first years of this father, which follows. Father Fray Francisco was born at Tarazona in Navarra. His parents were exceptionally pious. From his youth father Fray Francisco showed signs of exceptional devotion. He fled from the sight of women, and even declined to accompany his mother, excusing himself on the ground of his studies. At the age of thirteen he was sent to Alcala de Henares to continue his studies; and at the age of fifteen he assumed the habit, and showed the behavior of a man at that youthful age. An account is given of his sisters; and the testimony of persons of superior virtue to the sanctity of father Fray Francisco is cited.

In course of time he came to be reader of arts in the religious convent of Piedrahita, where he was made master of the students. He had even greater gifts as a preacher than as a teacher, having a fine voice, natural rhetoric and powers of action, a great [52]gift of words, good memory, and skill in systematic arrangement. He was master of the hearts of all those who heard him. His first pulpit was that of San Antonino at Yepes, and later he was appointed as preacher to the convent of Alcala. While here he felt the impulse to go to the Philippinas, and, in spite of the efforts of the convent to retain him, he carried out his purpose. When he reached Manila, his superiors, desiring that the Spaniards of Manila might not be deprived of his great talents as a preacher, assigned him to the ministry of Bataan, which is near Manila. Here he learned the common language of the Indians, called Tagal, so rapidly that he was able to preach in it within three months, and taught others the language within six. He was constantly studying the exact signification of the words of the language and the method in which the Indians used them, so that he might become a consummate master of this tongue.]

It is their custom when they are rowing their boats, or when many are gathered together on any occasion, to sing in order to beguile and relieve their labors. As they had no others, they used their old profane and even pernicious songs. He composed many songs in their language, after their own manner of verse, but on sacred themes—for he had a particular gift for this—and introduced these among them, so that they might use them on such occasions. He hoped in this way to make them forget their old ballads, which were useless or noxious, without taking from them their pleasure—rather, indeed, to increase their delight by the devout sentiments of the new songs. He wrote many books of devotion for them; and since there was no printing in these islands, and no one who [53]understood it or who made a trade of it, he planned to have the printing done by means of a Chinaman, a good Christian. This man, seeing that the books of father Fray Francisco were sure to be of great use, bestowed so much energy upon this undertaking that he finally succeeded with it. He was aided by some who told him what they knew, and thus in time learned everything that was necessary to do printing; and he printed these books.3 [The good father so delighted in seeing the fruit of his teaching among the Indians that when he was directed to come back to the city, to preach to the Spaniards, it was a severe penance for him. However, he did so, especially in Lent. He was very severe in rebuking vice, and it gave him pain to be obliged to preach to vicious Spaniards, as it seemed to him that he was toiling in sterile soil. He usually came down from the pulpit bathed in sweat, but continued to wear his heavy tunic and to observe the rules of the order rigorously. Although he had seemed to be of delicate constitution in España, his health was always very good, so that for more than twenty years during which he was in this province he did not even have a headache, except once, when he struck himself by accident. He spoke with intense energy, in a grave, sententious, and clear manner. He learned the Chinese language, in addition to the other two in which he preached; and he took as his especial charge the duty of teaching the many negroes and slaves in Manila. He was most humble, in spite of his great abilities. When he was vicar-provincial of Manila, he received a letter from the provincial, who was making a visitation [54]in the province of Nueva Segovia. He asked father Fray Francisco, as vicar-provincial, to see if some of the religious in his district could not be spared for that needy region. Father Fray Francisco, thinking that he was himself the least necessary person in the district of Manila, took with him one father as his companion, and set out for Nueva Segovia. In the year 1614 he was sent to España as procurator of the province, but died on the voyage to Mexico. Just before and after his death his body gave signs by the beauty of its appearance of the sanctity and purity of his life. He printed a grammar of the Tagal language, and in that language he printed a memorial of the Christian life, a book on the four last things,4 another of preparation for the communion, a treatise on confession, a book on the mysteries of the rosary of our Lady, and another to teach the Tagal Indians the Spanish language. He also left behind him many devout and valuable compositions in the language of those Indians, particularly many sermons for Sundays and saints’ days, which were highly regarded because of their doctrine and their language, which is very elegant and pure. He had also made a collection of sermons in the Spanish language for a whole year, with the purpose of printing them. The letter of the dean and chapter of the holy church of Manila (dated May 12, 1614), given him as he was about to set out for España, corroborates Aduarte’s account of him, and is therefore printed by that writer in full.] [55]

[Contents]

Chapter III

Events in this province at this time

In the year 1615 this province, which from the beginning had sailed with a fair wind, and had proceeded with the conversions which it had undertaken in these Philippinas Islands without meeting any storm, began to feel a hurricane which caused much anxiety and pain. It was of great value in teaching the religious to open their eyes, and to know that in dealing with heathen and new converts they should not be content with the simplicity of the dove, but should strive to add the wisdom of the serpent, as our Lord charged His disciples and His preachers. Seven years only had passed since the village named Batavag, which is the furthest village in the province of Nueva Segovia, had been formed by assembling a population of mountaineers. Many of these were still heathen; while the adult Christians (who were the minority in the village) had been educated in their idolatries, and therefore had not completely rooted out from their hearts their ancient customs. Thus in time of sickness the former priestesses of the devil, or witches, found their way into many of their hearts. These women, coveting payment, came to offer on the part of the devil, health to the sick if they would observe the ancient superstitions which he had taught them. These sorceresses killed certain birds, anointed the sick with their blood, practiced other superstitious ceremonies which the devil accepted as a sacrifice, and performed other similar acts. Some sick persons were guilty of these things in their desire for health, not [56]giving heed, since they were not firmly rooted in the faith, to the grave offense which in this way they were committing against God, the author of life and health; and not considering the injury to the faith or the serious harm to their own souls and consciences, which would follow. Yet their condition was such that they ought to have considered this matter all the more carefully, as the death that they feared brought them nearer to the time when an account of all this would be demanded from them. If the evil had been confined to this village, it would not have been very great, because Batavag was small and had not a very large population, and a majority of the adults were not yet Christian; but the evil spread to other villages which were larger and older in the faith, such as Bolo, Pilitan, and Abuatan, each of which had two thousand inhabitants or more. Hence the matter was of greater importance, and caused more anxiety to the ministers and preachers of the law of God. When they received information as to what was occurring, they went with great secrecy to make an investigation into the evil; and they wrote down the names of the old aniteras or witches, in whom was the whole foundation of this sin. One of the persons who took part in this investigation warned the guilty old women in the village of Batavag; and they, to escape the punishment which they feared, began to stir up the inhabitants of that village. When the religious went there with the purpose of remedying one evil, they found another greater one; for the people of the village of Batavag were in tumult and alarm because of what the witches had said to them, and had determined to flee to their mountains and their ancient dwelling-places. They [57]had been brought to the one that they now had, that they might be more easily, and more to the profit of their souls, taught and baptized and given the sacraments, in sickness and in health; for so long as they were divided as they had been, into tiny hamlets at great distances from each other, it was impossible to do that. But being (as at this time they were) disturbed and alarmed by the witches, and desirous of abandoning the faith, they returned to their ancient sites, which more readily permitted each one to live in the law which he preferred, and none in that which would have been well for him. Yet, in spite of all this, the religious had dealt so well with them, and had shown them so much love and benevolence, that the Indians could not cease to feel and to show kindness for them. Hence, though they were able to kill the religious or to do them any harm they pleased, because the fathers were alone among them without any other protection than their good consciences—which is a great safeguard—the Indians not only did them no harm, but laid hands on nothing of theirs or of their convent. This was, as it were, a declaration that they had fled, not on account of any harm that the ministers had done them, but on account of their fear of the punishment which their bad consciences caused them to dread—a fear increased by what the aniteras or witches, as the most guilty, had falsely said to them with the purpose of alarming them. In point of fact, the religious had had no idea of severe punishment, but simply of remedying such pernicious evils. They pitied them as being new in the faith, and pitied even the very witches as being persons deceived by the devil, little exercised in the law of God, and many of them not even baptized. [58]The religious were greatly grieved by this event, and carried down to the nearest village the adornments of the church which they had there, taking with them some Indians who feared God and did not wish to follow the pernicious behaviour of those who fled from God to the devil. They made some efforts to bring back with kindness those who had fled; and in this way some of them, enlightened by God, returned to the bosom of the Church and the easy yoke of the divine law. They made continual efforts to bring back the rest, declining no labor, no journeys, and no discomforts, in order to gain some soul from among these lost ones. The flight of these Indians took place on the day of the ascension of the Lord, May 28. Since they had retired into the mountains, the Spaniards, as they were few, did not pursue them, deeming that on account of the roughness of the country where they were the pursuit would have little effect, and would cause many deaths, much suffering, and great expense. Hence many of them remained apostates from the faith and the baptism which they received, which is a cause of great grief.

On the nineteenth of the following month in the same year, ships arrived from Mexico with thirty-two religious to aid in the work of conversion upon which this province was engaged. On the following day, Saturday, in the morning, they entered the convent, to the great joy of themselves and of those who dwelt in it. Their vicar and superior from Mexico hither had been father Fray Angel Ferrer,5 who was [59]afterward a glorious martyr in Japon. When this company of religious arrived in Mexico, he was vicar of the convent of San Jacintho, which this province has near that noble city, as a hospice for the religious who come to it from España. Since he who was conducting them [i.e., Aduarte] went back thither, father Fray Angel undertook the very useful duty of conducting them to the Philippinas, in order that the former might fulfil his office as procurator of the province. The Lord led him, without his knowing it, that He might give him a glorious martyr’s crown, which he received a few years afterward, as will be told later.

These religious reached Mexico in the year 1613. Since in that year there had been no ships from the Philippinas, it was necessary to detain them there until the following year, with great risk that those who were coming to these islands might remain in that kingdom, which has so attractive a climate and is so abundant in all things; but as these fathers did not come to seek for pleasures, but for the souls of their fellow-men and labors for themselves, it was not hard to overcome this and other difficulties which were met. To this good result the excellent administration of the superiors greatly contributed, and the constant occupation of the friars in holy exercises, [60]prayer, fasting, and disciplines. Thus they not only prevailed against the temptations of ease and comfort, but were prepared so that the Lord might raise them to higher things—some of them even to the glory of martyrdom, which, as St. Augustine says, is the greatest glory of the church.

[In order to inspire in them a longing for these things, the Lord gave them grace in the meantime to save some lost souls. Two notable cases of this sort occurred, one in Cadiz and the other in Mexico. Two of them rescued and returned to her convent, a wretched woman, eighteen years old, whom a dissolute lieutenant had enticed from a convent in Xerez. In Mexico there was a wretched man, a person of acute intellect and learning, who had been guilty of an infamous crime with a boy. He had refused to confess, and, when he was tortured, had charged a number of innocent persons with complicity with his foul actions. The president of the alcaldes de corte [i.e., “judges of the high court”] was at this time Dr. Morga, who had a very kind feeling for the religious of this province, since he had come to know them by his long residence here as an auditor. By his assistance, and by that of one of the officers of the prison, father Fray Pedro Muriel obtained access to this unfortunate man; and by his wise and kindly conferences softened his heart, so that he confessed his original guilt and also his malice in making false charges against innocent persons. Both before and after his execution, there were manifest signs that the Lord had been pleased to grant him salvation. In the following year, 1616, father Fray Bernardo de Sancta Catalina, or Navarro, commissary of the Holy Office in these islands, and one of the first founders [61]of the province, was a second time elected provincial. In the following month, at a feast of the Visitation, there died in the city of Nueva Segovia father Fray Garcia Oroz, a Navarrese by nation; he was a son of the convent of our Lady of Atocha in Madrid, and a religious old in virtue as in years. When he made his first efforts to come to the province he had been hindered, but afterward carried out his intention; and although, because of his years, he was unable to learn the language, he was of great use to his companion who understood it, by his assistance and by the good example of his life.]

[Contents]

Chapter IV

The life and death of father Fray Bernardo de Sancta Cathalina, or Navarro

[The new provincial had but a short time in which he could exercise his office, as he died in November of the same year, on the octave of All Saints. Father Fray Bernardo was a native of Villanueva de la Xara. He was much inclined from his earliest years to letters and the Church; he assumed the habit in the convent of Sancta Cruz at Villaescusa. After he had professed, he was sent to study in the college of Sancto Thomas at Alcala, which was the highest honor that the convent could bestow on a student. Here he so distinguished himself that the college gave him charge of the conduct of a theological discussion in the provincial chapter, which is the highest honor that a college can give its theologues. While at the college, he did not take advantage of the privilege of eating meat, which is granted to students in consideration of their labors and study. He was a [62]successful and beloved preacher, and lived a life of the severest mortification. He was most devoted to the holy sacrament. At one time when a sick person had received the Lord and had afterward vomited forth the sacramental species, which was carelessly swept into a rubbish-heap, father Fray Bernardo rescued the precious treasure. He was most successful in uprooting the vices of the villages in España where he preached. When he came to this province he was one of the best of the ministers, and one of those who labored in the conversion of these tribes with the greatest results. He was assigned to be superior of the religious who preached to the barbarian Indians in Pangasinan—an indomitable, untamed, and bloody race; and above measure opposed to the gospel, since that was above measure opposed to their vices, cruelties, lewdnesses, superstitions, and idolatries. Noble religious were his companions, eager to act and to suffer for the conversion of souls; but father Fray Bernardo was the head and superior of these religious, the one who first began to succeed in christianizing those Indians, the one who perfected them and carried them on to a high state of Christian excellence. His life and his doctrine were alike marvelous and efficacious in influencing the souls of those Indians. He was devoted to his charge, seeking alms from the Spaniards for his Indians, and defending them with all his might from the wrongs which were committed against them. It was only in defense of his Indians that he was seen to give up his ordinary gentleness of demeanor, which was like that of a dove. The Lord blessed his efforts for the conversion of those Indians by miraculous healing wrought by his hands. He was visited by the saints, in [63]particular by our father St. Dominic and St. Vincent Ferrer, who were seen to come and say matins with him. He was given miraculous insight into the souls of those who confessed to him; was miraculously preserved from fire and water; and had power given him to see devils who had taken possession of those who were confessing to him, or whom he desired to convert. It was declared that he even had a vision of the holy Virgin. He lived a life of abstinence, penance, and the greatest devotion; and translated into the Indian language a hundred and fifty brief devout treatises. He also wrote in their language a number of spiritual letters, afterward collected by father Fray Melchior Pavia, who made a goodly volume of them that they might serve as an example of the manner to be followed, in writing to the Indians, by the religious who came after. In temporal matters he likewise assisted those Indians in all ways in his power; for in addition to their poverty they were his dearest sons, engendered in Christ with mighty but successful labors.

Although father Fray Bernardo would have been pleased to be left forever among his Indians, the province felt that it had need of him for higher duties, and elected him as provincial in 1596. He gave a noble example as head of the province, and was most wise, kind, and prudent in his visitations. At one time, finding it necessary to chastise one of his subordinates, he began the punishment upon himself, compelling the guilty person to scourge him severely while they two were alone. Then he proceeded to scourge the man who was in fault, who, considering what had preceded, received his chastisement with great humility and amended his life. The [64]fervent love of God of father Fray Bernardo was manifest in all that he said and did. The high esteem in which he was held spread from the Philippinas to Nueva España, so that the tribunal of the Holy Office in Mexico made him its commissary-general in all these islands. On some occasions he showed the gift of prophecy, foretelling the deaths of some persons, or declaring the deaths of those who were at a distance. Once when a governor assembled a great fleet against the Dutch enemies, he was obliged to obtain the necessary revenue by great oppression of the Indians and the poor, since the royal treasury did not yield a sufficient amount for the undertaking. Father Fray Bernardo was greatly grieved by this course of procedure, and strove to remedy it without success. When the governor was about to set out, father Fray Bernardo declared to him that he would never return; and, in point of fact, he died in Malaca without ever seeing the enemy.6 The persecution in Japon was revealed to him before it occurred. Being asked how he knew of the threatening danger, he said that he inferred it from certain stars in the sky, which resembled a comet threatening Japon. His companion when he had looked was unable to see any comet, or anything like one. His love and charity kept constantly increasing, and there were continually on his lips the words, “Let us love God; let us love God.” He sent what he could to the needy and persecuted Christians in Japon, and wrote to Mexico to get such assistance for them as he could obtain. He was always most loving and kindly to all the religious. [65]

At the end of his term as provincial, he would have been glad to live and die among his children in Pangasinan, but was detained in Manila by his duties as commissary of the Holy Office. Yet every year he used to make a visit to Pangasinan, where he was received as an angel from heaven, and sometimes carried almost by force to distant villages, by Indians who came more than twenty leguas for the purpose. His arrival was like a feast-day. The people crowded to confess to him, and to listen to his spiritual exhortations. They put off the settlement of their most weighty differences to submit them to his judgment. They sometimes crowded about him to kiss his hand or his scapular so that he could not move. When he was a second time elected as provincial, his devotion to the duties of his office resulted in his death. The stormy weather preventing him from going by sea to Nueva Segovia, he made the journey by land, traveling through the swamps and lowlands of Yllocos7 and over the Caraballos, some rough and lofty mountains, [66]where he was caught by a baguio or hurricane. The rivers rose so that he was unable to go on. Captain Pedro de Rojas, his son in the faith, had gone with him to keep him company. The hardships of their journey were such that both men fell sick; and father Fray Bernardo, in fear of immediate death, kept praying to the Lord that he would prolong his life until they reached a place where he could receive the sacraments. Arriving in Abulug, Captain Pedro de Rojas was given up by the physician; but the father, in spite of his advanced age, seemed likely to recover. He was deeply grieved that he—who was of no use in the world, as he said—should be saved, while the captain had given up his life simply to accompany him. He prayed the Lord that he might change places with the captain, who soon afterward began to amend; while father Fray Bernardo within twenty-four hours fell sick again in Camalayugan, and felt that his disease was mortal. On the eighth of November, the octave of All Saints, he departed from this vale of tears, to be with those who are in glory. His death caused great grief in Pangasinan and Manila. Double honors were shown to him in our convent, first as provincial, and second as commissary-general of the Holy Office. At the latter service father Fray Antonio Gutierrez preached, recounting much of what has here been written. After his death, a religious had a vision of his soul going to glory. In the provincial chapter in the following year, honorable mention is made of father Fray Bernardo in a Latin eulogy, recording his illustrious virtues, his marvelous success in the conversion of the province of Pangasinan, and the sacrifice of his life to the duties of his office.] [67]

[Contents]

Chapter V

The election as provincial of father Fray Melchior Mançano, and the situation in Japon at this time.

When the sad news of the death of the provincial was learned, the electors assembled at Binalatongan, a village of Pangasinan, on the fifteenth of April, 1617, and elected as head and superior of the province father Fray Melchior de Mançano,8 who was at that time vicar of the convent of the city of Nueva Segovia. He was a very prudent and devout character, a professed son of the convent of the order in Ocaña; and had been made, on account of his great ability and his successful studies, a theologue at the college of Sancto Thomas at Alcala. In this province he had governed many of the best convents with great approbation; and his term as provincial was very useful to the province, augmenting it greatly, as will be narrated.

[Now that the churches in all Japon were torn down and all the priests expelled, as Safioye supposed, it seemed to him time to begin the persecution of Christianity. The commencement was made in the kingdom of Arima, which was under the direct government of the emperor. The officers upon whom was laid the carrying out of this persecution did their work with cruelty and insolence. When the news of the beginning of the persecution reached Figen, twenty courageous Japanese went from Nangasaqui to Arima to confess the faith, and died a glorious [68]martyrdom. Some others who purposed to follow in their footsteps had not the courage, and recanted when they saw the dreadful torment which awaited them. As soon as father Fray Thomas del Espiritu Sancto, or Zumarraga, the vicar-provincial of our religious who were in hiding, heard of this persecution in Arima, he despatched father Fray Jacintho Orfanel to go to the aid of the persecuted Christians, and soon afterward sent father Fray Juan de Los Angeles Rueda to go thither also. They were followed by the father commissary of the Order of St. Francis, with three other religious of his order. The efforts of the religious in hearing confessions, giving the sacraments, and comforting and strengthening the persecuted Christians, were of great value. It seemed unwise, however, to enter the city of Arima itself, where guards had been set to prevent entrance and egress; for if the emperor should learn that any religious had remained in Japon, the persecution was likely to be very much more severe. The Christians in Nangasaqui prepared themselves, and were prepared by the religious, for the beginning of the persecution in that city. When everything was ready, the persecution was suspended on account of a war between the emperor and Fideyori, the son of the previous emperor and the true heir to the throne.9 The [69]officers contented themselves with publicly burning a great number of rosaries, crosses, and other Christian emblems taken from Arima. Father Fray Alonso Navarrete had assumed the dress of a Spanish layman and was beaten for trying to rescue from the fire some rosaries. Our religious obtained the sacred relics of a number of the blessed martyrs. The emperor was victorious over Fideyori by treachery. During the progress of the war the Christians had peace; and the fathers did a mighty work in strengthening their courage, and in perfecting them in the faith. Many, however, of the Christians, for the lack of ministers, had begun to forget the matters of the faith and even their own Christian names. Some of the Franciscan fathers were captured, and thrown into prison; but the fathers of our order escaped. After the fall of Usaca and the disastrous close of the war, the persecution broke out again. The fathers were scattered among various kingdoms, but were prevented, by the very close watch which was kept, from entering Satzuma. The father vicar-provincial alone, with father Fray Francisco de Morales and father Fray Joseph, remained in Nangasaqui, going out at night only, in secular dress. This lasted until the death of the emperor, in the year 1616. Nangasaqui being the metropolis of Christianity in Japon, where the number of Christians was greatest and their spirit resolved and determined, the emperor did not dare to treat the Christians there with as much severity as elsewhere. In spite of the exposure of our ministers in Japon, not one of the members of our order died a natural death, but all were crowned with the crown and aureole of martyrdom.] [70]

[Contents]

Chapter VI

The great devotion in Japon to the rosary of our Lady; the death of the emperor, and the state of the church there.

[In the beginning of the year 1616, the confraternity of our Lady of the Rosary, which had been established in 1602, when the order of our father St. Dominic entered Japon, was very greatly increased, and the devotion to the rosary became much more intense. This order and the devotion connected with it spread from Nangasaqui through all parts of Japon, and much improvement in the lives of those who devoted themselves to the rosary was perceived. Miraculous strength was also given to the members of the confraternity to hold to their faith. In July the emperor died by poison, which was given him by mistake from a box of medicine. The emperor being succeeded by his son, Xogunsama,10 the persecution was continued, and even increased in severity, the officers exerting themselves to invent ingenious tortures. Sometimes the very tormentors themselves, though they did not abandon their idolatry, were compelled by the virtue of the martyrs, and the aid rendered them by the Lord, to admit the truth of our holy faith. Particulars are given of the deaths of a number of martyrs. In course of time the persecution extended to Nangasaqui. It was discovered by accident that there were religious in the city. This was one cause for the beginning of the persecution. [71]Another cause was the contentions of two governors in the city, one Christian and the other heathen.11 Great efforts being made to capture some of the religious, father Fray Pedro de la Asumpcion of the Order of St. Francis, and Father Juan Baptista Tavora of the Society, were caught and suffered martyrdom, being decapitated May 22, 1617. This caused great joy among the religious, who had feared that, if they should be captured, they would merely be sent out of the kingdom, but were now encouraged to hope for the crown of martyrdom.]

[Contents]

Chapter VII

The expedition of father Fray Alonso Navarrete, vicar-provincial of our order in Japon, and father Fray Hernando de San Joseph, or Ayala, vicar-provincial of the order of our father St. Augustine, for the aid of the Christians of Omura.

[The persecutors were satisfied with these deaths, thinking that they would frighten the ministers of the gospel and either drive them out of Japon or greatly curtail their activity. May 24, 1617, on the eve of Corpus Christi, father Fray Alonso Navarrete, vicar-general of our order, set out for Omura, where the other priests had been martyred, with the purpose of openly preaching the gospel there. He took with him a courageous Japanese servant named [72]Pablo. The landlord of his house also volunteered. Father Fray Hernando de San Joseph, vicar-provincial of the Augustinian order, who was his close friend, decided to accompany him. After examining their consciences carefully, father Fray Francisco de Morales of our order approved their enterprise.]

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Chapter VIII

The capture of the holy martyrs

[The two fathers set out, traveling slowly, encouraging the Christians and recovering some of those who had recanted. The number of those who came to be confessed was very great, and the religious heard their confessions at the risk of their lives. The fathers rejoiced to lay aside their secular garments; and the Christians who saw them in religious habits were greatly delighted. Five persecutors came to arrest the fathers, who received them with great joy and gave them presents. Father Fray Alonso wrote a letter to the tono, informing him that the fathers had come to give him an opportunity to repent of his great sin in martyring the fathers who had been executed, and to deliver him from the pains of hell. Some Japanese boldly offered themselves for martyrdom. The Christian inhabitants of the city showed the greatest devotion to the fathers, crowding about them and offering themselves for martyrdom with them; and they showed the greatest grief at the thought that the fathers were to be taken from them by death. The tono of Omura was in the greatest grief and perplexity, feeling that there would fall on him the obligation to martyr Christians after Christians [73]who would come to offer themselves in his kingdom. He finally determined to take their lives, but with the greatest secrecy, in order to prevent an uprising in the city. The fathers were accordingly taken to a desolate island named Usuxima; and in spite of the efforts of the heathen to keep the place secret, they were followed by a great number of Christians, who confessed to them.]

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Chapter IX

The death of the three holy martyrs

[From this island the three fathers were removed to another named Coguchi. They received with great joy the news that they were to die, and were carried to another island still more solitary. Here they showed great courtesy and kindness to those who were to slay them. They left letters for their provincials, desiring them to send religious to Japon at any cost. In spite of the care of the tyrant, some Christians were present at the execution. The two were beheaded on Thursday, the first of June, the octave of Corpus Christi. Their very executioners looked upon them at such men of virtue that they dipped their handkerchiefs and bits of paper in their sacred blood, to keep these as relics. The bodies of all the martyrs were put in coffins laden with stones, and cast into the sea. In spite of the danger, many Japanese went to the place of the martyrdom to venerate the relics of these saints; and the Confraternity of the Rosary offered continual prayers that they might recover the bodies of these holy martyrs. At the end of two months the bodies of the holy and blessed Fray Pedro de la Asumpcion and Fray Hernando were cast up on the shore.] [74]

[Contents]

Chapter X

The virtues of these blessed fathers, their fitness to obtain the crown of martyrdom, and the fruits which followed therefrom.

[The holy Fray Hernando was especially devoted to the souls in purgatory, and gave a notable example of poverty and obedience to the rules of his order. Father Fray Alonso was very pious, almsgiving, and compassionate. Although the lords in Japon are very rich, the poor people are very needy; so that the heathen often slay their new-born children, and the Christians cast them out in the street. The heart of the holy man was so afflicted by this that, at his persuasion, a Spanish captain named Pablo Carrucho settled a certain income upon the pious work of maintaining these children. Just before his death the holy martyr, not forgetful of this, wrote a letter to the captain, urging him not to forget the alms for the exposed children. Father Fray Alonso was one of the first ministers of Nueva Segovia; he returned to Europe, to bring with him a number of new religious to the Philippinas. After he had been assigned to Japon he once returned to the Philippinas. He suffered greatly in these voyages, since he was of delicate constitution. He was a charitable and most beloved minister, very bold, and especially distinguished for his gratitude. From this martyrdom the Christians of Nangasaqui received new courage, as did also those of Omura, who were greatly strengthened in the faith. Some, indeed, who had feared to do so before, boldly confessed Christianity. Throughout Japon the example of this martyrdom was a [75]great source of strength to the Christians, and forced the heathen to respect the Christian faith. The heathen also were cured of their error of supposing that the fathers had come to this region because of temporal ambitions. The persecution which was feared in Nangasaqui ceased when the courage of the holy men was seen. The last result of this martyrdom was the many more martyrdoms, which soon followed, of those who by the example of these saints openly avowed Christianity. The names of several of the confessors and martyrs are given, with a brief account of their deaths.]

[Contents]

Chapter XI

The state of affairs in Japon after the martyrdom of the saints Fray Alonso Navarrete and Fray Hernando de Ayala.

[After the martyrdom of these holy religious the Christians of Omura, ashamed of their weakness, desired to follow their example. Father Fray Thomas del Espiritu Sancto and father Fray Juan de Los Angeles, religious of our order, and father Fray Apolinario Franco, commissary of the Order of St. Francis, went to take spiritual charge of these Christians in Omura. Fathers Fray Apolinario and Fray Thomas were arrested, with their servants, and imprisoned. Father Fray Juan de Los Angeles was not found. The landlord of father Fray Alonso Navarrete in course of time won the crown of martyrdom by the boldness of his confession; and he and another Christian were carried to an islet, and secretly executed at midnight on the last day of September. The tono of Omura, in perplexity, went to the court [76]of the emperor to confer with him in regard to the questions raised by the arrest of the two fathers. The Christian faith extended, and some remarkable conversions of persecutors took place. The holy fathers suffered in prison from the rigors of winter, having been deprived of their clothes, and having no bed or any protection against the cold; for the prison was made of wood, and did not protect them against the cold, wind, or snow. They suffered equal tortures from hunger, having but a small ration of boiled rice without other food—the Christians having been forbidden to assist them.]

[Contents]

Chapter XII

The building of the church of Los Sanctos Reyes in the Parian

As soon as the order entered these islands, it took upon itself the charge of evangelizing and teaching the Chinese who came to these islands, every year, in pursuit of their business and profit. They all lived in a sort of alcaicería, or market, called in this country a Parian; and here there were usually ten thousand Chinese, and at times as many as twenty thousand. Here they not only store their merchandise, which is very rich, but maintain all the trades required for a very well ordered and provided community. They were at that time all heathen, because up to that time as soon as any Chinaman was converted and baptized he was obliged to leave this idolatrous place and to go to live in another village, of baptized Chinese, which was near there. In this way the effort was made to separate the newly-baptized from the heathen, so that they might not follow the [77]bad example of their heathen neighbors while their Christianity, being new, had not sufficient strength to resist this temptation and free themselves from the danger of this scandal. The town of the heathen was not forgotten on this account; for the religious went from the town of the Christian Chinese, called Binondoc, where they lived, to preach every Sunday to those who lived in the Parian. This course was followed up to the year 1617, when it was remarked, with reason, how advantageous it would be that preachers should be constantly in residence in this multitude of people. Thus by having more intercourse with them, and being in closer relations with them, they might reap a greater spiritual harvest among the Chinese, and the number of those who should be baptized, in both sickness and health, might be greatly increased. The father provincial conferred with the two estates, ecclesiastical and secular, receiving the approval of everyone. The usual licenses were obtained, and a small wooden church and convent were begun. Everything was done at the expense of the order, that it might not be necessary to ask anything from the heathen Chinese, for whose benefit and advantage the buildings were erected. The Lord straightway began to manifest that the work was very acceptable to Him, by showing marvelous favor to a Chinaman who was occupied as overseer of the building. A Spaniard, enraged because he had been bitten by a dog, asked the Chinaman “whose dog that was,” intending to avenge upon the owner the pain which the dog had caused him. The Chinaman answered that he did not know whose it was, and the angry Spaniard said: “It must be yours, because you do not tell me.” [78]Drawing his sword he thrust it at his chest; but the Lord, who was pleased with the care which the Chinaman gave to the building of His poor temple, guided the sword so that it struck an ebony cross which the Chinaman wore under his clothes. The blow made a deep mark upon this cross, while the Chinaman was untouched—the Lord receiving the thrust upon His own cross that it might not harm His votary. The Chinaman recognized this as a very special mercy, and a great reward for his labor; and he and all those who knew of the fact praised the Lord, wonderful in His works.

The poor church was finished, and being the edifice of those vowed to poverty it lasted but a short time. The beams which served as columns and held up the building were not strong, and the soil was marshy and unstable; hence the beams were unable to carry the load of the tiling, but gave way, in such a manner as to threaten the downfall of the church. To prevent this, so that no one might be caught beneath, it was planned to take down the tiling; and while the church was being untiled, and there were nineteen persons on the roof, the building (which was already on the point of falling) broke open with this additional weight, and the whole roof came down—key-beams, ridge-pole, and tiles. Even some of the largest beams were broken into very small fragments; and many of those who were on the peak of the roof were caught and buried in the lumber and tiles, so that of some there was nothing to be seen except some part of their clothing. A great multitude of people ran to the noise. Most of them were heathen, and stood looking on with much alarm at the ruin which had been wrought; but they did not [79]dare to show any kindness, or to disinter the poor workmen who had been overwhelmed. Hence the men remained for a long space of time covered in this way, all supposing that they were not only dead, but horribly mangled. However, this was not the case; for the Lord was desirous of teaching these heathen the omnipotence of His providence and the care that He takes of those who serve Him; and all were taken out, unconscious indeed, but uninjured and in health, without the slightest wound upon any one of them, although some very heavy key-beams had been broken to pieces. They soon came to themselves and gave thanks to Him who had so marvelously preserved them; while all those present, who were innumerable, both Christians and heathen, were astonished, and the heathen said aloud: “Great is the providence of the God of the Christians.” Thus the Lord drew from these His enemies the highest praises, and changed into honor to His name that which might have caused offense among these idolaters if these men had been killed while working on the house of God. It was believed that the fervent prayer of father Fray Bartholome Martynez aided much in bringing about this result; for the work was going on under his direction, and when he saw that a good account of it could not be given, if the Lord did not remedy this misfortune, he begged this grace of Him most affectionately. And this was not the only time when the Lord granted to his faithful and devout prayers very marvelous things, as will be narrated in due time.

A small portion of the land belonging to the convent was made ready to serve, as well as possible, for a tiny church for the few Christians who were there. [80]The harvest reaped here by the religious, in this multitude of heathen and idolatrous people, was marvelous. They taught them constantly by day and night in the church, in the squares, in their houses, without losing an opportunity to do them good—though they labored beyond their strength, trusting in the Lord whose work they were doing. Marvelous results immediately followed, to the great service and honor of the Lord and the profit of souls. Of the many sick in the Parian, who before the residence of the fathers had all departed in their heathen state, now, since they have had these devoted fathers among them and have heard their teaching, practically none have died without being baptized. Such is the fruit of the fathers’ care in expounding the faith to them, explaining to them the great good and the spiritual benefit of baptism, and the eternal misery of those who have neglected it. Often even the heathen relatives and friends of the sick have persuaded them to be baptized; and they, like the persons of their own nation whom the fathers have appointed for that purpose, take great care to ascertain if there are any sick, and to inform the fathers, that the latter may visit them and teach them the way to heaven.

In addition to these who are baptized in sickness, many are baptized in health and take back the news of the gospel to their own country. In this way, it is hoped, the entry of preachers into China will be somewhat facilitated, if it is once known that we are persons who, in addition to loving and helping them, are not desirous for our temporal profit, but for the good of their souls. This is an argument of great weight with the Chinaman, who is excessively avaricious, [81]and hence regards as a very divine virtue the contempt of that which he esteems so highly. Since they are very intelligent, they are easily persuaded that that is truth which we preach to them as to the great reward in the other life for those who are good, since they see that their preachers take such pains and undergo such penances to become good, and despise all temporal gain in the firm hope of an eternal one. If their eternal reward were not to be much the vaster, great would be their imprudence to cast aside for it all temporal reward; and they would be, as the apostle has said, of all men most miserable.

Father Fray Bartholome Martynez afterward erected on the same site a sumptuous and handsome church, which was intentionally made large and capacious, that there might be room in it for the many whom he hoped to baptize; and beautiful, that the very magnificence of the edifice might give some sign by its appearance of whose it was. In order that it might please the Chinese better, it was constructed entirely after the manner of the best buildings in China, out of wood, the pieces framed together with joints, without any nails in the entire frame. This was accomplished, in spite of the fact that the number of pieces which entered into the frame came to more than three thousand. They were wrought with marvelous skill, and with superior craftsmanship; indeed, before they began to be put in place they were all shaped, with their joints so fitted that, although the architect at the time of erecting the building happened to be unable on account of illness to rise from his bed, and had to give his directions from it as to what had to be done, yet everything was found to be so exact that his presence was not needed. [82]Everything was fitted exactly as it was planned and worked out by the designer from the beginning. This is something which aroused great admiration in the Spanish architects who saw it, and they were amazed, and with reason. It is reckoned a matter worthy of the wisdom given by God to Solomon that the same thing is recounted of the temple which he built, as is narrated in holy scripture. The architect was a heathen, very old and infirm; but God prolonged his life until this work was finished. Afterward, as his illness grew worse, he asked for holy baptism; and, having received it devoutly, he died happy in being a Christian, and was buried in the church which he had built for God.

[While the church was being built, some very notable events happened. One Sunday, after the Christians had heard mass, they and a number of heathen who helped them were dragging a very large beam which was to serve as a column in the building. As they went down a little hill, it began to roll on some round sticks which they had placed under it in order that they might move it with less difficulty, and came at one of those who were dragging it with such force that, as it seemed, he could in no way avoid being caught by it. The Lord heard the prayers of some religious who were present, and delivered him from his danger. In the same church the workmen were setting up the beams which were to support the four corners of the transept like columns—which beams were much larger, longer, and thicker than any of the others. A great number of people were stationed on each of the four sides of one, to draw it so that it might go straight. The cables which they used were new and heavy, and [83]there was a workman seated on the head of the beam to watch the hitches of the cables to be sure that they did not slip. The weight of the beam was so great that one of the cables gave way, and when it was broken the others began to become loose. The workmen dropped their work and fled in alarm, leaving the man on the head of the beam beyond help, as it seemed. Father Fray Bartholome Martinez prayed to the Lord for this man, and the beam rested upon some bamboos standing there, which were strong, but not strong enough to carry such a weight; and the man got down by them unhurt, but with his blood curdled by fright. The church was finished and was most beautiful, being a notable piece of work in its style. It caused great joy to the Spaniards, and to the Chinese, both Christian and heathen. In the course of time another event which greatly edified these Chinese occurred; for on Monday, March 13, 1628, at one o’clock at night, a fire broke out in the Parian which burnt down practically the whole of it—since it was at that time built of reeds and nipa, or of dry boards, which burn like a torch. The only houses saved were some which were protected by green trees, and some other small ones which were somewhat isolated. The fire bore directly toward the church, and had already begun to scorch the wood of it, when the religious carried out the image of our Lady of the Rosary, and turned her face toward the fire. The wind instantly changed, and the church was saved. Although in the construction of this most beautiful church care had been taken to build it of durable wood, yet within a few years some of it rotted, and it seemed as if it would be with this church as with the others. Hence it was deemed [84]necessary to tear it down, for fear of accident; and another church was built, with strong pillars of stone.] Since this is very near the city, we did not fail to build it with stronger frame. But it is very beautifully decorated, its walls being covered from top to bottom with paintings, in which is depicted everything which may instruct these heathen in the knowledge of that which is of consequence for them to understand. There is represented the whole life of Christ our Lord, and His most holy Mother; there are many pictures of the judgment, purgatory, glory, and hell; much instruction as to the seven holy sacraments; many miracles pertaining to them, and especially to the greatest of all; many martyrs, and many holy examples. All this, in addition to beautifying the church, is of great use, serving as devout books wherein these people (who are very inquisitive) may see and understand that which is taught to them by word of mouth; and very great benefit is thus wrought for them. Many incidents have occurred which have made clear the great usefulness of having this church in the midst of this idolatrous population, to preach the true God with so loud a voice that it may be heard in the great kingdom of China, and may dispose it to be converted.

[One of those who had been baptized here was accused, when he returned to his country, of being a Christian. When the Christian replied that there was nothing evil in Christianity, the judge asked him how he could say that being a Christian was not evil. He handed the judge a little card printed in the Chinese language, containing the first prayers, the ten commandments, and directions for works of charity, and told him that this was the Christian law. [85]The judge, when he had read it over, dismissed the Chinaman, retaining the card, and saying: “Who has deceived me by saying that Christianity is evil? On the contrary, it is very good.” Thus the knowledge of Christianity spreads in that great kingdom. The Lord wrought miracles in defense of the new converts, punishing with death a heathen who had insulted a Chinaman that had given up his litigious habits after his baptism; and other miracles of healing and protection were wrought, and marvelous conversions took place, evidently by the hand of God.] There have been baptized in this church, from the year 1618, when baptisms began, up to the year 1633, when this is written, four thousand seven hundred and fifty-two Chinese, all adults. Of these, two thousand and fifty-five were baptized in health, and two thousand six hundred and ninety-seven in sickness, in addition to some whose names were accidentally omitted from the registry. Since that time12 baptisms have continued at a proportional rate, where, before they had the church, all died in their idolatry, and there were very few who went hence in health to be baptized in other churches. Such persons usually went to our church in Minondo for the Christians of their nation; but those who went from the Parian were very few, because they did not at that time have the constant intimacy and stimulus of the presence of the religious, as now. The result has been a very great increase of the affection which the Chinese have always felt for our order, and the high regard which they have for our holy faith. [86]This is so great that even the heathen, who themselves are not baptized because of worldly considerations, generally desire the sick with whom they are connected by relationship or friendship to become Christians. Hence it is rare that anyone dies in this great multitude of heathens without first being baptized; while those who return to their great kingdom give in it a very good report of our faith and of the doctrine of Christ, to the no small credit of our religious community, with the members of which they generally have most to do, and receive from them the greatest benefits, both in spiritual and in temporal matters; for we are often able to be of assistance to them. They recount all this in their own country; and this is an excellent preparation for the rapid advance of the holy gospel, which has already entered it.

[Contents]

Chapter XIII

Some missions sent to various kingdoms

[Since the establishment of this province was intended not only for the Philippinas, but also for the neighboring heathen kingdoms, advantage was taken of every opportunity to send out religious to these other kingdoms. Our order had planned to labor in the conversion of the kingdom of Macasar, whose king manifested some signs of desiring to have religious sent to him. This kingdom is very powerful, and has a large population. The people of it have an excellent natural disposition, which is a good foundation for the faith; but, because of disturbances which arose, this mission did not take effect.

The religious not only of this province, but of España and Nueva España, have had their hearts [87]set upon the conversion of the kingdom of China, the population of which is of incredible vastness, and the people there exhibit very acute intelligence and have an excellent civilization and government. They even establish their authority in all the neighboring kingdoms: Corea, Siam, Camboja, Cochinchina, and others; and they communicate their system to these as far as possible. Their character and their moral doctrines also fit them for the gospel. In spite of the failure of previous efforts to enter this kingdom, our religious were not discouraged. In this year (i.e., 1618) an opportunity was offered when the governor, Don Alonso Fajardo de Tença, was about to send an embassy to inform the Chinese that their enemy and ours, the Dutch, had taken up their station in the straits through which the merchant vessels of China sail on their way to this city, richly laden; and that the enemy intended to capture and pillage the ships there. Our order was asked to send a religious who understood the language, and who had worked among the Chinese in the islands; father Fray Bartholome Martinez was chosen for the post. After some days sailing the vessel met with a furious storm, in which it lost the mainmast; and afterward struck upon a large rock, losing the rudder and part of the poop. Some leaped into the water, and some made their way to land in the boat; the rest remained on board the vessel, and father Fray Bartholome remained with them to hear their confessions. The next morning they all succeeded in getting to land, not far from Pangasinan. Here father Fray Bartholome preached to the Chinese who had come to that region to carry on business, and succeeded in converting twenty. From Pangasinan he [88]made his way with great difficulty to Nueva Segovia, where he was directed to embark in another royal vessel, and to carry out his embassy by way of Macan. On this voyage they also met with dreadful storms, and he landed twice on the island of Hermosa. This island had not yet been taken possession of for his Majesty; but the Lord willed that the father should see it and carry to Manila a full report as to its character, the result of which was that the island was afterward acquired. He finally reached Macan, where he met with so many obstacles to carrying out his mission that he was obliged to return to Manila, and thus failed to gain that entry into China which he had desired.

At the same time, another mission was planned to the kingdom of Corea; for it seemed likely that there would be a great and noble conversion in that kingdom, the people of which have a very good character by nature, being very simple, and free from duplicity and deceit. That kingdom is between Great China and Japon, so near to each that it is separated from them only by some very narrow arms of the sea, like large rivers. The people have the intelligence and ability of the Chinese, without their duplicity. They are for the most part tillers of the soil. They have some of the valor of the Japanese, without their ferocity. It happened in 1593 that Taycosama determined to make war against this kingdom of Corea, in order to strengthen himself by diminishing the power of some princes of his own state, whom he sent to make this war at their own expense. The war was most cruel and destructive, and the kingdom of Japon was full of Corean slaves.13 [89]Among these was one who was converted and who came to Manila. The father of this convert (who was called Tomas) reached the post of secretary to the king, and, taking advantage of his wealth and high office, spared no pains in the search for his son. The son, in spite of his love for his native country and his father, and the hope of the wealth which he would have if he returned, was still more devoted to his own soul; and was therefore unwilling to return to his own country without taking with him some religious. The father provincial, thinking this a good opportunity to begin this conversion, assigned three religious, who set sail, on the thirteenth of June in this year (i.e., 1618) in a ship for Japon, since there was no ship direct to Corea. At Nangasaqui the officials, detecting the purpose of the religious, detained them and finally prevented them from going on. Tomas was obliged to go on without them, promising to send for them; but affairs in Japon became so disturbed that nothing more was ever heard of him. Two of the three religious who were to go to Corea returned to Manila. The third, father Fray Juan de Sancto Domingo, remained in Japon and learned the language, that he might aid the afflicted Christians there; and he was rewarded by the Lord with the palm of martyrdom.]

So eager was the province to extend our holy Catholic faith throughout all regions, to introduce it into the kingdoms of the heathen, to enlighten their souls and show them the way to heaven, that the Lord [90]aided them by sending in this year twenty-four new laborers, religious who had been gathered in España by Father Jacintho Calvo14—a religious who had been in this province, and who on account of the severe heat in the islands, which was dangerous to his health, sent the fathers on from Mexico, whither he had brought them, under the leadership of father Fray Antonio Cañiçares. They arrived here very opportunely; for by the missions which have been mentioned several ministries had been much interfered with, and were now filled up from this new company. Even some new convents were established; for instance that of San Telmo at Cavite. This town is the port where all those go aboard who sail from these islands to Nueva España or to Yndia or to other regions—except in the case of small vessels, which are able to sail from the city. In Cavite there is accordingly a large town of Spaniards, Indians, Chinese, and Japanese. At that time they were in greater need of Christian teaching because they had only one convent, that of the seraphic father St. Francis; and, besides, our order needed to have a convent there in which the religious might remain while waiting to go aboard the vessels. On this account this convent of San Telmo was established there at that time, and did great good to those who lived in the town. The Confraternity of our Lady of the Rosary was immediately carried thither; and this holy devotion was greatly revived, and other very good effects were wrought. Thus for the Virgin’s [91]sake the people of the town have come to have a great regard for her chaplains; and a fine church, with rich altar decorations and ornaments, and a convent sufficient for the religious who are obliged to be at Cavite, have been built there. This is supported very well by alms, without any other income; and the religious with their sermons and good example have wrought much good, not only among the Spaniards, but also among the natives. There has been a great reformation of morals among both, as is always effected by the devotion to the Virgin of the Rosary, wherever care is taken to give due heed to preaching it, and to using it as a benefit come from heaven, by the hands of the Virgin, to correct the sins and reform the excesses of the world.

During this year a beginning was also made in an undertaking which had been much desired by good and spiritual religious, as being worthy of and proper to that charity with which the religious of this province usually took up enterprises involving great labor, that they might in return offer souls to the Lord and bring heathen into the church. There are near the province of Nueva Segovia certain islands, called Babuianes, following each other in a line toward the northeast until they approach near those which are called Lequios, which are near Japon.15 These latter are innumerable, and some of them are very large and very fertile. Their inhabitants are of excellent natural dispositions, so that, being heathen, they cause wonder in all of those who go [92]there. They are extremely kind, loving, docile, and free from self-interest—excellent foundations for their becoming noble Christians if the happy day of the faith shall dawn upon them. The islands near Nueva Segovia are not fertile, being plagued with fierce winds, which, sweeping over them without any defense, do them great damage. The inhabitants, however, are very ingenuous and simple. When they sometimes came to Nueva Segovia to do their poor little trading, the hearts of the religious were grieved when they saw those people of a natural disposition so excellent, so humble and peaceable; while their souls were left totally without assistance because they were poor and few, and widely scattered over many islands in the midst of the sea, without hope that any other preachers would undertake their conversion if our religious neglected them. They had a Spanish encomendero, who went duly every year to demand his tribute from them; but he paid no attention to providing them with Christian teaching, civilization, or justice. He saw them only when he collected his tribute, without caring about them all the rest of the year, and without trying to do them any good, as he was bound to do. The religious had many times conferred about the conversion of these poor people, but their purposes had never taken effect until this year, when the religious came from España; and then preachers were sent to them. That it might be possible to reach them, the inhabitants of many islands were gathered on one, where they could more conveniently be taught; they were baptized, and became very good Christians. In this way the great labor was somewhat diminished, and the religious were enabled to bear the almost total absence of comfort [93]among them; for they were imprisoned on a small island from which during many months of the year it was impossible to have any communication with other people. The land was so scanty and in every way so poor that it did not produce even enough rice for the food of the inhabitants; but yielded only borona and other grains of less excellence than rice, or even something inferior to this. The people generally sustained themselves on roots, potatoes, and such things. If this fails, as often happens, it is necessary for the religious to support them by giving them the little they themselves have, and asking alms from the other convents of Nueva Segovia. All this was evident before the religious went to convert them, as was also the inconvenience which results if the religious are ill—as they must inevitably be much of the time—for there is no physician there, nor are there any medicines; and for nearly half the year it is not possible for a religious to go thence to be cared for where he can have them, or even to send a letter. During this period this sea is not navigable, for it is very stormy; and the boats which they have there, being the boats of poor persons, are small. Yet all this, and the fact that those natives have a different language from all the rest, and many other inconveniences which they suffered there, the religious bore with pleasure, being good and devout Christians. They are in two little villages, with a church and a convent in each, sufficient for its needs. Though the Indians provided the labor, all the rest was a gift which the religious had made and are making to them. Since they had religious, there have been several attacks of smallpox in various years, which is almost like a plague among the Indians—attacking [94]practically all of them, and being very fatal. On these occasions great numbers of baptized children have gone to heaven; and there have been many cases of the special providence with which the Lord takes hence those who are predestinated. The love and devotion with which the ministers strive for their salvation is so great that he only who has seen it can believe it. On the one hand the people were good Christians, humble and devout, and on the other hand so poor and needy that it seemed as if the people and their country had been rejected by all lands and men. Hence the religious, taking them in charge, pitied their miseries and strove to provide relief for them in both their temporal and their more important spiritual necessities. Thus, in times of need, the religious have come to Nueva Segovia to ask alms from house to house, sometimes undergoing manifest danger of drowning to help these Indians. As for their souls, the care which they take of them may be inferred from the following case. The principal minister, father Fray Jacintho de San Geronimo, learned that a poor woman was in the fields about to give birth to a child. She had not come to the village, as they commonly do, perhaps because she could not. The religious pitied her, and went to find her and bring her to the town, so that in her need she might find someone to help her when she should be delivered. With all this solicitude it took him some days to find her, so far away from all companionship did she live. When she had been brought to the village she was provided for by the religious, and brought forth two children. They were baptized by the religious, and both died within a short time, going to enjoy God forever because of the devoted [95]care given to them by their spiritual father while their natural parents left them on the road to perdition; for without doubt they would have been lost, if the religious had not had the mother brought to the village for her delivery.

[Contents]

Chapter XIIII

The capture of father Fray Juan de Santo Domingo, and his happy death in prison in Japon

[After the death of Safioye, other enemies of Christianity held the government of Nagasaki. With great acuteness the persecutors set about capturing the religious who were concealed in the city. On the thirteenth of December, 1618, they found two convents and captured four religious, two of our order, Fray Angel Ferrer and Fray Juan de Sancto Domingo, with some Japanese. At the same time they captured Father Carlos Espinola and Brother Ambrosio Hernandez of the Society of Jesus, with their Portuguese landlord. The fathers, on being interrogated, confessed who they were. The two Japanese youths, the servants of the religious, whom the judges desired to set free, insisted that they were Christians, and declared that they were not ignorant of the profession of the religious, so that the judges were obliged to imprison them. The Japanese Christians crowded in and shouted, and some of them made a bold confession of faith. The persecution of the Christians throughout the kingdom of Japon increased greatly in severity, but the Christians protected the fathers and did not give them up. Even in the midst of the persecution many were converted and baptized, and other religious came into the kingdom [96]to carry on the work. The fathers in prison were treated with great severity. Father Fray Juan de Sancto Domingo fell ill in prison, and finally died there. His imprisoned brethren desired to keep his body as that of a saint; but, being unable to do so, cut off a foot and a hand, keeping them for their comfort. The Japanese took the body, intending to burn it and to scatter the ashes in the sea; but though they built a great funeral pyre they were unable to burn it, and finally threw it into the ocean, weighted with chains. The holy martyr was a native of Castilla la Vieja, of the region of Campos near Sanabria, and assumed the habit in the convent of San Estevan at Salamanca. He came to this holy province in the year 1601. He was assigned to the ministry of Bataan, where he learned the language quickly, as he did also the language of Pampanga. Hence he was sent to Pangasinan, where he learned a third Indian language. When he was afterward sent to preach the holy gospel in the kingdom of Corea, he remained in Japon to assist the afflicted Christians there, being persuaded to do so by the holy Fray Francisco de Morales. He was engaged in the occupation of learning the Japanese language when he was captured by the persecutors.]

[Contents]

Chapter XV

The intermediate chapter, and the death of father Fray Juan de Leyva

In the year of our Lord 1619 the intermediate chapter in the term of father Fray Melchior de Mançano was held, on the twentieth of April, in the convent of our father St. Dominic at Nueva Segovia. [97]In it many important ordinances were passed, which were of assistance in supporting the observance of the rules and in making illustrious our order. This was the first provincial chapter held in that province [i.e., of Nueva Segovia], and it was accordingly conducted with much dignity and was attended by many of the religious of this province. Their number was great, but greater was the divine Providence and the paternal affection with which the Lord sustained them, showing forth His greatness so plainly that it was obvious to all that He it was who provided the religious with their daily food. [During the session of the chapter, there was a wonderful catch of excellent fish called taraquitos.16 On this occasion they were so large that they weighed ninety libras, and so abundant that they sufficed not only for the whole chapter, but for all the Spaniards. All that beheld this were amazed, because the fish of this kind which had hitherto been caught there were but few and small, never weighing more than four libras. No fish so large, and no such numbers of these fish, had been seen before, or were seen afterwards. The very Chinese fishermen who were heathen were the most amazed; for being desirous of continuing the fishery for gain after the close of the chapter, they did not catch a single fish of this kind.]

In this provincial chapter was received and incorporated into the province the college of Sancto Thomas at Manila, which had been in process of erection for some years, and was now ready to be [98]occupied. The first man to plan this great work was the archbishop of Manila, Don Fray Miguel de Benavides. Being a learned and a holy man, he was grieved that there was in his province no fixed and regular school of learning—as there was not at that time, the fathers contenting themselves with carrying on instruction when there was need of it. This was only when among the religious who came from España there were some who had not finished their studies; and in such cases they were given to masters to teach them. The places of masters were filled with as much system as in the schools in España, by the fathers Fray Juan Cobo, Fray Juan de San Pedro Martyr, Fray Francisco de Morales, and others. When the religious had completed their courses, the schools were brought to an end; and the masters with their pupils, who were now sufficiently instructed, went to preach the gospel to these peoples. This was the end for which schools were established, and for which both pupils and teachers had come from España, many of them leaving behind them the chairs from which they lectured—coming here not to lecture, but to convert souls. All this did not satisfy the great mind and the charitable heart of the archbishop. He declared that lecturing and teaching were matters of great importance in the Order of St. Dominic, and were ordained to a lofty end; and that they had as their purpose not only ministering and preaching the gospel, but also the creation of ministers and preachers, which is a superior and creative work, as the degree of the bishops is superior to that of the priests. Therefore, though the priests have the lofty duty of consecrating and offering the most sacred body of Christ, the bishops are those who [99]make these priests. Likewise the lecturers and masters of theology in this land surpass the ministers and preachers of the gospel, since with their teaching they make them fit for this very office. On this account lecturers might well come from España to lecture in this country, to their own great advantage; since in España they make preachers for that kingdom, where there is not so great a need of persons to preach, and where the effect of their sermons is not so great or so certain as here. Further—and this he repeated many times—our constitutions, made after consideration and reflection upon this matter, require that there should be no convent of ours in which there is not a doctor or master who is actually engaged in teaching; they require that in the provinces there shall be organized, settled, and permanent schools of higher learning. Hence, as our province lays so great stress upon the observance of our sacred constitutions, it ought not to regard itself as released from the obligation to carry out this one. This requirement, as is evident from the constitutions themselves, is one of the most important and one for which a very special observance and regard is commanded. With this argument he convinced the minds of the religious, and they began to try to establish the schools. The death of the archbishop soon occurred, after he had held his office for only two years. He did what he could by leaving to this work his library and all that he had, the whole of which, as befitted one vowed to poverty, came to only two thousand pesos. However, it did much toward making a beginning to this holy and necessary work. This institution was so beneficial to his archbishopric that it may be said that since it was established there are [100]competitors for benefices, who have studied so that they may be able to hold them; while previously there were no such persons, and even no persons who desired to study—because, since no one had studied, it was necessary to appoint men to benefices, even if they had not learning. On this account they did not understand the obligation which rested upon them if they received the benefices, and were unwilling to spend time or labor upon study when they could obtain benefices without. Since the establishment of this college there are competitors for benefices who have studied; and hence those who come into competition with them are obliged to study—being certain that a benefice will not be taken away from a good student to give it to one who has no knowledge. After this good beginning made by the archbishop, the province entrusted to the holy Fray Bernardo de Sancta Catalina the care of this work. Since he was beloved and esteemed by all, there were many to aid him with great benefactions. Everything that was given was bestowed without any conditions, though the college keeps these benefactions in memory—feeling obliged to commend the benefactors to God all the more carefully, on account of the confidence in the religious which they showed. This was so great that they asked for no more security than their own knowledge that the religious would do this for them, which was without doubt a better security than any other that they could ask in return for their benefactions. The building was begun and the college was founded during the term of the father provincial Fray Baltasar Fort. The title of founder was given to him who was the cause of the foundation and who gave the first gift for that purpose. This was, as [101]has been said, the archbishop Don Fray Miguel de Venavides, as appears from the document of foundation which is in the same college. Some years later the bishop of Nueva Segovia, Don Fray Diego de Soria, being near to death, left to the college his library, and three thousand eight hundred pesos which he possessed. With this sum the building was continued, and in this year [i.e., 1619] on the day of the Assumption of our Lady, twelve lay collegians entered on residence. Father Fray Balthasar Fort was appointed as rector, with two lecturers in theology, one in arts, and one in grammar; and the college was opened with great formality, and with the same care and attention as in the best institutions in España. The lecturers and the rector had all been trained in distinguished schools belonging to our religious order; and they carried on their lectures, conferences, and other academic exercises in the same manner in which they had followed the courses in España. The same system has been persevered in and carried further. Afterward, to encourage the students, the sanction of his Majesty and a brief from the supreme pontiff were obtained, granting this college authority to give all the degrees which are given in other universities, with all the privileges which the graduates of those universities have throughout the Indias. The students have performed their exercises for graduation as brilliantly as they could be performed in the best conducted universities in España; and the examination is regarded as even more rigorous, in the judgment of many persons of authority who have seen both of them. The income of the college has increased steadily with the course of time, in proportion to the number of collegians, [102]of whom there are now usually about thirty; and in buildings, income, and instruction, the college may compete with the finest in España.

[In the month of October in the same year, father Fray Juan de Leyva died in the province of Nueva Segovia. Father Fray Juan was a native of La Rioja, and was born in a village named Grañon. He lost his mother when he was a very young child, but had been so carefully trained in the devotion of our Lady, that he immediately chose her as his mother. He left his own country while very young, and went to Madrid, the country of all, being commended to an honorable person who took him thence to Valencia del Cid. Here by the death of his benefactor or from some other cause he was left alone, a child of twelve in a strange country. He determined to make his way back to Madrid on foot. He reached the convent of our Lady at Atocha, where he was overcome with fatigue. In response to his prayers, our Lady opened the way to him to enter the convent of our Lady at Atocha, by the patronage of a noble person. He was an excellent student, and as such was sent to our college of Sancto Thomas at Alcala. Here in the year 1605 he heard the voice that called him to the mission of the Philippinas, and he was most humble and obedient. After he had begun to study the language of the Chinese in the mission of Binondoc, he was called upon to go to Nueva Segovia because of the need of religious there; and he uncomplainingly obeyed, without giving a thought to the great amount of labor which he had given to learning the new language which he now laid aside. He succeeded well with the language of Nueva Segovia, although on account of his age it was difficult for him to learn it. [103]He was most devoted to the care of the altars, the adornment of the church, and the holy sacraments. When he gave extreme unction, he was accustomed to wash with his own hands the feet of the Indian who was to receive the sacrament. He never entrusted the lamp of the most holy sacrament to boys, but himself provided it with oil, raised the wick, and cleaned the vessel. He was most constant in prayer, adding an hour to the two hours universally observed in the province; and he usually made this hour so long that it lasted from one to five, at which time he went to complines. He was so sparing in eating that the little which he ate at a meal often lasted him for twenty-four hours, so that in time his stomach came to be so reduced in size that any little thing overloaded it. He was prior of the convent of Manila, and definitor in a provincial chapter. Being elected as procurator, he was unable to fulfil his office, inasmuch as the vessel in which he was to go did not sail. He therefore returned to his Indians in Nueva Segovia. Here by his hand the Lord wrought miraculous works, granting children to childless parents and healing the sick. He died a holy death, and was honorably mentioned in the provincial chapter that followed.]

Toward the end of November in this year, on St. Andrew’s day, a terrible earthquake occurred in these islands. It extended from Manila to the extreme limits of the province of Nueva Segovia, a distance of two hundred leguas. This earthquake, which was such as had never been seen before, did great damage throughout all of this region and made a great impression. In the province of Ylocos palm-trees were buried, leaving only their tops above the ground. Some mountains struck against others, with [104]the great force of the earthquake, overthrowing many buildings and killing people. Its greatest violence was in Nueva Segovia, where the mountains opened and new fountains of water were uncovered. The earth vomited out great masses of sand, and trembled so that people could not stand on their feet, but sat on the ground; and were as seasick on land as if they had been in a ship at sea in a storm. In the high lands of the Indians named Mandayas17 a mountain fell and, catching a village below it, overwhelmed it and killed the inhabitants. One large tract of land near the river which previously had contained little mountains, as it were, most of it being at a considerable elevation, sank downward, and is now almost level with the margin of the water. The movement in the bed of the river was so great that it raised waves like those at sea, or such as are aroused by the blasts of a furious wind. The stone buildings suffered the greatest damage. Our church and convent in the city were totally overthrown, the very foundations giving way in places, because of the sinking of the earth. It was no small comfort to be able to find the most holy sacrament in this most pitiful ruin, with the consecrated loaves unbroken and unharmed. There were nine religious at that time in the convent, [105]three of whom were outside of the house—the rest escaping, not without a special providence of God. Father Fray Ambrosio de la Madre de Dios was protected in the arch of a window, everything on all sides of him having fallen. There were persons who declared that they had seen above the walls of the enclosure a matron in the dress and mantle which our Lady is accustomed to wear. It was no new thing for the sovereign princess to come to the protection of her friars in their great distress; but because of the great disturbance, and the carelessness ordinarily shown about such things in religious orders, the verification of these facts was neglected. Only one religious, named Fray Juan de San Lorenço,18 who was sick in bed, had his arm broken by a beam which fell upon it; and only one Indian boy who was waiting upon him was killed. This religious lived for some years, and offered a noble example of patience in enduring the cruel miseries and the terrible pains occasioned by the blow, of which he finally died.

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Chapter XVI

Some very virtuous fathers who died at this time

[In the hospice belonging to the province in the City of Mexico, there died at this time father Fray Athanasio de Moya, a near relative of the holy archbishop of Valencia, Don Fray Thomas de Villanueva. He assumed the habit in the royal convent of Sancta Cruz at Segovia, where he showed great courage and devotion in the great plague of 1599. [106]In 1601 he came to this province, and was assigned to the ministry of Bataan. From here he was sent back to care for the hospice of San Jacintho at Mexico, where he constantly followed the rigorous rules of the province of the Philippinas.

In the next vessels which left for Nueva España the superior of this province sent father Fray Juan Naya to take the place of the father who had just died. The Lord, who had carried father Fray Juan throughout his life through great sufferings, ordained that he should not fight the last fight in the delightful clime of Mexico; and hence was pleased to take him to himself before the voyage to Nueva España was concluded. He was a native of Aragon, and assumed the habit of the order in our convent of San Pedro Martyr at Calatayud. His proficiency and scholarship was such, and such was his virtue, that he was appointed master of novices while still very young. The Lord wrought miracles through him. He cast out a demon from a sick woman in España; was miraculously protected from death on the island of Guadalupe; and was delivered from an illness which afflicted him in the Philippinas, by [making a vow to our Lady, as follows:] “I, Fray Juan Naya, being afflicted by this severe infirmity, and seeing that I am very much hindered from carrying on the ministry for which I came from España, vow and promise, as humbly and devoutly as I may, to the most blessed Virgin Mary, my Lady, that I will minister to the Indians in this ministry, remaining and assisting in it at the command of my superior, in reverence and honor for this most sacred Virgin, my Lady, for seven continuous years from the day of her Visitation, the second of July, 1605, [107]if she will deign to obtain for me from her most holy Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, comfortable and sufficient health for me to be able to accomplish that which is necessary in this ministry; and I vow that, if I shall gain this health, I will exercise the ministry.” This humble supplication was heard at that tribunal of mercy, and our Lady of Compassion granted him his health so completely that at the end of the month he was well and strong enough to learn the language, and in three months was fit to render service and labor in it. As a memorial of this marvelous goodness, he kept this vow written in his breviary, and, as often as he read it there, he used always to give devout thanks to her who had gained that health for him; and with great devotion he fulfilled his vow, to the great gain of the Indians in this province. At the end of the seven years he was afflicted with a flux of the bowels, with abundance of blood; and on the same day of the Visitation he made another vow to serve four years more in the ministry in the honor of this Lady. He received complete health, so that he was able to labor in it for that time and much longer, as one of the best of the ministers of religion, giving a great example of holiness and virtue wherever he was. When he was living in the district of Ytabes, in a village of that province named Tuao, he was once burying a dead man in the cemetery when a venomous snake came out from the grass and, amid the noise and alarm of the people, entered between his leg and his breeches—which was an easy thing for the snake to do, since these garments are worn loose in this province and resemble polainas.19 Although the Indians, who knew how [108]poisonous the snake was, cried out and gave him over for dead, father Fray Juan continued with the act which he was performing, because of his duty as a religious, until he had finished burying the Indian; and then, putting his hand in his breeches, he caught the snake by the neck, and drew it out and threw it away, without receiving any harm from it. [When father Fray Juan was vicar of Yrraya, and was living in a village called Abuatan, a fire broke out. Father Fray Juan threw himself on his knees and prayed that the fire should turn away from the village, as it did—making its way straight toward the tambobos, or granaries where the Indians kept their food, the loss of which would have been a greater damage than the burning of the village. In response to the prayers of father Fray Juan, the wind fell and the fire ceased. On one occasion his guardian angel came to accompany him in his prayers. When he was assigned to the vicariate of San Jacintho at Mexico, he embarked in the flagship sent back that year, in which more than sixty persons died because of the hardships and length of the voyage. Father Fray Juan was attacked by some malignant fevers, and when he asked for extreme unction, on the day of St. John the Evangelist, the sailors were so much alarmed at the fear of losing his prayers that they declared that if he died they would not continue their voyage, but would go back to the island of the Ladrones, that they might not perish in the dreadful storms to which they would be exposed if they had [109]not the aid and comfort of father Fray Juan. At the demand of the sailors, the general asked father Fray Juan if they should continue their voyage. The sick man was grieved at being asked that which was reserved for God alone; but he was persuaded to tell what God had given him to know, and made a sign for them to go on. His poor possessions were shared among those of the ship as precious relics; and on the octave of St. John, on the third of January, 1620, a fair wind began to blow. The sailors cried out joyfully: “Father Fray Juan has seen God, and has sent us fair weather.” On the seventh of the same month, they began to descry signs of land coming from the coast of Nueva España, whereupon they regarded as fulfilled that which the holy religious had promised them.

Father Fray Gaspar Zarfate was a native of the City of Mexico, and assumed the habit and professed in the convent of that city. He was a teacher of the arts in the convent at Puebla de los Angeles, whence he volunteered to come to this province. He reached the islands in 1595, and was one of the first founders of Christianity in the province of Nueva Segovia. Here he labored much, with great results. He devoted himself to the study of the language of the Indians in that region, and his attainments in it were very great. He was the first to make a grammar of this language, and he knew a very large number of words in it. Thus he opened the way for the other religious, that they might as a result of his labors more easily learn this language, and preach the holy gospel in it. He was most penitent and devoted to prayer; and so completely master of his passions that, though by nature he was very choleric, he [110]seemed excessively phlegmatic. At one time when he was vicar of Camalaniugan an Indian saw our father St. Dominic praying in his company, and surrounded by light from heaven. In the village of Nasiping it was said that father Fray Gaspar had raised a child from the dead. The verification of this matter was neglected, but father Fray Gaspar’s reputation for sanctity was such that no one regarded the statement as incredible. He was made preacher-general of the province, in which there was only one such preacher. He was definitor, vicar-provincial, and twice prior of the convent of Manila, in which city he had the name of “the holy prior.” He suffered greatly from a urinary disease, from which he finally died. He received honorable mention on the records of the provincial chapter during this same year.]

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Chapter XVII

The election as provincial of father Fray Miguel Ruiz, and events in the province at this time

On the first of May, 1621, father Fray Miguel Ruiz was elected as provincial, to the great satisfaction of the province. He was a son of the royal convent of Sancta Cruz at Segovia; and at the time of his election was prior of the convent of Manila, which position he had held twice. He exhibited in it and in other important dignities the excellent qualities which are desired in a good superior—much virtue and learning, great prudence, and natural gravity and kindness, which, while rendering him much beloved, did not allow others to lose respect for him. In this chapter many ordinances were [111]enacted which were helpful for the quiet and calm of the religious. During this year two religious went from Nueva Segovia to Japon, and, after having suffered much in that kingdom, they had the fortunate end of glorious martyrdom—being burnt alive by a slow fire, as will be seen later. A fortunate provincialate was promised because it had begun so joyfully; for at that time the verification of a most famous miracle wrought by our Lady of the Rosary was being concluded. She went, in her holy image which she had in the convent of Manila, to give aid. (as she did most marvelously) to a votary of hers by the name of Francisco Lopez, who called upon her in the extreme necessity of his soul. The narrative, with the most marvelous circumstances which accompanied her act, has already been given in the part of this history which treats of the foundation of this convent—where something has also been narrated with regard to the great deeds of this most holy image, and some account has been given of the innumerable miracles which it has wrought and still works. Among them this, which was the most famous, has been described.20 On account of it, this most holy image was brought out during the procession which was made to the cathedral on the first Sunday of the chapter-meeting, and with its beauty and the special joy of that day, the city was filled with delight and devotion. The miracle was made the subject of sermons, and was painted upon a canvas, and thus the devotion of all to this sovereign lady was greatly increased; and she, as if by grace omnipotent, from that day forward conferred more [112]and greater favors on her votaries. She so greatly multiplied the working of manifest miracles that, although many of them have been recounted in the place referred to, there were incomparably more which were omitted on account of their number; and she has never ceased and will never cease to work the like marvels, until the devotion of this city for her shall cease. This provincialate was also very happy in the great number of holy martyrs which the province had during it. A detailed account of them will be given, so far as we have been able to learn the facts, though many great and edifying matters must remain in silence because the disturbances of the persecution gave no opportunity for verifying them. Yet that which is certain is so much that it alone would be sufficient to give glory to an entire religious order; and how much more to a small province—so small that there were many convents in España which alone contained more religious than this entire province. Under all these circumstances, for the Lord to give so many and so great saints to it is a special mercy; and however much we may strive to praise and give thanks for it, our praise and gratitude will never reach the obligation, which is far and beyond measure above our feeble strength.

All these new causes of joy were necessary to temper the sorrow caused among the religious of this province by the rising of a large number of Indians, which happened on the sixth of November in this year in the most distant parts of the province of Nueva Segovia, in the region known as Yrraya. On the Friday before, a very large and beautiful cross had been set up in the court or cemetery of the church in the largest village there, which was called Abuatan. [113]At this time the Indians gave every evidence of joy and pleasure and even of devotion to the Lord who redeemed us on the cross; but on the following Sunday, instigated by the devil, they burnt their churches and villages, and avowed themselves enemies of the Spaniards, and even of God, whom they left that they might return to their ancient sites to serve the devil in exchange for the enjoyments of the liberties and vices of their heathen state. Practically all those in this village, and many of those in another near it called Pilitan, belonged to a tribe called Gadanes.21 This tribe was always regarded as one on a lower plane of civilization than the others, and more devoted to freedom, and enemies to subjection; for they were a race bred in the most distant mountains and the wildernesses of that province, and they had less communication and commerce than did the other tribes—not only with the Spaniards, but even with the rest of the Indians. It was these Gadanes, then, who became restless, and disquieted the other inhabitants of that region, though these others had always been very faithful to God and the Spaniards. They had even sustained many bloody wars with the neighbors by whom they were surrounded that they might not be lacking in the friendship [114]which they had with the Spaniards, or in the subjection which they had promised them. But now these revolted and joined the insurgents, partly as the result of force applied by the Gadanes—for the latter greatly excelled them in numbers, and caught them unprepared for defense—and partly also carried away by their own natural desire for liberty, to which they were invited by the safety of the mountains to which they proposed to go. The mountains, being very rough, offered opportunities for easy defense; and, being very fertile, promised them an abundant living. The Gadanes had planned this revolt far ahead, and had appointed a day for it to occur some time later. Their purpose was to try to get back first certain chiefs who were held as hostages in the city of the Spaniards; and they had already sent there one of their chiefs, named Saquin, who had the influence of a father over the rest, that he might bring away these chiefs, with great dissimulation and pretended arguments of necessity. It happened that the father vicar of Abuatan had grown weary of his work, and wished to resign his office. He had gone down at that time to the city to ask the father provincial, who happened to be there then, to give this office to someone else and to permit him to take some rest by being under his directions. The Gadanes, accused by their own bad consciences, supposed that he had detected their purpose of rising, and had gone down to ask for soldiers to prevent it. In fear of interference, they hastened on their treacherous act; and, without waiting for the appointed period, or for the return of him who had gone down for the hostages (their relatives), they decided to rise at once. Without further deliberation [115]or delay, they began active operations. Father Fray Alonso Hernandez, who was at Abuatan, heard the tumult; and being above measure sad at what was happening, he tried his best to quiet them. He told them how foolish their proceedings were, and how they were deceived by the devil, not only as to the good of their souls, but also as to the many temporal advantages, which they possessed in their trade, with the Spaniards as well as with the rest of the Indians—in which they gained so much that they were the richest and most prosperous Indians in all that region. All this, he said, and their own quiet, peace, and comfort would be destroyed by their rising; while if they would keep quiet they would preserve it all, for he assured them that no harm would happen to them for what they intended to do. But the chiefs who led the insurgents said to him that he should not waste his time by talking about this; and that it was now too late, since they were determined to carry on what they had begun. “What is it that moves you,” said the religious, “to so imprudent an act? If the religious have done you any wrong, you have me here in your power; revenge it upon me, take my life in pay for it, and do not cast away your souls.” “It is not because of any wrong from the religious, or resentment toward them,” said the Indians, “but because we are weary of the oppressive acts of the Spaniards. Depart hence in peace; for though it is true that our rising is not against the religious, we cannot promise that some drunken Indian may not try to take off your head.” The religious perceived the obstinacy of the Gadanes, and the fact that arguments would be useless in this matter, and went away to watch over the village of Pilitan, which was under [116]his care. He found it quiet, but that peace continued for a very short time; for presently—this was early Sunday morning—he heard a very great noise and a loud Indian war-cry. They came in a crowd, after their ancient custom, naked, and thickly anointed with oil, and with weapons in their hands. It was the insurgents from Abuatan, coming to force the Indians of Pilitan to join the uprising, in order that they might have more strength to resist the Spaniards when the latter should make war upon them to bring them to subjection. One of the chiefs who were leading the insurgents, named Don Phelippe Cutapay, a young man of about twenty-three, came forward. He had been brought up from infancy in the church with the religious, and when he was a mere child had aided in mass as sacristan, and afterward as cantor; and at this time he was governor of Abuatan. He went direct to the church to speak to the religious, intending to inform him as to what they were about to do, and to advise him to go down the river, for fear that someone might get beyond control and harm him. While he was talking with the religious in the cloister, his elder brother, named Don Gabriel Dayag, who was acting as guide to the others, came in. Being somewhat nervous and excited, he approached the religious with little courtesy; Cutapay rebuked him for the way in which he was acting, saying to him that he should remember that he was before the father, to whom he owed more respect. The elder brother answered: “Cutapay, if our minds are divided we shall do nothing;” however, he grew calm and behaved respectfully in the presence of the religious. The shouting increased, and there were now in the courtyard of the church about [117]eight hundred Indians armed and prepared for battle. The religious roused his courage, and, laying aside all fear, went out to them; and standing in the midst of this multitude, as a sheep among wolves, he caused them to sit down, and addressed them for more than an hour. He urged upon them what would be for their good, and strove to persuade them to see the great error into which they were falling. Among other things in the utterances which the Lord is accustomed to impart under such circumstances, he said: “My sons, among whom I have so long been, and to whom I have so many years preached the true doctrine, which you ought to follow, and have taught you that which you ought to observe for the good of your souls, I am greatly grieved to see the mistaken path which you take, casting yourselves over precipices where destruction is certain, and from which your rescue is difficult. If your wish to run away is on account of the bad treatment which you have received from us religious—and from me in particular, as being less prudent than others—here you have me alone and defenseless. Slay me then, slay me, and do not cast away your souls. Let me pay with my life the evil which you are about to do; and do not lose your faith and your hope of salvation, nor pay in hell for the sin of this uprising, and for the many sins which you will add to it in your revolt.” Some of them made the same answer as before; that they had not done this because of ill-will toward the religious; but on the contrary, they felt for them affection and love, and therefore did not intend to do them any harm. This they said was plain because, although they had him alone in the midst of them, no one was rude to him, but even in the midst of the tumult [118]showed him respect. “The reason of our uprising,” they said, “is that we are weary of the oppressions of the Spaniards; and if you or any other religious desire to come to our villages, any one of you may come whenever he pleases, providing he does not bring a Spaniard.” The religious responded by offering that the Spaniards would do them no harm, especially for what they had already done, promising himself to remain among them as security, so that they might take away his life if the least harm should come to them from that cause. But they were very far indeed from accepting this good advice; and some of them went away and set fire to some houses, upon which a great outcry arose in the village. Cutapay stood up and greatly blamed what had been done, saying that it was very ill considered and a daring outrage to set fire. “I call your attention,” he said, “to the fact that the father is in the village; and so long as he is here nothing should be done to grieve him;” and he commanded people to go and put out the fire and to calm the village. The religious began to preach to them again; but, though there were so many people before him, he was preaching in the desert, and hence could accomplish nothing with them. They asked the father to depart, and to take with him the silver and ornaments of the sacristy of this church and of that of Abuatan. This was no small generosity from an excited body of insurgents. They provided him with boats, and men to row them, and the friars went down the river to the friendly villages. The insurgents immediately began to commit a thousand extravagances. They set fire to the houses, they drank, and they annoyed the people in the village. If any were unwilling to join them, they [119]threatened them with death by holding lances to their breasts. The result was that many joined them, being forced by the fear of instant death, and waiting for a better time when they could again have religious. A few of them succeeded in hiding, and going down the river after the fathers, some leaving their sons and others their fathers. There was one chief who, despising his wealth and his gold, left it all and came with the religious, taking with him only his wife. His name was Don Bernabe Lumaban. Doña Agustina Pamma, who was a member of one of the most noble families of the region and the wife of one of the chiefs, hid herself in a marsh—standing in it up to her neck that she might be left behind, and might go to a Christian village. However, she was discovered, and was taken along by the insurgents. But the Lord did not fail to reward her pious desires, for within a few years she accomplished them, and lived for a long time, as she desired, in the church. The insurgents did not cease until they had roused all the villages in their vicinity. As men abandoned of God and directed by the devil, they were guilty of horrible sacrileges. In the village of Abuatan they sacked the church and the sacristy, and made a jest and derision of the things which they found there. They treated irreverently that which they had a little before reverenced: the women put on the frontals as petticoats [sayas], and of the corporals and the palls of the chalices they made head-kerchiefs. They dressed themselves in the habits of the religious, and even went so far as to lose their respect for the image of the Virgin. The feet and hands of this image were of ivory, and it was one of the most beautiful in all that province and in all the islands. There [120]was one man who dared to give it a slash across the nose, saying, “Let us see if she will bleed.” They also committed other sacrileges, and even greater ones, as a barbarous tribe of apostates. Afterward an Indian, finding an opportunity to flee from them to a Catholic region, did so; and he went not alone, for he carried with him the holy image of the Virgin of the Rosary which had been slashed across the face. Although it was received with great rejoicings by the Christians, they could but shed many tears to see it so outraged. All this grieved the hearts of the religious who had trained and taught them, and who now saw them lost irremediably and without reason; for although they said that they could not endure the oppressions of the Spaniards, these were not so great but that the profit which the Indians gained by their commerce with them was very much greater. The man who at that time used to collect the tributes was so kind a man and so good a Christian that, confident of his own innocence and of the fact that he had never wronged them, he went up when he heard this news, to try to bring them back by argument; but they no sooner saw him than they killed him.

One of those who were most grieved by this disastrous uprising was father Fray Pedro de Sancto Thomas, for he had dwelt for a long time among this tribe, and had been the vicar and superior of those churches, and loved each one of the insurgents as his spiritual son. Hence this misfortune hurt his soul, and he determined to strive to remedy this great evil as completely as he could, without shrinking from any danger or effort for the purpose. The places where the insurgents had betaken themselves [121]had been selected as particularly strong and secure, and were in the midst of mountains so high and so craggy that they might be defended from the Spaniards, if the latter should try to bring them back or to punish them. Hence the journey to them was long and excessively difficult. Yet in spite of this, without hesitating at the hardships of the road, and at the great danger which he ran by passing through villages of other Indians—with whom he was not acquainted, and who were generally looking out for an opportunity to cut off some head without running any risk—he made his way through everything, went among them alone, and tried to arrange for bringing them back, and made agreements with them. No Spaniard dared appear among them, for they were certain to kill him, but father Fray Pedro was admitted and entertained; and in the following year, 1622, he brought back in peace with him some three hundred households of those who had rebelled. These had gone with the body of insurgents from the villages of Pilitan and Bolo. Most of them had been compelled to do so, as has been said, and they were accordingly brought back as a result of the earnest efforts and the courageous boldness of father Fray Pedro. Returning to a pacified region, they were settled at the mouth of the river of Maquila. After this was accomplished, he went further up the river of Balisi, where it was most difficult, with the alcade-mayor and the troops who were advancing against the rebels. He went before, trusting in God, to speak with the enemy; and he was so confident that he was able to say, like St. Martin among the highwaymen, that he had never had less fear in all his life, because fear had been taken from him by the [122]Lord, for whose sake he had placed himself in this situation. The leader of the revolted enemy, Don Gabriel Dayag, came to him and kissed his scapular with great reverence, and embraced him. Repenting for what he had done, Don Gabriel planned to return; and although at that time he did not carry out this project, he finally came down in peace later, and revealed to the father some ambuscades on the road in some dangerous passes where the Indians intended to kill the Spanish soldiers, which danger was avoided by his information. At that time this father was vicar-provincial, and, that he might be able to have more time to attend to these necessary and arduous labors, the provincial relieved him from the office—to the great satisfaction of father Fray Pedro, who esteemed most highly that which was most laborious and least honorable. He paid little attention to his bodily health, all his solicitude being given to the spiritual health of himself and his fellow-men. He treated himself very ill, and would take no comfort even when he needed it. He never complained when he was suffering from illness, until the increase of the disease obliged him to keep his bed, in a condition of such infirmity that, even when in bed, he was unable to move. The hardships which he endured at this time by going (always on foot) over very difficult paths were most trying. The heat of the sun was terrible; he was obliged to be awake much; and he had but little food, and that bad—so that nothing could be looked for except a severe illness or death. He was reduced to skin and bones, and yet he strove to give himself spirit to return to that destroyed vineyard, that he might restore it to its ancient beauty and verdure; but his exhausted strength was insufficient [123]to resist so severe a disease, and they accordingly had him carried down to be cared for in the city of Nueva Segovia. The medicines, however, came so late that he was no longer susceptible to them. Being nothing but skin and bone, he was like a living image of death. He was greatly grieved by his sickness, and his grief was greater since the disease immediately exhibited its deadly malice; yet it was not a rapid one, and hence he had time for preparation for the dreadful journey. He received the holy sacraments very calmly, and he made his confession quite at leisure. Since it was the last one, and there were now no stumbles to be feared, he declared that he went from this world in the virginal purity with which he had entered it. He died on the day of St. Peter the Apostle; on that day he assumed the religious habit; and finally, on that day he ended this miserable life, in the hope of going to eternal felicity by the aid of that same holy apostle, to whom he had always been devoted. This father was a son of the convent of Villaescusa, and, after a life in España in which he had a special reputation for virtue, he continued the same course in this province, with great spiritual progress, for more than twenty years. He was always beloved by all, and always distinguished in his labors for the spiritual good of his fellow-men—not only in Yrraya, but wherever he lived. This was especially true in the district of Malagueg, where another uprising occurred, and where, though he was in great danger of being slain by the insurgents, he showed great courage and readiness to die for the holy gospel. But here the Lord delivered him for more labors, greater merits, and higher glory. In the provincial chapter [124]which followed, the following record was entered on the minutes: “In the convent of our father St. Dominic at Nueva Segovia, died the reverend father Fray Pedro de Sancto Thomas, an aged priest and father, vicar of Yrraya. He was beloved by God and man, and most observant of the rules of the order; and, although he suffered from disease, yet he underwent the greatest hardships for the conversion of the Indians and for sustaining them in the faith.”

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Chapter XVIII

The voyage of the holy Fray Luis Flores to the kingdom of Japon

[Father Fray Luis Flores was for many years engaged in the ministry to the Indians of Nueva Segovia. Though his work was rewarded with much fruit, he felt that it was not such as he desired it to be; and he asked and received license to return to Manila, where, by devoting himself to prayer and the reading of holy books, his soul might obtain strength to be more fit for his labors. While he was living in the convent in great quietude of spirit, the news of the imprisonment of some of our religious in Japon reached Manila; and—like that Antonius who, in the time of Constantius the Arian emperor,22 left the desert and went to Alexandria to confound the heretics—father Fray Luis determined to leave his beloved quiet and to go to Japon. Having received permission to go on this enterprise, he departed [125]without having had any companion assigned to him. God provided one in the person of father Fray Pedro de Zuñiga,23 an Augustinian friar who had been driven from Japon at the time of the banishment of the religious. They embarked as secretly as they could, June 5, 1620. They dressed themselves in secular habits, and disguised themselves as completely as possible. They met with storms and contrary winds, and were obliged to land at Macan to renew their stores. They reëmbarked July 2, and on St. Magdalen’s day anchored off the island of Hermosa to get wood and water. They were still within sight of the island when they were captured by a ship of Dutch pirates. The Japanese, when they saw that these were Dutch, were at ease because of the peace between the Dutch and the Japanese; but the fathers and the two Spanish passengers aboard were in great fear, because of the mortal enmity between the Dutch and the Spanish. The Japanese tried to hide them in the cargo, which was almost entirely composed of the hides of deer, many of which are bought by the Japanese in the Philippinas to be made into breeches. The moisture caused the stench from the skins to be horrible, and the fathers suffered much from it during the day and night while they were there. The Dutch caught them and, suspecting them of being religious, offered them meat [126]to eat on Friday, and tried them with theological arguments. They also made prize of the ship and cargo, for carrying Spanish friars. There were seven other vessels, Dutch and English, with whom they divided their captives and their booty. The fathers were threatened with death, and the letters accrediting them to the religious orders in Japon were found. Although these were in cipher, they increased the suspicion against them. On the fourth of August they landed in the port of Firando in Japon, where the Dutch and English had their factories. They were subjected to a most rigorous imprisonment and to very severe treatment, being stripped to their waists with their hands tied behind their backs, and their feet fastened to some small cannon. The Spanish and Japanese Christians in Nangasaqui were greatly grieved when they heard of the imprisonment of the religious; and made plans to rescue them, which came to nothing. The Dutch were desirous of giving their prisoners to the emperor, for they wished, as he did, to root out Christianity from Japon, and at the same time to bring to an end all commerce between the Japanese and the Spaniards, hoping in this way to have the commerce to themselves, and caring nothing for the loss of all these souls.]

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Chapter XIX

The many efforts made for the rescue of the prisoners without any good results, and rather to their cost; the martyrdom of the prisoners.

[Several of the fathers who were in Japon made efforts to rescue the prisoners. At one time father Fray Pedro de Zuñiga and the two Spaniards were [127]slipped past the guard, but were soon caught again and driven back. When the Japanese sent to ask if they were religious, father Fray Luis sent an answer complaining of the Dutch for plundering the ship and taking him prisoner, and alleging that they were rebels and pirates. The Dutch, in anger, determined to force the father by torture to confess that he was a religious. They bound his body and let water drip upon a cloth over his face until he lost consciousness. The prisoners were afterward actually rescued from prison, but were soon caught again and were beaten. It may be asked how priests were justified in concealing the fact that they were priests. To this it may be answered, as St. Thomas says (22, sec. 3, art 2), that the priesthood is a free state, which may be assumed by anyone who desires; and when they were asked if they were priests or not, they had a right to conceal it, or to deny it in some good sense true according to their own meaning, without following the meaning of him who asked the question—which they were not bound to follow, because the question was unjust. In making this denial they did not deny that they were Christians. Indeed, they expressly confessed that; they denied only that they were fathers, as they were not in the natural sense. This declaration did not scandalize or injure the Japanese Christians. They were satisfied that it was not a lie, but a prudent and lawful artifice. As there is a time to be silent, there is also a time to speak, and as the evidence against father Fray Zuñiga became so strong that the truth could not be denied except to his own discredit, he confessed in December, 1621. Father Fray Pedro was then handed over to the Japanese to be put in prison; and father Fray Luis, seeing that nothing [128]would be gained by further concealment, confessed to the king of Firando that he was a religious of the Order of St. Dominic. The two friars were imprisoned on the island of Quinoxima. The other Christian prisoners were visited by a priest, a Japanese by nation, named Thomas Araqui, who had studied at Roma, but who upon his return to his own country had apostatized. He was laboring at Nangasaqui to induce the Christians to recant, that the work of persecution might be carried on with less bloodshed. On the seventeenth of August, the fathers and the Japanese who had tried to rescue father Fray Luis were taken to Nangasaqui. Here it was impossible to find Christians who would bring the wood for the pyre of the fathers; and finally the officials found some heathen of low life who lived among the brothels, who consented to do it.24 The apostate Thomas Araqui strove to pervert the fathers, and the holy prisoners were offered their lives if they would recant, but they boldly refused. Finally sentence was passed upon fifteen Christians. Three, including the fathers, were to be burnt alive, and the others were to be burnt after decapitation. On the following day, the twentieth of August, the sentence was executed in the presence of a great multitude. When the heads of the twelve were shown to the multitude in order to strike terror into the hearts of the Christians, the contrary result was attained, for they shouted aloud that the saints were happy and victorious. The Japanese by the name of Joachim who suffered the [129]extreme of torture with the fathers spoke boldly to the crowd, as the fathers did also. The death of the fathers came by noon; and this great multitude remained there all that time without breaking their fast, accompanying the saints with prayers and groans. At this time the women and children went home, while the men remained to obtain the holy relics, which were kept for five days that they might be shown to the Dutch as evidence that the sentence had been carried out. The Christians afterward secured the relics. His own holy religious order will take care to provide an account of Fray Pedro de Zuñiga. The holy Fray Luis Flores was a Fleming by nation, a native of Gante (i.e., Ghent). He went to España in company with his relatives, and from there to the Yndias, assuming the habit of the Order of St. Dominic in the convent of the illustrious City of Mexico. When he came to the Philipinas he was sent to the province of Nueva Segovia, where he was an excellent minister.]

[Contents]

Chapter XX

The captivity of other religious in Japon

[The first of the religious to join father Fray Thomas del Espiritu Sancto in prison was father Fray Angel Orsuchi, who called himself in España and here Ferrer, from devotion to the glorious St. Vincent. He was an Italian, a native of the distinguished city of Luca, in Toscana. He was born of noble ancestry and assumed the habit and was a student in the college of La Minerva at Roma. Seeing the great lack of ministers of the gospel in these regions, and the great devotion of this province, he [130]desired to enter it. For this purpose he went to España under color of pursuing his studies, that his voyage might not be hindered by his relatives or by the religious of his own province. He took advantage of his first opportunity to come to these regions from España, which was in the year 1601. He was assigned to Nueva Segovia, and after learning the language reaped a great harvest of converts. Being afflicted by a severe illness he returned to Manila, where his illness kept him for more than two years. After his recovery he went to the district of Bataan. The Lord restored his health to him in response to a vow. Father Fray Angel learned the language of Bataan, and ministered to the Indians of this region, without leaving it—except for a short time, when he went to Pangasinan as vicar-provincial—until he was assigned to the duty of superior of the hospice of our order in Mexico. In Mexico he advanced greatly in the things of the spirit, and after a time became very desirous of returning to this province. He took advantage of the opportunity offered him by the return to España of the superior of a company of religious, to take his place and to lead the religious to the Philippinas. In the following year, 1616, it was proposed to make him provincial, but he himself objected so strongly that he was not elected. Father Fray Angel was definitor at this chapter. The news of the sufferings of the Christians of Japon, and of the glorious martyrdoms of so many religious there, aroused in the mind of this blessed father such lively desires to go to the aid of these faithful and courageous Christians that he could neither sleep nor eat nor take any rest. He submitted his purposes to a religious of the Society of Jesus named Father Calderon, [131]who had been in Japon almost thirty years. This father approved his designs; and then father Fray Angel desired his superior to determine whether or not he should go—fearing, on the one hand, that his strength might not be sufficient for the purpose; and being, on the other, desirous of undertaking this glorious work. His superior accordingly commanded him to take the journey to Japon. He assumed a secular garb, and after many hardships and sufferings on the voyage reached Japon in August, 1618. While he was still studying the language he was captured by the ministers of Satan on St. Lucy’s day in December, at midnight. With him were also captured father Fray Juan de Sancto Domingo and a number of Japanese. The fathers admitted that they were religious, and were sent to the prison of Omura, where father Fray Thomas de Sancto Dominico and Fray Apolinario Franco, a Franciscan, had been confined for two years. They were commanded to lay aside their habits, which they had again assumed, and to dress in lay garments. It was intended to prevent the Japanese Christians from reverencing the fathers, but this act of the judges increased the devotion of the multitude. One of the most devoted of the fathers, father Fray Alonso de Mena, was betrayed on Thursday, March 14; and was bound and taken, with his landlord and a number of Japanese, before the judge. He admitted that he was a religious of the Order of St. Dominic. On the following day, they tortured a boy until he revealed the hiding-place of father Fray Francisco de Morales. He was immediately arrested. This caused much grief among the Japanese Christians, many of whom showed great courage and boldness [132]in confessing their faith. On the following Sunday, which was Palm Sunday, the two fathers were sent to the island of Yuquinoxima, where the holy martyrs, Fray Luis Flores and Fray Pedro de Zuñiga, had been burned. In spite of the efforts of the judges to prevent the faithful from venerating these holy prisoners, the pious Japanese showed the greatest devotion and reverence to them. The fathers were thus made happy in their prison; and father Fray Francisco de Morales sent home a letter to Manila rejoicing in his imprisonment—which was very severe, and in which they were subjected to great suffering for lack of proper food, from the discomfort of their lodging, and from the indecent and insulting behaviour of the guard. In the month of August all the prisoners were brought together to the prison of Omura, and they rejoiced to meet one another. Soon after was captured the holy Fray Joseph de San Jacintho. He was seized on the seventeenth of August, 1621; he confessed that he was a religious, and told his name. On August 19 he was brought ignominiously bound to the prison of Omura, followed by a crowd of sobbing Christians.]

[Contents]

Chapter XXI

The arrest of the holy Fray Jacintho Orfanel; the narrowness of his prison, and the great miseries of it; his martyrdom, and the marvelous fruits which followed from his captivity.

[Though most of the fathers had remained in the cities of the Japanese, others wandered through the mountains and in thinly populated places, where they suffered even greater hardships than the former [133]class, as they ministered to their faithful sons in those desolate regions. Among these was the holy Fray Jacintho Orfanel. Being lean, swarthy and tall, it was difficult for him to disguise himself, since the Japanese are generally short, broad-shouldered, and fair-skinned. Even if his secular habit had disguised him so far as his external appearance went, the modesty and gravity of his behaviour would have been sufficient to betray him. While he was resting in Nangasaqui for a time to recover from an illness, he was betrayed by a renegade Christian and arrested. Boldly avowing who he was, he was sent to the prison of Omura to join the rest of the prisoners, who received him with the Te Deum laudamus, as at the entry of a prince or papal legate. Merely to hear the description of their prison causes horror, it was so small and so wretched. The persecutors permitted them no materials for writing, and no implements made of iron, so that their nails and their hair grew long. They were not allowed to wash or to change their clothes. The guards were changed constantly, that they might form no friendship with the prisoners. This severity, which was intended to alarm the other ministers of the gospel who were in Japon, if there were any, had no such effect. The imprisoned Japanese showed the greatest courage, and their wives desired to follow them into their imprisonment. The captive Christians spent all that time in holy exercises, prayers, the singing of psalms, the keeping of the hours, and the celebration of the mass. The conduct of the Spanish prisoners was such as to overthrow the false opinion spread through Japon by the Dutch, that the fathers were spies of the king of España. Their sufferings and their martyrdom [134]encouraged the Christians in the faith. From the prison the fathers wrote encouraging letters to the suffering Christians of Japon. They also wrote to their brethren in Manila.]

[Contents]

Chapter XXII

The giving of the habit to three Japanese by the holy captives; and the martyrdom of the fathers Fray Francisco de Morales, Fray Alonso de Mena, Fray Angel Ferrer (or Orsuchi), Fray Jacintho Orfanel, Fray Joseph de San Jacintho, and two of those who had professed in prison (all members of the order), besides many others.

[The fathers, desiring those to be their equals in condition who were so in virtue, determined to give the habit to some of the holy Japanese, their companions. Three therefore, among those of the best capacity and the highest virtue, passed their novitiate in the prison, and at the end of their year professed. These saintly men feared that their penalty would be banishment, not death. On the ninth of September, 1622, the judges called before them many of the prisoners, offering them life and liberty if they would renounce Christianity, and at this time they brought before them some of the prisoners from Omura. As they came to Nangasaqui a great crowd of Christians came to welcome and escort them. On the following day, the martyrs were brought out to be slain; there were, in all, thirty-three. Before those who were condemned to the stake were burned, the others were decapitated in their sight. There were seven of our order in this company: fathers Fray Francisco de Morales, Fray Alonso de Mena, Fray Angel Orsuchi, [135]Fray Jacintho Orfanel, Fray Joseph de San Jacintho, and the lay brothers Fray Thomas del Rosario and Domingo (a donado),25 both Japanese. The two lay brothers were decapitated, and the fathers were burned at the stake, twenty-five men in all being burned. All the sufferers died with the most cheerful courage. The judges did all they could to keep the holy relics from being venerated by the Christians, some of whom lost their lives in the effort to obtain these.]

[Contents]

Chapter XXIII

The martyrdom of the holy Fray Thomas de Zumarraga, brother Fray Mancio de Sancto Thomas, and a Japanese; and those of other Japanese in Omura.

[Father Fray Thomas de Zumarraga and brother Fray Mancio de Sancto Thomas were greatly grieved that they should have been left behind when the other fathers and brethren went to martyrdom; but soon afterward their grief was taken away, and the door of the prison opened that they might go forth to be executed at Nangasaqui. It was no small grief to the saints not to see the Christians in the streets, who had withdrawn themselves from fear of the emperor’s edict. The martyrs died courageously. The holy Fray Francisco de Morales was a native of Madrid. He [136]assumed the habit in the convent of San Pablo at Valladolid, where he professed and began his studies. He was afterward a student in the college of San Gregorio in the same city, and became afterward a lecturer in arts in his own convent. Thence he went to the Philipinas, where he spent some time as a teacher of theology and as preacher to the Spaniards in the city of Manila. One Good Friday some Japanese happened to enter the church; and father Fray Francisco was so much affected by the sight that when he returned to his cell he was sighing and sobbing, and repeating, “To Japon, to Japon!” At the provincial chapter in the convent in 1602 he was prior, and was appointed definitor. At this time one of the subjects discussed was the answer to be made to the king of Satçuma, who had earnestly begged for friars of St. Dominic for his kingdom. The holy friar Fray Francisco de Morales was appointed superior to the missionaries in Japon, by the voice of all. In time of peace he built many churches; he gained many souls for God, and at last he attained the martyr’s crown. The holy Fray Thomas de Zumarraga was a native of the city of Victoria in Vizcaya, and a son of the convent of the Order of St. Dominic in that city. He studied in the college of San Gregorio at Valladolid. He accompanied Father Francisco de Morales to Japon and attained an elegant mastery of the language of that country, in which he lived twenty years, five of them in prison. The holy Fray Alonso de Mena was a native of the city of Logroño; he was a son of the famous convent of San Estevan at Salamanca, whence he went out to the Philippinas. Here he was occupied for some time in the ministry to the Chinese, and the Lord conveyed him thence to Japon. [137]He suffered from illness for a number of years, and from a profound melancholy, which did not prevent him from fulfilling his ministry with great joy. The holy Fray Joseph de San Jacintho was a native of the town named Villarejo de Salvanes, in La Mancha, and was a son of the convent of Sancto Domingo at Ocaña. He went out to the Philippinas from the royal convent of San Pedro Martyr at Toledo, when he had finished his studies there. He was sent immediately to Japon, where he accommodated himself in all things to the Japanese manner of life, dressing and eating like the Japanese, employing their civilities, speaking their language with as much propriety as they, and in the same sing-song voice. In all this he surpassed the other fathers, insomuch that he was taken by the Japanese as one of themselves. The holy Fray Jacintho Orfanel was a Valencian by birth, and was by his habit a son of the convent of Sancta Cathalina Martyr at Barcelona. He was a religious of the greatest modesty and patience.]

[Contents]

Chapter XXIV

A mission sent by the province to Japon, and the result of it

[Though the province rejoiced in having so many glorious martyrs, it was grieved to see the preachers of the holy gospel in Japon come to an end, for without them it was impossible for the faith to be continued. These true sons of our father St. Dominic strove therefore to fill up the number of those who, after having fought valorously, had departed to heaven with the crown of martyrdom. The project [138]was one of great difficulty. The law directed that not only the preachers should be burnt to death, but that all those who brought them should suffer the like penalty, and that the vessels and cargo should be confiscated. The Dutch and English heretics watched with great care to see if any religious attempted to enter the kingdom. The emperor decreed that a registry should be kept of all on board the vessels which came to the kingdom. And finally there were many, even in Catholic countries, who for the sake of trade with Japon endeavored to prevent the religious from going to that country. The commerce of that kingdom with the Philippinas Islands had been almost destroyed, so that the very archbishop himself endeavored to prevent preachers from going from these islands to Japon. They were even more rigorous in Macan. But the holy martyrs from their prisons sent back calls for religious to aid the Japanese in their extreme spiritual need. Hence in the year 1623 the superiors of three religious orders determined to buy a ship, and to give large pay to the pilot and the sailors to take the religious to Japon. The risk of death was great in Japon, and scarcely less in these islands, because the voyage was contrary to the will and the command of the governor. Finally, ten priests were embarked—four from our order, four Franciscans, and two Augustinian Recollects. Many obstacles were placed in the way of the journey, but the voyage finally took place. The province sent of its best: father Fray Diego de Rivera,26 a son of the convent of San Pablo at Cordova [139]who was at the time teaching theology, as he had done for many years in the college in Manila; father Fray Domingo de Erquicia, who was at that time the principal preacher in Manila; father Fray Lucas del Espiritu Sancto, lecturer in arts in the aforesaid college; and father Fray Luis Beltran or Exarch, minister to the Chinese and the Indians. They suffered much on the voyage. They followed the course by the Babuyanes and the islands of the Lequios, from which they were driven by a storm to the coast of China, where they took on water and wood at a point named Sombor. They tried to make port to get fresh ship-stores, but were attacked by the Chinese. Father Fray Diego de Ribera was shot in the leg, by accident, by one of his own men, and finally died. On the nineteenth of June they landed in Satzuma, and were directed to go to Nangasaqui. They immediately set about learning the language, and had been there but a short time when the emperor issued a decree expelling all the Spaniards who had come to Japon from Manila. The fathers pretended to return to Macan, but left the vessel to come back secretly to Nangasaqui. The persecution was going on, seventy persons being martyred in 1623—among them father Fray Francisco Galvez,27 a Franciscan; and Father Geronimo de los Angeles, a Jesuit. Father Fray Pedro Bazquez was taken prisoner; and, [140]as the other fathers had not yet learned the language, all the labors of the Dominican order fell upon father Fray Domingo Castellet. The fathers encouraged the Japanese, a number of whom confessed bravely and suffered death by burning, among them being some of noble birth. The accounts of matters in Japon during this period are drawn in the main from the letters of father Fray Domingo de Erquicia. The fathers were obliged to be most secret, to go from house to house by night, and to expose themselves to cold and snow. What happened to this father and his companion was not known here until August in this year 1626. We turn from the account of the works of these fathers to give a narrative of the experience of some who had been in Japon longer, and who had thus far escaped martyrdom. One was Fray Pedro Vasquez, a son of the convent of Nuestra Señora de Atocha at Madrid; and the other Fray Domingo Castellet, a son of the convent of Sancta Catalina Martir at Barcelona. As the persecution advanced, the Portuguese who lived in the kingdom were expelled from it.]

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Chapter XXV

The harvest reaped in Japon by the holy father Fray Pedro Vazquez; his life and virtues

[The holy Fray Pedro Vazquez was born in Berin in the kingdom of Galicia, in the county of Monterrey. He assumed the habit in the famous convent of Nuestra Señora de Atocha at Madrid, and studied arts and theology in the royal convents of Sancta Cruz at Segovia, and Sancto Thomas at Avila. He came to the Philippinas with the second body of religious [141]which I brought over, the first having come in 1613. His first work in the Philippinas Islands was in Nueva Segovia, where he reaped a great harvest. When the news of the happy death of the holy martyr Fray Alonso Navarrete reached him, he strove to be permitted to go to Japon, and after two years received license to do so. The ship arrived in Nangasaqui after a voyage of only eleven days. This was on the twenty-second of July, 1621. Hearing of the great number of martyrdoms, he strove with all his might to learn the language, until he knew enough of it to go to the prisons and confess the prisoners, as he did boldly. Within one year he heard the confessions of more than seven thousand persons.]

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Chapter XXVI

A more detailed account of the imprisonment of the holy Fray Pedro Bazquez, the time while it lasted, and the sufferings which he endured in it; and finally his glorious martyrdom, in company with four other martyrs.

[When father Fray Domingo Castellet had finished the interment of the relics of the holy martyr Fray Luis Flores, and father Fray Pedro was speaking with him in somewhat loud tones, two heathen officers happened to hear them speaking Spanish. They arrested father Fray Pedro, but father Fray Domingo escaped. They offered to let the father go for a bribe, which he refused to give them; and he suffered greatly in prison. The Christians mourned and grieved when they saw that he was arrested. He was taken to the prison of Omura, where the holy Fray Luis Sotelo was in prison. Here [142]they were happy in each other’s company, though the imprisonment was very severe. Finally the servant of God and his four companions, Father Miguel Caraballo, father Fray Luis Sotelo, and two Japanese Franciscans, were taken from prison and burnt, intoning the litany during their sufferings. In spite of the care of the officers, some small relics of the holy martyrs were rescued by father Fray Domingo Castellet.]

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Chapter XXVII

The election as provincial of father Fray Bartholome Martinez, and the deaths of some religious

On the nineteenth of April, 1625, the vigil of the glorious virgin St. Inez de Monte Policiano, the fathers having votes assembled for the election of a provincial, since father Fray Miguel Ruiz had finished his term. On the first ballot the votes were divided almost equally, since there were so many religious worthy of the post as to cause difficulty in the selection. But this did not last long, for on the second ballot those who had the largest number of ballots withdrew, and father Fray Bartholome Martinez was unanimously elected. He had been vicar of the Parian of the Chinese, and was their special minister. He was recognized by all, both religious and laymen, as worthy of this or of greater offices, because of his great virtue, learning, prudence, and devotion. At the same time no one had talked about or even thought of such a choice, because, in truth, there were many others who well deserved the post and who were much older than he. The Lord, who does not look at these exterior things alone, but at the heart [143]and the soul, turned their eyes upon this father as upon another David, so that by being placed in a post of government he might do great things. It was the Lord who caused them all, as if moved by a spirit from above, to elect him with great good-will, and with general applause from within and without the order, all recognizing the hand of the Lord in a choice which was at once so wise and so far from the thoughts of all. In particular, the archbishop of this city was greatly pleased with it, for he knew well the great virtues of the person chosen, and sent to give his most special congratulations to the fathers. Father Fray Bartholome was a son of the famous convent of San Estevan at Salamanca. He was a great theologian, and a man of superior virtue, devotion to the rules of the order, and mortification. He underwent many extraordinary sufferings. Some were voluntarily assumed, and although these were many, they were (as we shall see afterwards) easier to bear because voluntary. At the same time, it was necessary to train and try him for much which the Lord desired to work through his means; and hence the Lord gave permission to the devil to torment him—so severely that, when he was still very young, his hair grew white. In the first year of this assault he lost his strength, and was dying without suffering from any other disease. He was living in the convent of novices in Salamanca, and revealed his sufferings to his confessor and spiritual master alone. This was the holy Fray Diego de Alderete. He, being of much experience in such sufferings, consoled and encouraged him, but commanded him not to speak of the matter with any person. This direction he observed so carefully that it was never possible to learn any [144]more than these general facts, although there must have been many very remarkable things which, if known, would have been highly edifying. But he, striving for more humility, and obeying the order to keep silence, never revealed them, and no one else ever knew them. He was seen to be growing weaker, being without strength and without health, and when he was taken to the infirmary the physicians corroborated what all knew with regard to the danger in which he was; but they were never able to find out the cause, since it was beyond the limits of their science. All this, and much more which was added to it, was necessary, and helped him much to bear the bitter hardships which in time he suffered, and which would have broken his heart. Our Lord conducted father Fray Bartholome through all his life by a way of suffering, and in suffering he ended it—as will be narrated in due time, when we reach the year of our Lord 1629, when his virtue and his abstinence will be specially treated. During his term as provincial, the province lost by death several religious of superior qualities, and suffered from several insurrections of villages. Both of these things were severely felt in a region where the religious are so few that the loss of a single one is a notable loss; and where all energy is turned toward converting souls, so that the perdition of a single one causes great sorrow. For these sufferings our Lord brought some comfort in the martyrdom of some sons of the province, and in the extension of the holy gospel to the island of Hermosa.

[Among the religious who died at this time was father Fray Francisco de Cabrera, vicar of San Miguel de Nasiping; he was a native of Carmona, and a son of the convent at San Lucar, whence he was [145]sent to pass his novitiate in Sancto Domingo at Xerez. He was stationed in Nueva Segovia and was an exemplary minister. His name is honorably mentioned on the records of the chapter in the year 1625. At the same provincial chapter honorable mention was made of father Fray Pedro Blazquez, vicar of the convent of Manavag. He was a native of Marchena in Andalucia. He assumed the habit of the order in the famous convent of San Pablo at Sevilla and was sent as a collegiate to Almagro. He left his convent of Sevilla to come to this province in 1613, and was regarded by those who accompanied him as a saint. On the fifteenth of May, 1624, died father Fray Thomas Vilar. He was a native of Castellon de la Palana in the kingdom of Valencia, where he assumed the habit. He was sent to the college of the order in Origuela, and came to the Philippinas in 1601. He was assigned to the province of Nueva Segovia, and afterwards was appointed rector of the college of Sancto Thomas at Manila. In the following November, as fathers Fray Miguel de San Jacintho (a man who was twice provincial) and Fray Diego de Toro, vicar of San Jacintho at Camalaniogan in Nueva Segovia, testify, a marvel happened in the village of Apari,28 a port in that province in the district of Camalaniogan. A fire occurred here one night, and a sea breeze was sweeping it throughout the village, when the vicar, taking in his hands the little image of our Lady of the Rosary which they were accustomed to carry in the processions, made a vow and turned it toward the fire, when the wind immediately died down and the fire began to go out.] [146]

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Chapter XXVIII

Father Fray Juan de Rueda and de los Angeles, who died a martyr

[Father Fray Juan de Rueda was a native of the mountains of Burgos, and had assumed the habit in San Pablo at Valladolid, whence he came to the Philippinas in the year 1603, being sent, as soon as he arrived, to the kingdom of Japon. Here he assumed the name of Fray Juan de los Angeles. When the priests were banished, father Fray Juan was one of those who remained in hiding to aid and fortify the Christians there. In 1619 he came to Manila in order to obtain more religious. He reaped a great harvest in Arima. He was devoted to the holy rosary. He translated into Japanese the devotion of the holy rosary while he was in Manila. His anxiety to return was such that he strove to make his way back by the islands of the Lequios, where his arguments in favor of Christianity convinced those who heard them that he was a Spanish priest. He was therefore imprisoned for a time in an island called Avaguni, where he profaned a thicket which was dedicated to an idol, and for this suffered death, but on what day was never known.

While this provincial chapter was being held in Manila, there died in Nueva Segovia father Fray Miguel de San Jacintho, a native of Caceres in Estremadura. He was a son of the convent of San Estevan at Salamanca. He volunteered for the Philippinas in 1594, and in Mexico was elected a superior [147]of the company, the vicar who had led them having died; he was assigned to Nueva Segovia. He was a most devoted minister, a diligent student of the language of that nation, and a most zealous and devoted religious. He prayed the Lord that he might not die a superior, and his prayer was granted; for after he had been vicar of many convents, vicar-provincial of Nueva Segovia, prior of the convent of Manila, and twice provincial of the province, the Lord called him to himself when he was living in Masi, one of the first villages which he converted. He died suddenly, on the twenty-fifth of April. The Indians of the villages of Abulug, Masi, Pata, and Cabacungan gave him the most costly funeral honors within their power, and made up a subscription for more than five hundred masses, which at four reals apiece come to more than two thousand. This they did as a token of their great love for him, and the great debt which they owed him for bringing them to the Catholic faith.]

On the eighth of June, the first Sunday after the most Holy Trinity, a great misfortune occurred in the revolt of some Indians of the province of Nueva Segovia. Turning their backs on the faith, they gave it up and fled to the mountains—a thing which caused great grief to the ministers of the holy gospel. In that province, above a village named Abulug, near a river which comes down from the mountain, two villages had been formed by gathering the inhabitants together. They were called Nuestra Señora del Rossario de Fotol, as has been recounted in this history, and San Lorenço de Capinatan. In the latter there lived some Indians known as Mandayas, a wild and fierce tribe whose native abode was in mountainous [148]places about the bay of Bigan in Ylocos. The religious ministered to them and assisted them in their necessities, taught them the law of God, and baptized many people, for these people generally asked holy baptism from them. Their evil nature, which was perverse and restless, and their affection for their ancient places of abode so attracted them that it seemed as if in that village they were caught fast by the hair. Three times they endeavored to escape to the mountains; and though they were prevented twice, and their efforts came to nothing, this last time they so planned their attempt, and kept it so secret, that they carried out their evil purpose. With this object, they stirred up the old inhabitants of Capinatan, and persuaded those of Fotol, bringing them to join them by means of threats and prayers. Some of the people of Fotol became so obstinate that they were worse than the Mandayas, the first movers of the insurrection. Afterward the Mandayas who were in Capinatan rose; and two of them, Don Miguel Lanab and another chief named Alababan, set the enterprise in motion by going to the church to speak to the religious who was there at the time. This was father Fray Alonso Garcia,29 a son of the convent of San Pablo at Valladolid, who had said a first mass in the village of Fotol, and a second in Capinatan, and was now at dinner with brother Fray Onofre Palao, a lay religious from the convent of Manila. They were seated at their meal in a little corridor of [149]the house. Their assailants came up, and each one standing beside the religious whom he was to decapitate, they made a pretense of asking permission to go to some villages on their ancient lands. Father Fray Alonso, who had but recently come, referred the request to the regular minister of the village, and asked them to wait till he should come, because he was in another village. At this point Alababan raised his arm, and with his balanao or knife he struck such a blow on the neck of Fray Onofre that he cut off his head to the backbone, leaving it hanging by only a little bit of skin. Don Miguel Lanab, who had not acted so promptly, lifted his knife, and father Fray Alonso naturally raised his hand to protect his head. The knife cut through this and the blow went on and reached his head. Father Fray Alonso rose from the table and fell on his knees like a gentle lamb; and the Mandaya traitor repeated the blow, giving him another on the head. The Indian boys who served at the table began to scream; and the transgressors, that they might not be caught in so perfidious an act, made their escape. Some Indians who were ignorant of the conspiracy came, and took father Fray Alonso to the house of a chief, where some medicines were applied to the wound. As they were preparing a barge in which to take him down to the village of Abulug, the Mandayas came, and prevented them from doing so by threats. They took him back to the house of the chieftainess: and while father Fray Alonso was exhorting the people to come back to obedience, and expounding to them the evil of which they were guilty in apostatizing from the faith, three Mandayas came in, and with their keen balanaos or knives cut to pieces the confessor of Christ. They afterward [150]threw out the pieces from the house, to be eaten by the swine who were there. As a result of this atrocious deed, the Mandayas rose in a body and roused the Capinatas; and, coming down to Fotol, they forced the people there by menaces to flee with them to the mountains. They set fire to the churches, and, as members of Satan, they defiled them by a thousand sacrileges. They struck off the head of a Christ, and cut the body down the middle, dividing it into two parts, which were afterward found by the religious who came to bring them back to obedience. The religious buried these, the uprising of the Mandayas (of whose severe punishment we shall soon hear) allowing no opportunity for anything else. With regard to Fray Alonso Garcia, several matters worthy of remark were noted. The first was this. Some months before, while he was living in the convent in Capinatan, he one night had put himself into the posture of prayer in the dormitory, with his breviary in his hand. At this time the convent was disturbed by an imp who caused so much trouble that he would not give the religious any rest, and from whose visitations there was not in all the convent any place that was free. He disturbed them in the dormitory, he made a noise in the cells, he feigned the noise of a struggle in the church; and sometimes he let himself fall with a clatter that was heard in the village, and he would throw himself down from the choir. He used to walk up and down in the church, and he made his appearance in the larders, where he broke all the plates there were; he made a noise under the beds, and struck the heads of the bedsteads; and sounded the strings of a harp which they had for use at masses on some feasts. This disturbance [151]lasted until the breaking-out of the uprising, and must have been a prognostication of it, and a sign of what the devil was devising to disquiet the Christians of this village. Now while father Fray Alonso was praying, the imp came to him, invisible to everyone in the dormitory, and struck the father a heavy blow, so that he felt pain in the same hand and wrist, in the place where the blow afterward fell which cut it off. This was the first of the things referred to. The second was that he thought so little of himself, and had so little confidence in his own works, that he was accustomed to say that if he did not die by some fortunate blow which should take away his life and despatch him to heaven, he did not know whether he should go there. This he said because of his humility, and the event was as he said.

Another matter was that, although father Fray Alonso was not a very skilful linguist, and not one of those who had made the greatest progress in speaking the language of that tribe, yet when he was wounded by the first blows and was urging the Indians not to flee, and telling them of the harm which would come to them if they did so, he spoke with such elegance and precision that the Indians were amazed to hear him; and they noted this as a striking fact at the time, and told of it afterward. He was very charitable, and was in the habit of praising all and of speaking of the defects of himself alone. He came to the Philippinas in the year 1622, and lived in the province of Nueva Segovia—where, in his third year, he met with the happy death which keen knives, directed by hands of apostates from the faith, bring to ministers of the holy gospel. The intermediate chapter of 1628 made mention of these [152]two religious in the following words: “In the province of Nueva Segovia father Fray Alonso Garcia, a priest, and brother Fray Onofre Palao, a lay brother, died happily by the hands of impious apostates, an uprising of the Indians to whom they ministered having occurred.” In the place where father Fray Alonso was cut to pieces, there was afterward raised in his honor a small shrine. The Indians were brought back in the following year, and this tribe used devoutly to frequent this shrine. The dwelling of the religious had stood where Fray Onofre had been killed, and here it was erected again. Since the first building was burned, it was supposed that the fire had consumed his body at the same time—although some Spaniards have some small bones which they value, believing that these are his, because they found them where he was decapitated.

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Chapter XXIX

The foundation of a church in the island of Hermosa and the holy deaths of some religious

[The Order of St. Dominic has always had its eyes fixed upon Great China; and father Fray Bartholome Martinez was especially anxious for the conversion of that great realm. In this conversion he was like Moses, who came in sight of the promised land; for he carried religious and planted the faith in the island of Hermosa, from which that most populous realm is almost in sight. This island had been greatly coveted by Chinese, Japanese, Spanish, and Dutch. The king of España was the first to undertake to conquer it; and by his order there were [155]prepared two ships of moderate size with a force of two hundred soldiers and sailors. The leader was Don Juan Zamudio, who came to the Philippinas in 1593. He chose the time of his voyage unfortunately, and was driven back to the coast of Batan; but he was rescued by the intervention of our Lady of the Rosary. The emperor of Japon in 1615, after his victory over Fideyori, sent an expedition against the island. It left Nangasaque in 1616 and wintered in the Lequios Islands. Setting sail again in the following November [sic], it was scattered by storms upon the coast of China. The Dutch, desirous of weakening the power of España and of interfering with the work of the preachers of the holy gospel, had taken possession of an uninhabited island called Island de Pescadores,30 which lay off the coast of China. This was in 1624. By the Chinese the Dutch were persuaded to go thence to another island (Formosa) running from northeast to southwest, sixty-four leguas in length, and extending from latitude twenty-one to latitude twenty-five, and being thus twenty leguas in breadth. They established themselves at the southern point, in latitude twenty-three, in a port called Taiban, opposite Hayteng in Chincheo. From this post they could scour the seas and capture the vessels sailing from China. Here they built a small fort from which they could do much damage to the inhabitants of [156]Manila and might close very important gateways to the holy gospel.31

In the year 1625 Don Fernando de Silva was governor of the Philippinas. He determined to send a fleet to take possession of a port in the island of Hermosa, in the name of the king of España, that the designs of the Dutch might be frustrated. He counseled with the provincial of the Order of St. Dominic, Fray Bartholome Martinez, who promised to go to the island of Hermosa and to take religious there, hoping in this way to gain an entry into China. In order to keep the design secret it was said that the troops were going to pacify the rebellious Indians of Yrraya, who had fled to the mountains. On February 8, 1626, the fleet sailed from the port of Cavite; it was composed of twelve champans and two galleys. There were three captains of infantry and their companies, and the force was under the command of the sargento-mayor, Antonio Carreño de Valdes. The ecclesiastical authority was in the hands of the provincial, Fray Bartholome Martinez, who took with him five religious, including those whom he later brought from Nueva Segovia. They anchored in the port of Nueva Segovia on the fifteenth of March, and remained there for some time. During the interval troops were sent to the [157]river of the Mandayas, the Indians of which had rebelled in the previous June, as was said in the foregoing chapter. In order to reduce them, a great number of palms were cut down, that they might more easily be brought to subjection for lack of food. Since the reduction of the Mandayas took more time than was expected, and the voyage to the island of Hermosa was urgent, this matter was left without being brought to a conclusion. To carry out their principal purpose they sailed on the fourth of May, coming in sight of the island on the seventh of the same month. They coasted the island for three days, and on the tenth of May anchored on an estuary which they named Sanctiago. The provincial and Pedro Martin Garay, the chief pilot, went in two small vessels to the northern headland, exploring the coast. Within five hours they discovered a port which they called La Sanctissima Trinidad. They took back the news to the fleet, which came on to the port and in the divine name of the most Holy Trinity took the port under the protection of España. They built a fort upon an islet32 a little more than a legua in circumference. This they called San Salvador. They also constructed a rampart on the top of a hill three hundred feet or more in height, which made the place impregnable. The Dominicans erected a humble church, dedicating it to St. Catharine of Siena. Here they heard the confessions of the Spaniards, preached, taught, and filled the office of parish priests, up to the year 1635. The inhabitants of this region had fled from fear of the arquebuses of the Spaniards, and desired to avenge themselves for the wrong which they felt that they [158]had suffered because the soldiers made use of the rice which the natives had left behind them. To quiet and satisfy them, the religious set about learning their language; and, although they knew very little of it, they began to communicate with the natives, caressing them and giving them presents. The Lord prospered their work, and the barbarians, who had lived the lives of savages, drinking the blood of their neighbors, and eating the flesh of their enemies, were tamed by the treatment of the religious. They brought their wives and children to be baptized. The first fruits were delicate and tender children, many of whom, after being laved in the baptismal font, went to enjoy the possession to which they had acquired a right from the waters of the holy Jordan. The convent of All Saints of the island of Hermosa was accepted in the intermediate chapter of the year of our Lord 1627, and was erected into a vicariate, father Fray Francisco Mola33 being appointed as its vicar and superior.

On the fourth of February of this year father Fray Alonso del Castillo, a native of Andalucia and a son of Sancto Domingo de Sant Lucar, set sail from his convent in the islands of the Babuyanes to go to Nueva Segovia. The distance is a little more than six leguas, but the crossing is dangerous at some times. His vessel was swamped, and the father and those who were with him were all drowned. He was an abstemious and devoted religious. Father [159]Fray Alonso lived in the islands of the Babuyanes. He was at one time tempted by a thought which was unworthy of his state as a religious, and the purity which he maintained—the devil urging him to it, and putting before him the means of carrying out the design, and the method of keeping it in secrecy during the absence of the superior. Father Fray Alonso, recognizing from whose bow this arrow had been shot, went to his superior and told him the temptation of the devil with all the details. He and the superior laid the matter before God with prayers and scourgings. The devil was unable to oppose such humility, and in a few days father Fray Alonso was able to assure the vicar that there was nothing to fear. In the following April died father Fray Ambrosio de la Madre de Dios, a native of Guatimala, a son of the convent of Sancto Domingo at Mexico. He came to the Philippinas in the year 1595, and was assigned to the province of Nueva Segovia. Without any controversy, it is he who up to the present day has most accurately learned the language there, and who was the teacher of those who understood it best. No one surpassed him in his pronunciation and his choice of words. He wrote a methodical grammar, arranged a vocabulary, translated the gospels, various examples of holy life, an explanation of the articles, the passion of our Lord, and other works highly esteemed for the elegance of the writing and the propriety of the words. He was a religious of great virtue, and our Lord wrought many miracles by his prayers. It was in response to his prayers that when the lime-kiln in Abulug fell, those upon whom it fell did not lose their lives. In Pata occurred two cases, as it seemed, [160]of resurrection; and in Tocolana he saved the church from burning.

At the last of May, father Fray Diego Carlos, a native of Guatimala and a son of the convent at Puebla de Los Angeles, died in the same province. He suffered much at the time of the insurrection of the Mandayas Indians, whose minister he had been, and whom he had brought down from their mountains. In the provincial chapter of 1621 he twice received half the votes in the election for provincial. In the month of June, father Fray Juan de San Jacintho, a native of Los Guertos in Segovia, and a son of San Estevan at Salamanca, fell ill in the province of Ytuy. He lived a devout and a devoted life in the province of Pangasinan. He was greatly beloved by all. Some Indians of the province of Ytuy having asked for baptism, he went thither twice, suffering greatly from the hardships of the journey. The second time, he fell ill; and it was rumored that the Indians had given him poison, as they often do. He died at Manila. In the year of our Lord 1627, toward the end of March, died in the province of Nueva Segovia brother Fray Juan Garcia,34 a lay religious, a native of Yebenes in La Mancha, and a son of the convent of Sancto Domingo at Manila.]

To aid in supplying the want of these noble ministers, and to fill up the gap caused by the death of many more, our Lord gave us in July, 1626, a reënforcement of religious, who had been assembled in España by father Fray Jacintho Calvo, and whom he had entrusted in Mexico to father Fray Alonso [161]Sanchez de la Visitacion—a son of the convent at Ocaña, who had come to the Philippinas in the year 1613.35 He was at the time vicar of San Jacintho, where he had been sent by the chapter of the year 1623; and he now undertook the charge of conducting the religious, returning to the ministry of Nueva Segovia, where he had previously been. He had been appointed by the Inquisition of Mexico as its commissary for the cases which might arise in the said province pertaining to that holy tribunal.

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Chapter XXX

The state of the province, and the persecution in Japon

For the holding of the intermediate chapter [in 1627], an ancient custom in the Order of St. Dominic, devout fathers had assembled. Although the day was at hand, the provincial was absent, being occupied in the new conversion in the island of Hermosa. He had not returned from there since the previous year, when he had made the journey. As the accidents of the sea are so various, the religious were anxious; but the Lord relieved them from their anxiety on the day before the holding of the chapter, the morning of Thursday. The coming of father Fray Bartolome caused joy in all the community; and in recognition of the good news which he brought and of the labors which he had undergone, the governor Don Juan Niño de Tavora, invited [162]him and the fathers who constituted the chapter to dine with him on the following day, which was Friday. That evening they discussed that which they were to do on Saturday the twenty-fourth of April; and on that day they elected as definitors fathers Fray Balthasar Fort and Fray Miguel Ruiz, who had been provincials; Fray Antonio Cañiçares, vicar of Babuyanes, and Fray Marcos Saavedra, a son of Villaescusa, vicar of San Raymundo de Malagueg. By this time the Indians who not long before had revolted and apostatized from the faith in Mandayas (and especially those of Fotol and Capinatan) had been reduced to subjection, and, as a result of the efforts of the religious, had gone down to their old villages. Recognizing the error which they had committed, and desirous of atoning for it by amending their lives, they built churches, reëstablished the villages, and returned to the quiet which they had enjoyed in their earlier age of gold, giving up their age of hard iron36 which they had been deluded into entering.

[The religious in Japon were at this time greatly afflicted. One of the persecutors, Feyzo, strove to force his own mother by hunger to give up the faith from which he was himself a renegade. This man captured Father Baltazar de Torres, a religious of the Society of Jesus, who had been his own father in the faith, and imprisoned him. On the twentieth of July four religious of the Society of Jesus, with five of their servants, were burned at the stake. The persecution was most bitter at Omura, where the holy father Fray Luis Beltran (of Exarch) then was. [163]He was a native of Barcelona, and received the habit in the convent of Sancta Catarina Martir in that city. He was sent to the college of Origuela, where even during the time of his studies he devoted himself to prayer and spiritual exercises. He volunteered for the Philippinas, reaching Manila in 1618. After learning the language of the Indians of that region, who are called Tagalos, he also learned that of the Chinese, ministering in both languages up to the year 1622, when he was sent to Japon to assist in consoling the afflicted Japanese. He came in disguise, and very soon learned the language of that country; and he labored for three years with great effect in the kingdom of Omura. He foresaw that he was to suffer death by martyrdom. He was serving in a hut of lepers when he was betrayed to the judge. While in prison his very jailers showed him respect.]

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Chapter XXXI

The state of affairs in Japon; and the martyrdom of father Fray Luis, Fray Mincio de la Cruz, Fray Pedro de Sancta Maria, and some other persons of the tertiary order of St. Dominic.

[Besides father Fray Luis, father Fray Francisco de Sancta Maria, and brother Fray Bartholome Laurel,37 his companion in the Order of St. Francis, [164]were captured, together with their landlords and others in their house. The bitterness of the persecution increased, and the ministers of the gospels went out into the fields, ascended the mountains, and hid themselves in the caves of the earth. Father Fray Lucas del Espiritu Sancto had no food for forty days except some boiled roots. The Christians were forbidden to assemble, and were brought in scores before the ministers of Satan, to recant or suffer martyrdom. The number of the holy martyrs cannot be counted. The poor were driven out from their houses, and were compelled to suffer the rigors of winter, from which many of them died. The persecution came to be so severe that this year of 1627 was adorned with martyrs. On the sixteenth or seventeenth of August, eighteen Christians of all ages and conditions received the palm of martyrdom, among them father Fray Francisco de Sancta Maria. Among those executed were some children of three and five years of age. Details are given of the martyrdoms of a number of Japanese, with the horrible tortures which were inflicted upon them. Father Fray Luis gave the habit to some of the Japanese who were confined with him; and on July 29, 1627, the father and the nine professed, and three poor women who rejoiced that the time had come when they were to be freed from their leprosy, were executed by burning at the stake.]

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Chapter XXXII

The great persecution in Japon, and the care of the province to send ministers there

[There were three of our religious in Japon at [165]this time, who comforted the Christians and kept in hiding from the ministers of the law. It was with great difficulty that they could be assisted. In the year 1628 the four religious orders in these islands, the Franciscans, the calced Augustinians, the Recollect Augustinians, and our order, put forth all their energies to send religious to Japon as secretly as possible. The expense was enormous, amounting to more than ten thousand pesos from the common purse of these four orders. They embarked twenty-four religious; among these were six of our holy order, one of whom died after two days of sailing—father Fray Antonio Corbera, a native of La Mancha, who had come within a short time to the Philippinas from the college of San Gregorio at Valladolid. The ship was wrecked by the carelessness of the pilot. Though the fathers escaped from drowning, two of ours died from injuries received in the wreck, and from sunstroke after reaching land. One was father Fray Antonio Cañizares, a native of Almagro and a son of the convent of our order there, who had labored nobly among the Indians of these regions for some years.38 The other was father Fray Juan de Vera, a native of the city of Sancta Fee in the kingdom of Granada. He studied in España at the convent of San Pablo at Valladolid. He came to this province, learned the Chinese language, and was occupied in the ministry to the Chinese when he was assigned to this duty. The Franciscan fathers, not dismayed by the failure of this enterprise, strove to make the journey to Japon by themselves. During two years, no news reached us from Japon, except [166]that the persecution had attained such a point that not even a letter could get in or out.

Finally father Fray Domingo Castellet was captured by the diligence of the persecutors. He was born in a village named Esparraguera, in the principality of Cataluña, October 7, 1592. He assumed the habit of our order October 23, 1608, in the convent of Sancta Cathalina Martir at Barcelona. He pursued his studies in the very religious convent of Sancta Cruz at Segovia, where he showed great ability. In the year of our Lord 1613, when I was about to make a voyage to the Philippinas Islands as procurator-general for the province of the Holy Rosary of the Order of St. Dominic, and when I came to Sancta Cruz at Segovia searching for religious to accompany me, one of the first who enlisted was father Fray Domingo Castellet. He was assigned to the province of Nueva Segovia, where he taught for six years in the new villages called Los Mandayas. In 1621 he was directed to go to Japon, where he showed the greatest intrepidity in danger, and wrought a marvelous work. He was taken by surprise, and was followed to prison by several confessors.]

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Chapter XXXIII

The martyrdom of the servants of God, Fray Domingo Castellet, Fray Thomas de San Jacintho, Fray Antonio de Sancto Domingo, and some persons of the tertiary order of St. Dominic.

[The blessed Fray Domingo spent all his time in preparing himself for his last journey, the journey from this world to heaven, and in doing his duty [167]by the holy company who were in prison with him. There were many Christians in the prison of Nangasaqui, among them two Japanese lay novices, who afterward made their profession before the holy religious who was vicar-provincial of Japon. He prayed many hours in the day, and took a daily discipline in company with the brethren, in addition to special exercises of devotion and penance. On the day of the Nativity of the most blessed Virgin, he was taken out to the place of execution and born into heaven. Many Japanese Christians were burned alive or decapitated, the church in Japan being illustrious in noble martyrdoms, and no less triumphant than the primitive church, and the Order of St. Dominic having a great share in this glory.]

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Chapter XXXIV

The voyage in this year of religious of the province to Camboja, in the effort to convert it; and the progress of the conversion of the island of Hermosa.

In this year, twenty-eight, I came for the third time from España to the Philippinas, not alone, but with a good company of excellent religious,39 who, desirous to advance themselves in virtue, left their land and their kin and their comforts, like Abraham, that they might assist in their spiritual necessity, these tribes which depended so much upon such ministers. There was no lack of hardships on the way, for the Lord knows of how much importance it is for us to find persons who will accept these as [168]they ought; He does not lose the opportunity to apply them, and does not desire that His gift should be useless. When we reached Manila we were heartily received, for we had been desired because of the great lack which had resulted from the deaths that had taken away religious just when they were most needed by the Indians whom we had under our care. There were also many others under our eyes who still were heathen for lack of preachers, but who would have been Christians if they had anyone to teach them the truth and the Catholic religion. The vacancies were filled up with these reënforcements. As might be expected of those who were heartily desirous of converting their fellow men, the more they labored the more labor they desired; and there were many who were very eager to go on new missions and to reap new harvests of heathen.

[The opportunity was offered for making another attempt to convert Camboja. A Chinaman who had lived in the kingdom of Camboxa brought word that the good reputation which the fathers of St. Dominic had left in that country would cause them to be kindly received there if they went again. The kingdom of Camboxa is the one which has given religious rites, though false ones, to China, Japon, and the most civilized of the surrounding nations; and the people of that kingdom are naturally much inclined to religious devotion. Hence it was hoped that they would be the better Christians because they were so devout heathen. A letter was written to the king of Camboxa, asking permission to preach the gospel in that country. The reply which was received was courteous, but did not grant the desired permission. At this time the governor of Manila [171]was thinking of sending Spaniards to Camboja to build a ship there, because of the excellence of the wood of that region for such a purpose, and the abundance of workmen there. That the Spaniards who went might not be deprived of sacred ordinances, he asked the superior of our order for religious to accompany the expedition. There were strong arguments against sending the religious to that kingdom. The Cambodians had twice exhibited their fickleness, having striven to kill the Spaniards and the religious who had been invited to enter the kingdom. The same fickleness would make it unlikely that converts would hold to the faith in times of persecution. The people were unintelligent, and most vicious; and the country was very hot and unhealthful. On the other hand, it did not seem consistent with Christian charity not to take advantage of every opportunity to attempt to save these people, in spite of their natural fickleness, their low intelligence, and their inveterate vices. Three religious were accordingly assigned to this expedition, the superior of whom was father Fray Juan Baptista de Morales, a son of the convent of San Pablo at Ecija. He was a master of the Chinese language, which is of great importance in that kingdom. Two other religious volunteered to go on this service. They set sail December 21. The voyage, though a dangerous one, was fortunate; and they sailed four hundred leguas up the famous river of that kingdom (the Me-Kong River), the source of which is unknown. The religious were courteously received by the king. Factious quarrels broke out among the Spaniards, which threatened so grave results that father Fray Juan Baptista de Morales felt obliged [172]to return with them when they came back to the islands, for fear of an outbreak on the way. The king refused to give permission for the baptism of his subjects, allowing only the Chinese and Japanese to be converted; and the ministers, feeling that they could be of greater use in these islands, returned to take up their ministries here, where they have been of the greatest use. This was the third time that this province actually placed religious in the kingdom of Camboxa, in addition to the expeditions which set out for that kingdom but failed.

At this time our religious in Hermosa were engaged in the most laborious work of all these ministries, the learning of a new and extraordinary language without grammar or vocabulary, or any other aid even in the country itself; for at the beginning they were not able by payment to keep an Indian who would merely permit them to listen to him as he spoke and to catch up a word here and there. Although at the beginning these people were like wild beasts, without the least trace of human civilization, the religious have now domesticated them to such an extent that they can go among them—although a few years before no stranger could enter their country without their drinking his blood like fierce wolves. Some infants have been baptized, and the children of some villages, though not baptized, know the creed and pray every night at the foot of the cross. The children learned to laugh at the old superstitions, which have a strong hold on their elders. The hardest thing of all has been to bring them back to their old villages, from which they fled in fear of the arms of the Spaniards; but as they learned the gain to be acquired from trading with [173]the Spaniards—which is a lodestone that attracts hearts of iron—they are returning to their old abodes. The religious have erected two little convents and churches, about like shepherds’ huts in appearance. One is near the presidio of San Salvador, in a native village called Camaurri, and is dedicated to St. Joseph. The other is half a legua from the village of Tanchuy (i.e., Tamsui), and is dedicated to the Virgin of the Rosary.]

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Chapter XXXV

The foundation of the first church among the Indians of Tanchuy, a district of the island of Hermosa, and the events which happened among those Indians.

[The father provincial, father Fray Bartholome Martynez, after building a church in the new city of San Salvador, went on to Tanchuy, a province of the same island and a port known to the vessels which come to it from China. It is fourteen leguas from the chief city in it. When the fort was built there, to which the name of St. Dominic was given, he was present, doing all he could to prevent damage to the natives. Many of the latter fled away to Senar, where he followed them and built a church. The ministry in this province of Tanchuy was entrusted to father Fray Francisco de Sancto Domingo, a son of the convent of Zamora. His companion was brother Fray Andres Ximenez. They went by sea, having a perilous voyage, and were met when they landed by father Fray Jacintho de Esquivel.] The three went with Captain Luis de Guzman and some soldiers, to set up in the village of Senar a beautiful image of the Virgin of the Rosary. They went on [174]foot and with great difficulty, as it had rained the day before and was still raining, and part of the way they went mid-leg deep. Not a single soldier said the things which are usually heard on such occasions. On the contrary, loaded as they were with mud, they comforted themselves by saying: “At last we are going to establish the faith.” The captain, Luis de Guzman, to whom this region owes much, because of his valor and Christian spirit, and his kind treatment of the natives in it, marched barefoot, encouraging them and saying: “Come on, my children; doubtless there is much good here, because the beginning is so hard.” A messenger was sent ahead to notify the Indians, and by their help the streets were covered with branches; they fitted up a half-castle40 with powder, which they had prepared, and they arranged for a graceful sword dance. When the image, which they carried as ceremoniously as possible, reached the village, they placed it in the church. The sky cleared, and the sun came out as if to rejoice in the festival; and after a mass of the Virgin of the Rosary had been said, they bore her in procession—the soldiers firing off their arquebuses, and the castle discharging its salute, and the dance being performed in token of the possession taken of this country by the queen of heaven, and of the conclusion of the devil’s ancient control over it. [The Indians rejoiced greatly, the chiefs being invited to dine with the captain. After this they gave a ball after their fashion—a very disgraceful one in our eyes, because at every turn they drink a draught of a [175]very bad wine which they have. This kind of ball or dance they keep up for six or eight hours, and sometimes for whole days. The chiefs kept boasting that their village was the finest in the island, since they had Spaniards, a father and a church, as the others had not. They desired to return the invitation of the captain with one to a feast after their own manner—which is a repast of dogs rather than of men, since they eat nothing except meat so rotten that the bad odor of it serves them as salt. After the feast the soldiers, the captain, and father Fray Jacintho returned to Tanchui; while father Fray Francisco and brother Fray Andres remained as a guard of honor to the Virgin. Father Fray Francisco, thinking that the Spaniards would be lonely without their holy image, thought best to return it; but the Indians were so much grieved that it was given back to them, and they rejoiced greatly, though they were not yet Christians. A great part of the labor of the conversion fell upon the brother. The Lord wrought miraculous works through his hands, keeping the sick alive until they might receive holy baptism, and doing wonderful works of healing. The kindly treatment of the fathers at last made the Indians feel sufficient confidence in the Spaniards to return to their previous places of abode, whence they had fled from fear. One lay brother was in the island of Hermosa for five years among the Indians, who, although they had not been pacified, never harmed him. He baptized a number, brought down from the mountains many who had fled from fear of the Spaniards; and with them formed a village of moderate size named Camuarri, which is constantly increasing in numbers, and greatly needs a church.] [176]

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Chapter XXXVI

The election as provincial of father Fray Francisco de Herrera, commissary of the holy Inquisition; and the beginning of an account of father Fray Bartholome Martinez.

In May, 1629, father Fray Francisco de Herrera was elected as provincial of this province, on the first ballot. He was a son of the convent of San Gines at Talabera, and afterward a student of San Gregorio at Valladolid. At the time of his election he was commissary of the holy Inquisition in all these islands, and prior of the convent in this city of Manila. Since he is still living, we must be silent about him, and not say the things in his praise which are so well known, and which are said by those who enjoyed his peaceful and religious government. In this chapter nothing of importance was done in laying down ordinances for the province; but there was much cause to give thanks to the Lord for the peace and quiet with which the religious strove to fulfil their obligations as members of the order and as ministers of the holy gospel. The Lord gave them special relief and comfort, that they might find light and pleasant the great sufferings which they endured in both capacities. Hence the electors returned to their posts very promptly, feeling that in them the hand of the Lord had delivered to them their own profit and that of their fellow-men.

[At the beginning of the following August occurred the death of the venerable father Bartholome Martynez, who, being engaged in the conversion of the island of Hermosa, was unable to attend this [177]chapter. Father Fray Bartholome was a native of a village of Raoja called El Rasillo, a hamlet of some twenty poor inhabitants. He was a son of Sant Estevan at Salamanca, and a student in the college of Sancto Thomas at Alcala. He took advantage of the opportunity of coming to this province in company with the holy Fray Alonso Navarrete. He gave his chief attention in the province to learning the Chinese language, hoping to become a missionary to the kingdom of China. He was so devoted to the Chinese that he was beside himself with anger whenever a wrong was done by a Spanish soldier to any Chinaman. As this seemed to be an impediment to the conversion, he resolved to restrain his anger, and learned, as the law of the Lord teaches us, to be angry but not to sin. It was father Fray Bartholome who built the beautiful wooden church in the Chinese Parian. The cost was above twenty thousand Castilian ducados, and it was all raised by offerings. The Lord wrought miracles by father Fray Bartholome in the building of this church, and on other occasions. On some occasions he displayed the gift of prophecy.]

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Chapter XXXVII

The virtues which God granted him, and particularly some in which he excelled; his labors and death.

[Father Fray Bartholome was notable for humility, patience, penances, and zeal. When he was elected provincial in 1625, he prostrated himself on the ground, and begged them to put him in jail rather than make him provincial. His habit was [178]poor and mean, his tunics full of sweat and blood and all tattered. He would never permit the Indians to carry him across streams or to wash his feet. He subjected his body to the severest mortifications, beating himself cruelly and wearing chains of various kinds, some with sharpened links. He went always on foot, even crossing swollen streams in this way. He had so accustomed himself to abstinence that when he felt obliged to set the other religious the example of eating a little more than was habitual to him, that they might not injure their health, he suffered greatly as a result. He slept as little as he ate. He suffered greatly from asthma, but was most patient. Although he was often insulted on the expedition to Hermosa for interfering with the soldiers, he overcame all this by his great patience. The Chinese or Sangleys were devoted to the father, because of his affection for them. He gave them alms of his poverty, and was once almost drowned in the effort to rescue some heathen Chinese. In spite of the failure of his two efforts to enter China, he was not discouraged, but hoped that the way might be opened through Hermosa. In the effort to carry out the plan of sending an expedition to Hermosa, he exposed himself to dangerous storms, but was rescued by the Lord. To bring the expedition to success, he labored with his own hands like a slave. On the way he brought from Bigan, on the coast of Ylocos, to Nueva Segovia the remains of Bishop Don Fray Diego de Soria. The efforts of this father on this journey seemed superhuman. The soldiers when told of the real object of the expedition believed that they were deceived, and were on the point of mutiny. When a storm broke out soon after they had landed [179]on the island of Hermosa, and the soldiers were exposed to hardship, and when the Indians made some resistance, the soldiers cursed and swore at the father again; but afterward they came to love him. It was with the idea of getting nearer to the coast of China that the father suggested that possession be taken of the port in Tanchuy. It was fortunate that this suggestion was made and carried out by the commander, Don Juan de Alcarazo; for if they had waited a week they would have found the port in possession of the Dutch, who came there with three vessels of war, but were forced to retire. Happy in the good results of the expedition, the father set sail to cross an arm of the sea, in a small boat in which there were eight persons, the father and the commander among them. The boat was caught by a wave and capsized; five, including the general, were saved, and three, among them father Fray Bartholome, were drowned. The death of the father caused great grief among the soldiers, the Chinese—both Christian and heathen—the religious, and all who knew him.]

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Chapter XXXVIII

The death of father Fray Miguel Ruiz, and the state of affairs in Japon

[On Friday, June 7, 1630, died father Fray Miguel Ruiz, a son of the royal convent of Sancta Cruz at Segovia, who had come to the province of the Philippinas toward the end of April in 1602. At the time of his death he was vicar of San Gabriel at Binondoc. He was several times vicar of the district of Bataan; he was once vicar-general of the province, was definitor in many provincial chapters, [180]vicar-provincial, several times prior of Manila, and provincial of the province, which office he filled with justice and gentleness. He was a devout religious, much given to penance, and indefatigable in teaching the Indians—in whose language, in addition to a book of the Holy Rosary which was printed, he wrote several tracts, made the abridgment of the grammar which is still printed, and made a careful vocabulary, which at the end of his life he was desirous of augmenting. It was said that he died by poison, given him by a person whom he had chastised for scandalous living. It is most likely that the pains in the stomach from which he suffered came from the fogs which are so common in the Philippinas.

The persecution in Japon had reached such a point that it was impossible to enter the kingdom. The religious orders did all in their power to replace the holy martyrs with new laborers. They went to great expense for this purpose, and many religious died in the effort to make their way to Japon; but the kingdom remained so closely shut up that their efforts were without result. Information as to the condition of affairs there in this year 1630 was received from father Fray Lucas del Espiritu Sancto. The religious in the empire were even unable to meet one another, and were hunted from place to place, exposed to wind and weather. Under these circumstances the peace between the religious orders was of great utility to the ministers in Japon. The religious were constantly exposed to being captured, being obliged to lodge in the houses of renegades and heathen; but the constancy and devotion of the fathers caused even these men to respect them. The [181]Japanese were absolutely controlled by the devil of idolatry. Every false sect was tolerated, Christianity alone was persecuted. Among the fathers in Japon at this time was a native Japanese, who had completed his course in arts and theology in the college of Sancto Thomas at Manila. He profited well by his studies, and had been given the habit, had professed, and had passed through all the orders. He had been taken by father Fray Bartholome Martinez, during his term as provincial, to the island of Hermosa—not to remain, but to make his way from there to Japan, if possible, by the islands of the Lequios. He was dressed after the Japanese fashion, with two swords, and succeeded in making his entry into Japon, from which he wrote a letter to the provincial, dated January 3, 1630. In this he says that he reached his country on the eve of St. Martin; but that he has been unable to get into communication with his superior, who was at that time father Fray Domingo de Erquicia. He later writes that it is dangerous to send letters, because of the severe punishment of those who are caught with letters of the fathers upon them. If it had not been for the return of this father in this way, no information would have been received with regard to the fate of Father Juan de Rueda in the islands of the Lequios.

The third religious at this time in Japon was father Fray Domingo de Erquicia, who also sent back a letter in this year. He says that the savage persecution which was designed to root out Christianity from Japon made many weak, but brought out the bravery of many noble martyrs. In November, 1629, father Fray Bartholome Gutierrez, of the Order of St. Augustine, was captured in Arima; and in the [182]same month there was captured in Nangasaqui a father of the Society of Jesus, named Antonio. Somewhat later an Augustinian Recollect named Fray Francisco de Jesus, and afterward his companion, Fray Vicente de San Antonio, were captured, a mountain having been burnt over in pursuit of them. Father Fray Domingo de Erquicia writes that a man recognized him and set out to betray him, but that he was rescued by the courage of his landlords. In March, 1630, they captured a brother of the Order of St. Francis; so that there were in that year five religious imprisoned in Omura, together with forty lay Christians, besides those in Nangasaqui. In his letter father Fray Domingo gives a record of the executions of which he knew. The total within a year and a half is over two hundred. In this year the daire41 (who in Japon is like the pope in our [183]Church), on account of various causes for offense against the emperor, caused his hair to be cut off, to indicate that he renounced his high office—something that, it is said, had never been seen in Japan; and thus that realm is now without a head in spiritual affairs. No Dutch ship came to Japon in this year, and the Dutch who had come in the two previous years were all put in prison. The Japanese desire that the Dutch surrender to them the fort which they have in the island of Hermosa, where some of them have been sent, while others remain in Japan as hostages.]

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Chapter XXXIX

The life and death of father Fray Matheo de Cobissa

[Though sufferings and persecution refine the gold of the church, yet there are many rich and pure spirits who appear in time of peace. Of these latter we are now to give an example. There were but few years in which father Fray Matheo de Cobissa lived in this province. He reached the province toward the close of July, 1628, and was sent directly to the island of Hermosa where he spent less than three years, but those were full of glory. Fray Francisco Mola, vicar-provincial of the order in Hermosa, and Fray Angel de San Antonio, vicar of the convent of [184]All Saints in that island, wrote a formal certificate testifying to the facts in the case of father Fray Matheo. They give an account of the marvelous visions which the father beheld, in which the Lord explained to him what was to come. The Lord had previously revealed the future to him, giving him notice beforehand of the coming of the English fleet to Cadiz in 1625; of the great inundation in España in 1626; and of the unfortunate death of the reverend father Fray Bartholome Martinez, the provincial, on his return from the island of Yama. To these fathers the dying father gave an account of other visions that he had had. He told them further that his rigorous penances had never weakened his bodily strength. He received the extreme unction, and told the fathers who were listening that when he was coming from España he saw by the mizzenmast of the vessel the patriarchs St. Dominic and St. Francis, and that he had had a vision of the three holy kings. Not satisfied with this evidence uttered by this father’s mouth, these fathers added other information. Father Fray Angel told of cases which had been revealed to him by father Fray Matheo, in confession, which he had received permission to publish for the glory of God. Such were the coming of the Dutch enemy against Tanchuy and the death of the provincial. When the fathers asked if his dreams, which signified that which was to come, were always clear, or were of indistinct figures, he answered that they were generally clear; but sometimes only such that he could understand that something was prognosticated, though he could not tell immediately what it was. He was most devoted to prayer, and most rigorously abstinent. Father Francisco Mola testified [185]to the religious devotion of the friar. Brother Fray Andres Ximenez, who accompanied the father from España and was very intimate with him, testified to his life of mortification and penance, and to his devotion. He was reckoned a saint, and the high esteem in which he was held in this province is shown by the words of the provincial chapter in recording his death.]

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Chapter XL

The entrance made from the island of Hermosa to the great kingdom of China by two fathers of St. Dominic.

[If this island were of no value, its spiritual promise would make it important; and if it were poor in material things—and it is not, because it has many mines of gold and silver, and is fertile—it would still be well that our nation has set foot on it. It is of spiritual use because it is from hence, as it appears, that the conversion of the great kingdom of China is to have its rise. It is of importance in a material way, because of its nearness to the trade of that kingdom, which is so rich and so abounding in merchandise. That both spiritual and temporal ends might be attained, Don Juan de Arcaraço,42 who was commandant of the island at that time, decided to send an embassy to the viceroy of Hucheo, the capital of the nearest province, with a view to opening up trade with it, but without saying anything about [186]matters of faith. He offered our religious an opportunity to go on the embassy. Two religious were accordingly sent—the father vicar of the convent, Fray Angel Coqui, a Florentine by birth, who had assumed the surname of San Antonino; and, as his companion, father Fray Thomas de Sierra, who was called here “de la Magdalena.” He was a native of Cerdeña. His natural gifts were but small, but his spiritual ones were great, as will be seen. They set out accompanied by two soldiers and seven Indians, carrying their letter of embassy and a present for the viceroy. They took what they needed to say mass, and a very little money for their support; and embarked (December 30, 1630) in two very small vessels. On the way a heathen Chinese, master of the vessel in which the religious were, planned to kill them in order to rob them. The signal being given, the Chinese killed five of the members of the expedition, and wounded two with the clubs which they used as weapons—for, among the Chinese, soldiers only are permitted to carry weapons of iron. Father Fray Thomas was one of those who lost his life. The narrative may pause for a moment to give some account of him. He was a native of Cerdeña, and a son of the convent there. He was destined to the Order of St. Dominic from his mother’s womb. Since the schools in his part of the country were not very good, he strove to be assigned to the province of Andalucia, and went to the convent of San Pablo at Cordova. Hearing of the devout manner of life of the religious in this province, he desired to enter it, and departed from España in the year 1627, at which time I was bringing over a body of religious. This was the third company which I led [187](besides the first, in which I came with others under leadership, which is now about forty years ago). I accepted his application, thinking that he could complete his studies in this province as well as in España. He was of most gentle and patient disposition. He suffered greatly from headaches, and was unable to carry on his studies, though in some cases of moral theology he showed ability. He was sent to the island of Hermosa, in the hope that the cooler climate would benefit him. His health improved, and he devoted himself to learning the mandarin language, which is the language used in China by the learned, and takes the place of Latin among us. Nicolas Muñoz, a native of Mexico, a soldier, was one of those killed at this time. He was a man of the greatest piety. God in His infinite pity delivered father Fray Angel from this terrible danger. He fled to the cabin in the poop, and there he and the three others who survived were able to defend themselves against the seventeen Chinese, who fastened them up there, hoping to kill them of starvation. The vessel was captured by pirates, to whom father Fray Angel owed his liberty and his life. The mutineers on the vessel told the pirates that the persons in the poop were captives taken in lawful war, whom they were going to sell into slavery. The pirates planned to make an assault upon them, but decided not to, because they would be certain to meet with some damage, and resolved to scuttle the ship, leaving the captives to drown. They took off the sail and the rudder, anchored the vessel that it might not be carried ashore, and abandoned it. The prisoners were left fastened up and unable to get out, while the vessel filled with water up to the poop. The imprisoned [188]men found a chisel in the cabin, with which they worked a hole between two boards, and finally escaped from their confinement. They made their way to an island, and on the other side found an arm of the sea wherein there were many vessels, among them a fisher’s boat. They went up to the fishermen, who fled from them, but who came back again in response to their prayers, and let them have some food. These men warned them not to stay on that island that night, for fear of tigers; and said that if they survived until morning they would meet with other worse tigers—namely, soldiers from the fleets which were always moving about that coast, who would certainly kill them. In fear of both dangers, they asked the fishermen to take them to terra firma, and to bring them before some mandarin. A thousand difficulties were raised which were quickly conquered with a few bits of money which had escaped the recent robbery. Being brought before a mandarin, they were sent to the city of Ziumcheo with letters of safe-conduct and provision for the journey—which according to the custom of this kingdom, is afforded to every poor man who in any way comes to it. The letter which accompanied them described them as four robbers who had been caught on the seashore. The second mandarin before whom they were brought sent them to the third; and he despatched them to the viceroy, forty leguas away in the city of Ucheo. Father Fray Angel was taken ill, as a result of all his hardships, but recovered by the help of God. As all the papers had been lost, the viceroy directed the father to return to the island of Hermosa for satisfactory credentials, providing him with a vessel and everything necessary for the purpose. [189]The father, unwilling to leave China, and being afraid that the viceroy had some design against him, sent in his place a Christian Japanese who understood the mandarin language very well. He was one of a number who were scattered over China, and who desired to make their way to a Christian country. He dressed this man in a religious habit and caused him to pretend to be ill, so that he might be left quiet in a dark part of the ship. By the laws of the kingdom the father thus exposed himself to death or to perpetual imprisonment, which in China is a prolonged death. The curiosity of the Chinese is such that nothing escapes it. The viceroy, the mandarins, and all knew of the return of the father, and even knew where he was lodged; but no disturbance arose, and the authorities paid no attention to the matter. The father decided to change his dress, and to assume such a one as was worn by the most honorable of the natives, who pay great attention to such matters. He permitted his hair and beard to grow in their manner, as some fathers of the Society of Jesus have done—who have performed many useful labors here, as is known throughout Europe. During four months the father was unable to say mass, having been robbed of what was necessary.]

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Chapter XLI

Father Fray Angel leaves the city of Ucheo for the town of Fuhan, trusting solely in God; the success of his journey.

[Father Fray Angel, knowing that there were some Christians in the village of Fuhan and the province of Funinchiu, decided to set out thither on [190]foot. He met with no interference on the way. In Fuhan he found some Christians, and met Father Julio Aleni of the Society of Jesus. Like father Fray Angel, he was an Italian; and he showed the father much kindness. Here father Fray Angel made a number of conversions, and found everything promising for the future of Christianity in China. The Lord showed the father grace, for, though he was naturally weak, he received strength for many labors. He begged for a companion, saying in one of his letters which he wrote from Fuhan, December 24, 1632: “Laborers! laborers! laborers! for the harvest is ready and it is great.” There was sent him as companion father Fray Juan Baptista de Morales, a son of the convent of San Pablo de Ezija, for the province could spare no more.]

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Chapter XLII

The lives and deaths of fathers Fray Marcos de Saavedra and Fray Juan Rodriguez

[January 6, 1631, died in the convent of Sancto Domingo father Fray Marcos de Saavedra, a native of Villamayor in the district of Veles, a son of Sancta Cruz at Villa Escusa in La Mancha. He left España in 1623, in which year he was ordained priest in Mexico. He was a minister in Nueva Segovia, and understood the language of the natives very perfectly. He composed in it a book of sermons for the whole year; and a grammar for those who might learn it later, abbreviating the old grammar. He was a devout and zealous religious, and patiently suffered the long illness which preceded his death.

On the seventh of May in this same year father [191]Fray Juan Rodriguez departed from this wretched life for a happier one, in the convent of Sancto Domingo at Nueva Segovia. He was a native of the bishopric of Salamanca, and assumed the habit in the famous convent of San Estevan in that city. After he finished his course in arts and theology, he was assigned to the convent of Sancto Domingo in the city of Guadalaxara. He was a friar of exceptional devotion and received great favors from the holy Virgin and from St. Joseph and St. Dominic, who visited one of his penitents and directed his life. With the approbation of the Lord, father Fray Juan desired to go to the convent of the order in the town of Aranda de Duero, which was famous for its observance of the rule. Here he was master of the novices, and hence he was called by God to this province. He was sent to Nueva Segovia, where he learned the language of the natives, and within five months was able to preach to them in it. He was much beloved by the natives, and also by the religious, who all desired to be in his company. His devout and exemplary life edified all wherever he went. After he had been attacked by an illness which proved to be his last, he was sent with some Spanish soldiers to bring back some Christians Indians who were in the mountains, and who wished to return, but were prevented by their neighbors, who threatened them with death. In spite of his illness, he accepted the responsibility and went with the troops. The soldiers, growing impatient with the delay of the Indians, who feared them, desired to capture them with the aid of some friendly Indians who accompanied the expedition. The father, however, persuaded them to wait for another day; and [192]after he had spent the night in prayer he succeeded by his gentleness and his arguments in persuading those Indians to give up their lost way of life and to return. There were in all more than one hundred and thirty persons. After his return his illness grew rapidly worse, and he died in the month of May.]

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Chapter XLIII

A second expedition made by two fathers to the province of Sinay, otherwise known as Ytui, and the result of it.

Eighty years had passed since Christianity was first planted in this country in the island of Luçon, the chief island of the Philippinas. From here it had spread to other islands; and in Luçon it had spread from one province to the next, for in this one island there are many nations and languages. Yet the province of Ytui43—as we shall call it in future, since it is better known by that name—had not had the good fortune to receive regular preaching before this late date, namely, the beginning of the year thirty-three. This delay was not due to the fault of the natives, for they have often manifested a desire to receive the gospel, and have asked several religious orders for ministers to teach them; but to the fact that all the orders were so poor in ministers, on account of the great number of people whom they must aid. That country also is so rough and so difficult of access for the visitations of the superiors, that all the orders have avoided assuming the charge of it. For some years the order of the glorious father [193]St. Francis sent religious there to cultivate it, but without any good result. They made a beginning, but could not carry it on—some of the fathers being taken away by death, and others leaving the region because of sickness. The natives have constantly persisted in their request for ministers of the gospel to teach them, and have been particularly urgent with our sacred order—because they have some commerce with the province of Pangasinan, which is in our charge; and because they know how much that is advanced in all matters, both temporal and spiritual, as a result of the labors of the fathers who minister to it, though the population was previously the most barbarous known in these islands. Once, some years ago, some chiefs came here to Manila during a chapter when a provincial was elected, to place their request before it. The fiscal of the king (who was also that of the royal Chancillería), Don Juan de Bracamonte, offered a petition to the definitors, supporting this request for ministers for that province, since the Indians were vassals of the king and paid him their tribute, and his Majesty was bound to provide them with Christian instruction. The answer was a hopeful one, saying that if his Majesty would send ministers from España they would then very readily be assigned to this duty, as he desired; but in the meantime the order could scarcely fulfil the requirements of the regions which they had already in charge, for the Indians were many and the ministers few. On another occasion when the father provincial of the province, Fray Baltasar Fort, was making his visitation to this province of Pangasinan, the inhabitants of Ytui learned of the fact; and there came to meet [194]him, in a village called Calasiao, some thirty of the chief Indians of that country—among them he who was, as it were, their king. He brought with him his wife and his sister; and they proffered their request with much feeling and many tears, complaining of their misfortune that when they were so near—the provinces were about four days’ journey apart—they were not worthy to receive the fathers, though they had several times striven to obtain them with all possible urgency. The provincial could but feel pity when he saw these heathen Indians becoming preachers to us, in so urgently persuading the preachers to come and teach them the law of God; yet he was totally unable to give them what they asked, but gave them his promise that he would do so as soon as possible. They returned to their country with this answer, very disconsolate. Father Fray Thomas Gutierrez—a minister who was then in Pangasinan and of whom an account will be given later—learned of this, and volunteered to undertake an expedition thither. A second father, Fray Juan Luis de Guete, offered to go as his companion. The father provincial granted their request, in spite of the need of them that would be felt in the posts which they left; but he commanded them that they should go at this time simply to explore the country, and should return within a few days to report their opinions to him, according to the impression made upon them by the natives. They did this, and went about through the villages of the province, setting up in the public squares large crosses, to the great delight of the Indians; this act was a token that the fathers took possession of them for the Lord who was crucified on the cross. That the devil might [195]begin to give up his ancient possession of the natives, the fathers taught them the worship which they should perform, and some prayers out of the “Christian Doctrine” translated into the language of Pangasinan. That language they half understood, though it was different from their own. They understood it all so well that they immediately began to say the prayers they knew, around the crosses, seated on cane benches which they made for the purpose—two of them intoning the prayer, and the rest repeating it. With these excellent beginnings, which gave proof of the fitness of the soil for receiving the seed of the faith, the two explorers returned to report to their superior as he had commanded them, and offered themselves anew to return to that region. The provincial, when he heard their report, was not unwilling to grant their pious desires, although it seemed that these were contrary to what the strength of the province could sustain. So trusting in the power of God, and with the permission and benediction of the father provincial, they prepared themselves for the return; but they were interfered with by someone who disturbed them by indiscreet zeal, for the devil sometimes appears clothed in the garments of an angel of light. The project was not carried out, but not from the fault of the order or of its sons, who are not accustomed to be slothful before such opportunities. Perhaps those peoples were not yet ready in the sight of God for that which they desired; for in such matters the what, the when, and the how are understood by God alone and are determined according to His divine foreknowledge. The natives of Ytuy were not weary of being persistent in presenting their requests, as in such matters it is well [196]to be. It happened that in the month of December in the year 1632 the father provincial, Fray Francisco de Herrera (now commissary general of the Holy Office for all these Philipinas Islands), was traveling in that region on his visitation to the province of Pangasinan. The natives of Ytuy, who must have had scouts to inform them, learned of this; and there immediately came in search of him some twenty-four Indians, four or six of them being leading chiefs in the province. In the name of all the rest of the natives, they put forward their old request. He did not make them the answer which they had received before—“Wait, wait again;” but gave his instant approval, drawing strength from the weakness of the province—which, in the matter of laborers, is great for such a harvest as it has upon its hands, and as it sees every day increasing; and which, therefore, has to pass by much for lack of ability to achieve it all. The father who seemed most suited for this mission was father Fray Thomas Gutierrez, who some years before had filled the office of explorer in this country. His companion was father Fray Juan de Arjona,44 a son of the convent of San Pablo de Cordova—a man of middle age, but of more than middling spirit. They both took up the enterprise with great delight, without any objections or requests; and went back with the Indians who had come thence, taking no larger outfit than was absolutely necessary to equip them for the journey. This [197]chapter will give a brief account of the events of the journey and their arrival at Ytuy, drawn from a letter written by both fathers and dated at Ytuy January 21, 1633. The letter was directed to the father provincial, and contains the following narrative:

They left Pangasinan for Ytuy December 6, 1632, the day of St. Nicholas the bishop; and since there is but little communication between the two countries—none at all, in fact, except that occasionally some natives on each side visit the other—there is no open road from one to the other, since the Indians have no need of one, making their way like deer through the thickets of the mountains. By their account, the journey takes four days; but this is estimated by their mode of travel, which is twice as rapid as ours. Father Fray Thomas was so eager to reach that region that he even wished to make the journey shorter, and he asked the Indians if they did not know some short cut. One of them responded that he did; the father asked him to guide them, and they all followed him. This was in an evil hour, for the short cut did nothing but to increase their labor, as it took them out of their way. The journey occupied nine days, over mountains and across valleys, and through rivers, streams, and marshes, which they came upon at every step—for the guide did not know where he was going, and yet they were obliged to follow him. The provision which they carried was but for a few days, since they did not expect so long a journey, and they carried it all on their own shoulders that they might not burden the Indians. Since the journey took twice as long as they had expected, they became very [198]hungry, and thus suffered much, hunger being added to exhaustion. The sky was not kind to them on their journey, for it rained constantly on all these days and they had no protection; and the ground was as cruel, for the thickets abounded with leeches who attached themselves to the faces, the hands, and the feet of the travelers, and drew blood like a physician’s blood-letting. The Indians were not distressed by any of these things, or by the necessity of carrying the fathers on their shoulders across rivers or very bad places in the road, which shows the pleasure and affection with which they were taking the religious to their country. The fathers endured this no less well, being certain that they were not putting into a torn sack what they suffered for God.

They derived some relief from their sufferings from one happy circumstance provided them by God, who seemed to have designed all these wanderings. This was that in the midst of these wildernesses they found a tiny village of Christian Indians; for this jurisdiction was under the charge of other ministers, but was very little visited by them, since it was at so great a distance and over so rough a road. They baptized two children, and heard the confessions of some adults—among them that of a woman who had not confessed for some years, having no one to confess to. Though she seemed well and healthy, she died that same day. This was a marked token of her predestination. They finally reached the principal village of the province, which is called Ytui, and takes its name from the village. The Indians received them with great demonstrations of joy, after their manner; and they remained there for eight days resting, and receiving visits from all the [199]villages in the province, who sent ambassadors to bid them welcome with some presents of the fruits of the country. They set out afterwards to visit all the villages in it. Great and small, they visited eleven, that they might become acquainted with the temper of the Indians. In all they were received with the same tokens of pleasure. From what they saw and learned from the Indians, they had much to say in their report of the excellence of the country. They said that it was cool, so that by day the sun’s heat was pleasant at times, and a covering was agreeable at night. This is something new in these islands, which have the fault of being very hot. They reported that the country was so fertile that when Indians desired to plant their rice they only burn over a part of the mountain45 and, without any further plowing or digging, they make holes with a stick in the soil, and drop some grains of rice in them. This was their manner of sowing; and, after covering the rice with the same earth, they obtained very heavy crops. They said that some good fruits grew there, and that in their opinion that country would yield all the fruits of Spain, if the seeds of the latter were planted. There were, they affirmed, pleasant valleys with quiet rivers and streams in them from which the natives obtain some gold, and that the Indians are wont to wear golden earrings. They are not acquainted with silver, and do not care for it. They have no sort of money, so that all their sales and purchases are carried on by barter. They [200]keep their villages very clean and in good condition—a new thing among the Indians. They also remarked that there was great fraternity between different villages. This is something even more unusual, for generally these nations live after the law of “Might makes right” [viva quien vence], at the expense of their heads. Hence these Indians walk alone over their roads without fear of being injured or robbed, for they are very safe in this respect—so much so that they leave the rice which they gather, each one in his own field, heaped up in the spike and covered with straw. They go there and carry what they want to their houses, to grind and eat, without fearing that anyone will take what is not his. They readily offered all their infants to the fathers to be baptized, so that within about three months, during which the religious went about visiting the villages, they baptized some four hundred. It would have been the same with the adults, if it had not been necessary to prepare them with the catechism. The fathers have been slow in this, because they have been obliged to translate the prayers into the native language, of which they have not a good command. They are spending their time in learning it, and on this account and no other are delayed in beginning baptism. In order that so few ministers may be able to teach the Indians, it is necessary to bring them together into a smaller number of villages, conveniently arranged so that the people may be visited and helped in their necessities. Since the country is very mountainous, the fathers have determined to bring and gather them in large settlements, at sites convenient for their fields, near a river which rises in this country, and which, increased by others, [201]grows to be a very large stream, crossing the whole of Nueva Segovia to the ocean.46 This river, on account of its fish (upon which most of the Indians live), is also of great value to them. This is the only point as to which they are somewhat obstinate, because they are greatly grieved to leave their ancient abode. However, most of them have accepted it, and it is hoped that the rest will come, and in this way in a short time much will be gained by the aid of the Lord. Through the mountains next to this province, which are many and very rough, there wander a tribe of Indians known as Alegueses, a vagabond people having no settled places of abode. Father Fray Thomas sent word to them by an Indian chief of Ytuy that if they wished to come and settle one of the new sites which he indicated, he would receive them there as sons, and do them all the good he could. They answered in the affirmative, and he waited for them for some time; but before they came the holy man finished his days, full of years and of heroic works, as will soon be seen. This is the work which these apostolic men of God accomplished in only three months, as appears from the aforesaid report. They conclude their report with another case similar to that referred to above, of the woman who died so soon after she had confessed. In the goings-out and comings-in of the fathers among the Indians that they might become acquainted with them, they found in one village, called Palar, a very aged Indian woman who [202]was dying. She had eaten nothing for five days. Father Fray Thomas went to see her, and began to talk with her of becoming a Christian for the salvation of her soul. He expounded to her briefly what she had to believe, and called upon her to repent of her sins. She answered as well as might be desired, and he accordingly baptized her on that day, which was the last day of her earthly life and the first day of her Christian one. It was a happy day, so far as can be judged; for, being newly baptized, she had merely to be recorded in purgatory. Not only in these new provinces where the dawn of the gospel’s light now begins to shine do extraordinary cases happen like those which have been mentioned, to the great glory of God and the joy of his ministers; but they also occur in many others where the dawn has risen high but has not yet bathed all the horizon, though it is covering it, little by little. From the province of Nueva Segovia father Fray Geronimo de Zamora,47 a native of the city of Zaragoça, wrote me a letter dated February 25, 1633. In it are these words: “Before Lent I went up the river of Mandayas” (this is the name of a part of that province), “to try to teach many Indians who were without Christian instruction in heathen darkness, but who paid tribute to the king our lord as his vassals, without even being sons of the Church. I asked them if I might visit them, and they received my request kindly and asked that I or some other father should remain among them. In token of the heartiness of [203]their wish, they gave me, as a sort of hostages, ten sons of their chiefs to be baptized; and after having sufficiently instructed them, I baptized them, to the great joy and delight of my soul. I hope in God that in this way thousands of them may be redeemed from the power of the devil, for there is no one who will declare that they are not his.” He afterward asked aid from his neighbors to draw the net which was laden with so many fish as are promised by the casts already made there. Many are needed, but we may say here, “Where are those good men?”

It is not to be understood that only these new events are the good ones, or that among Christians who have been so for some time there are but few occurrences to rouse joy. This is not the case, for there are so many which have occurred among these latter that a very large book might be made of the account of them, if it were necessary to report what has happened hitherto, and what happens every day anew, to the holy old ministers of the gospel who have been and are among them, whose beards have grown, and whose hair has become white among the Indians. They are good witnesses to this truth, and to the growth that the Spirit is wont to cause in these clods of earth. As for those who grow weary quickly and leave the ministry, there is no necessity to say anything. It is certain that among those who have been Christians steadily for years there are fewer dangers; yet the care of them is of no less merit, and consequently the reward will be no less, since, as King David has well said (I Kings, xxx), Aequa pars erit descendentis ad praelium et remanentis ad sarcinas, et similiter divident.48 [204]

Here in Manila the order has under its care a hospital for the Chinese, in which the sick of that nation are cared for. The province may place this at the head of its possessions, since there is scarcely a day in which some soul or souls of newly baptized do not pass to heaven. Very few are they who die without baptism, and very many are they who give their souls to God before the baptismal waters are dry on their heads. This is accomplished with so little effort on the part of the minister that it calls upon him only to make a little effort, and to go from his cell to the infirmary. I do not know whether there is any other hospital in Christendom of the character of this hospital, its principal end being the cure of souls, while for the cure of bodies it has its physician, its medicines, and everything needed within its gates, besides the food and the dainties called for by the palates of the sick. The effects of the divine predestination which are beheld in it are so many that they are almost ordinary, and are therefore not mentioned.

[In Japon the persecution was increasing in fierceness, and very few letters were received. One of these, from father Fray Domingo de Erquicia, gives an account of the death of the emperor and the succession of his son, who was even more cruel than the father.49 He tells of the deaths over a slow fire of a father of the order of the calced Augustinians, [205]and of two discalced; of a Japanese Franciscan priest of the tertiary order, and of a Franciscan brother; and of a Japanese father of the Society of Jesus—the remains of all being burned, and the ashes cast into the sea. On another occasion two Augustinian Recollects were burned. Two Franciscan fathers were captured, while two Dominicans were hidden in caves or cisterns, and did not see the sun or the moon for many days. From a Dominican at Macao, Fray Antonio del Rosario, testimony was received as to the great achievements of father Fray Domingo Erquicia.]

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Chapter XLIV

The life and death of father Fray Thomas Gutierrez, vicar provincial of the province of Ytuy

[Father Fray Thomas Gutierrez was a native of the city of Origuela in the kingdom of Valencia; and he assumed the habit in the convent and college of the order there. When the opportunity offered he went to the province of Sant Hipolito de Oaxaca in Nueva España. Here he learned the language of the Mistecs, whose minister he was for some years. Coming to the Philippinas, he was assigned to the province of Pangasinan, where in a few months he learned the language so well that he surpassed many of the very natives. He rebuked the vices of the Indians with such efficacy that they called him “Thunder,” because he frightened them like the thunder, which they greatly fear. He was a rigid observer of the rules of the province and was notable for his modesty. He went courageously among the savage Indians, who often attack those who are [206]traveling along the paths—not for their purses, but for their heads, he who cuts off the greatest number being the most highly esteemed among them.] On one occasion he came to a village of these Indians called Managuag. While he was there, more than four hundred of these Zambales, as they are called, appeared in the village, with their bows, arrows, lances, and daggers such as they use—which are so keen that in a single instant they strike a head to the earth. They came into the unsuspecting village with such a noise and shout that the poor inhabitants, being unarmed, almost died of fear. Some fled to the mountains, and some sixty Christian Indians took refuge in the house of a chief. When they saw that they were lost, having no weapons nor any means to defend themselves, they put themselves in the hands of God, and decided to make use of prayers in place of weapons; so they fell on their knees, and began in a loud voice to pray in their language. The Zambales, hearing them, surrounded the house and undertook to go up to it. Without knowing what held them back, they were several times obliged to retreat when they were half-way there. They finally set fire to it, though against their will, for they thought much of being able to take with them the heads of its inmates. It was burned to the ground in a few moments, with those who were within. Although God did not deliver them from the fire, He showed by a miracle that He had delivered them from the fires of hell, and perhaps from the fires of purgatory, exchanging those for this fire; for they were all found dead in a circle, untouched by the fire, and on their knees, with their elbows on the ground and their heads on their hands. Most of [207]them took refuge in the church under the protection of the father and of God. These availed them; and the father, without attempting to close doors or windows, took in his hands a Christ that was on the altar, from whom he and the people (who were about him) all begged for mercy, which the Father of Mercies granted them. It was a marvelous thing that though the cemetery in front of the church had a wall the height of which was only from a few palmos up to two varas, the enemy were unable to cross it; and one of them, who leaped over it, was struck dead by a stray arrow. The roof of the church and the convent was of nipa, which is like so much dry straw to the fire. Upon it fell many brands and more than fifty burning arrows, none of which kindled it, though it was so inflammable. God, choosing to show who it was that defended this place, by the prayers of His servant Fray Thomas, permitted an Indian who was with him in the church, and who thought he was not safe there, to go out, thinking that he might escape by running. The enemy caught him and cut off his head in an instant. Not an arrow touched even the clothes of one of those who remained with the father, though these fell as thick as grass, and though many arrows passed among them, for they came in at the doors and windows of the church like showers of rain. Finally the enemy, frightened—although, being barbarians, they could not understand—when they saw that the fire would not catch, though there was nothing to prevent it, and that their arms would not injure these people, though disarmed, retreated with some heads (the spoils which they most desire) and with some captives. The father, when the disturbance was over, [208]immediately set about burying the dead and putting the village in a situation to defend itself from any other similar attack.

On a mountain chain near two villages, one of which is one of the most important in the province of Pangasinan, which are called Binalatongan and Balanguey, there were some unpacified Indians so savage and barbarous that they knew no occupation but cutting off heads. They were even more cruel than the ones just referred to, and came down into the valleys, to the fields of the peaceful Indians and to the roads, to hunt the latter like so many deer. Father Fray Thomas was much grieved by this, and did not know what to do to prevent it. To keep them back by arms he had not the strength; and, as for arguments, these were not people who would accept them. He therefore made use of a means which the event showed to have been revealed to him from above, because according to carnal reason it seemed to be very contrary to the rules of prudence. He directed two Christian Indians to go up the mountains to the settlements of their enemies, totally unarmed, and to carry to them a certain message from him. They went, for the Indians did not know how to refuse to do what the father directed them; but they went as if they were going to the slaughter. When they came to the place, they made signs of peace; but the barbarians, who knew no more about peace than about theology, were on the point of killing them without listening to them. But one of the savages themselves diverted them from this purpose by saying that they would better listen to them first; that there would be time to kill them afterwards, because they could not escape. They called [209]our Indians, and asked them what they wished; and they answered that they were bringing a message from father Fray Thomas their father; this was, that he begged them earnestly to do no more harm to these Indians their neighbors, who were to him as sons. He desired them to come down and settle in the plains wherever they pleased, promising that he would regard them likewise as his sons, and would show them great kindness. They were not acquainted with the father, and did not know his name; and some of them were of the opinion that they had better slay the simple ambassadors. Others, contrary to their usual practice, defended the latter, treated them well, and showed them hospitality. Among those who were thus kind to them were two chiefs, of whom one—who was, as it were, the leader of all—was named Duayen; the other was named Buaya. Their hearts, which were harder than the hearts of tigers, God softened without any other application than that which has been described. They sent back his ambassadors to the father with an escort to defend them in dangerous places, and to take them safe to his presence; and by them they sent the answer that they were very ready to do with a good will what he commanded them, and that they would come down to the plain and settle in three places, so situated that the father might visit and teach them. They did not delay in carrying out their promise. They built their villages, and in them churches and dwellings for the father. In one of the churches were baptized immediately a son and two daughters of Duayen, together with many other children, twenty of them boys. Thus was sown the seed of the gospel, which has grown luxuriantly, at no further cost than has [210]been recounted. Father Fray Thomas was indefatigable in striving for the good of souls. For the benefit of souls he made journeys of twelve leguas on foot, over very bad roads and in the heat of the sun. He sometimes went among warlike Indians who cut off the heads of others, while he and those who went with him saved theirs. It seemed to his companion, when he took one, that even though the companion was weak, a contagion of strength went out from the father, so that his associate was able to follow him, and they both went on long journeys without being much exhausted. Father Fray Thomas was not grieved that the direction of his superior occupied him in different posts, and called him from one place which was already cultivated well to another which was not so, but very ill—an effect which might have resulted from various causes. In the province of Ylocos—which is next to that of Pangasinan, and between it and that of Nueva Segovia, all of them being in this island of Luçon—there is a large village called Nalbacan, the instruction of which was entrusted to secular clergy. As they were quickly changed, one after the other, and as some of them did not know the language of the natives, the village was in great lack of religious instruction. The bishop of these provinces, Don Diego de Soria, determined to give this village to the order, that it might minister to it. The father provincial who held that office at the time, charged father Fray Thomas with this duty. He set out there immediately, and began on the way to learn something of the language of the country, of which he had already a vocabulary and a grammar. Though it is different from that of Pangasinan, he preached in it at the end [211]of twenty days after he arrived there, and before the bishop and other priests who were there, and before the natives, to the wonder of all. He began to fill his office so acceptably to the Indians that some came from the most remote parts of the province to confess to him and to receive his counsels. He was given the name of “the holy father,” and, whenever they spoke of him, they used this name. As this is the appellation of the supreme pontiff of the church, whom the Indians had never seen, and still less had any dealings with him, those who were not acquainted with the secret were surprised to hear them speak until they came to understand it. Father Fray Thomas remained here a year, and his teaching and example were easily perceived in the improvement of the Indians and of those who were under his direction. All this province of the Indians is under the care of Augustinian fathers, who have in it many places where they give Christian instruction. They accordingly claimed this of Nalbacan, which was the only place outside of their jurisdiction. The order was very willing to yield it, and in exchange for it the Augustinians gave to our order another, which they had among our ministries in Pangasinan; and thus each order remained with its province complete, with its own tribe and language. When the Augustinian fathers came to take possession of the house of father Fray Thomas, as they did somewhat in advance of the time, he departed with nothing but his cloak, his hat, his breviary, and his staff, setting out for the province of Nueva Segovia, which was very near, to wait for the order of his superior, and to be disposed of as he pleased. Desiring not to be idle in the interim, for he did not wish to be idle a [212]single hour—and if he did not know the language he would have to be idle many hours—he learned the language of that country with the facility which God had given him. He was aided by the fact that the languages of these three provinces of Indians are somewhat alike, and resemble each other in their idioms and in their syntax—which does not seem to have been invented by a barbarous people, but by a race of intelligence and keenness of mind. He remained but a short time in this province, being sent by the order of his superior to his former province of Pangasinan, whose language he understood as if it were his mother-tongue. In this language he wrote many books of devotion, sermons, and treatises, which he distributed while he was alive among the fathers who were ministers to that people; and he left others behind him at his death, as his estate, for he had no other estate except instruments of penance. From these long journeys on foot, through these rough and hot regions, a sickness resulted in Pangasinan which threatened to be the last of his life, and obliged him to give up the ministry to the Indians, much against his will. He suffered from this very much more than from the pain of the illness; but what he could not gain in this life he laid up for the other by his admirable patience and fortitude. Finally God restored his health, without medicines or comforts, for which there is little provision here; and there was less then, because things were nearer the beginning, when everything was barrenness and extreme poverty. With all these merits, he still lacked one thing to fill up the measure of his deserts. The common enemy of souls guessed this, and once appeared to him, while he was reading a book of devotion, in a [213]hideous and shocking form; and although the father made the sign of the cross, the enemy did not flee so quickly but that he had time to say that, if it were not for the stones on the father’s neck, he would be revenged upon him. This was the rosary, which the father took off neither by night nor by day, that he might be at all hours armed against him who may attack at any hour, and will do so whenever he is permitted. His zeal for souls increased with age, contrary to what often happens; for with the old age of the body, the weakening of the strength, and the increase of infirmity, old age often attacks the spirit—as St. Paul says (Hebrews, viii), Quod antiquatur et senescit prope interitum est50—which is as true of the spirit as of the body. When the father had reached the age of seventy years, he implored father Fray Francisco de Herrera, who was provincial at the time, to send him to Japon on the occasion when the large mission thither was planned which, afterward, God did not see fit to permit to be carried out. I think that this was not the first time that he proffered this request to his superiors. In proportion to the dangers and hardships promised by this mission, of which father Fray Thomas was not ignorant, was his earnestness in the desire to be a member of it. This is a proof of his vigorous spirit in venerable old age. His urgent request was not admitted, on the ground of his age; but he did not lose the merit of it, since he made it without any hypocrisy. God preserved him for another mission (that described in the previous chapter), which he undertook in the province of Ytui. He had made a beginning [214]there in former years, but had not carried it on because of the obstacle there mentioned. He had now come to three years beyond seventy, and undertook the difficult expedition already described with as much spirit and energy as if he had only half his years. Yet he was much bowed with infirmities, as well as with age; and between them he seemed, as he walked, to be dragging along his body and his bowels. The words which the church sings of the holy old Simeon are not inappropriate, Senex puerum portabat; puer autem senem regebat.51 This same God whose name he, as His vassal, desired to carry to all regions, directed him and strengthened him, so that he undertook enterprises so far beyond the strength of one bowed with years and infirmities. In this period of his life he began to learn the language of this province, accomplishing his purpose in three months, and beginning to preach to the natives in it. He went to attend them in their spiritual needs whenever they summoned him, however far away he was, without heeding rain, or sun, or difficult roads. Though very compassionate to all, he was rigorous to himself alone, and that throughout his life. Every night he took a rigorous discipline; and never after he entered the order did he eat meat, except in case of grave necessity. He did not complain of his food when it was scanty or ill prepared, in sickness or in health. To the fasts of the order he added others. After the festival of the Resurrection he added another Lent up to Whitsunday, and another afterwards to the day of our father St. Dominic, so that the whole year was to [215]him fasting and Lent. On Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays throughout the year, and on the eves of the festivals of Christ our Lord, of the Virgin his most holy Mother, and of our father St. Dominic, and of the saints of the order, he fasted on bread and water. As a result he possessed that which follows such fasting—a heroic degree of chastity. Finally the last illness of his life came upon him, being occasioned by a fall from a precipice, while he was in the work of his ministry. During the whole time of his illness, his companion could not persuade him to accept a sheet of very coarse cotton, or to permit his bed to be changed. On the bed which he had in health, which was a frame of cane-work covered with a patched blanket, he desired to await the hour of his death. Before his death he made a general confession, covering his whole life from the time before he reached years of discretion. Though his confession covered so many years, it lasted about a quarter of an hour. After he had most devoutly received the other sacraments, he died in the Lord, March 30, 1633. The following provincial chapter, in giving notice to the province of his happy death, said: “In the province of Ytui father Fray Thomas Gutierrez ended his days, an aged priest and father, most observant of the rules of the order, severe to himself and most gentle to others. He labored in this province for the good of souls for the space of five and thirty years, with such devotion that the very Indians, by whom he was most beloved, held and regarded him as pious and a saint. This aroused the ill-will of the devil, who appeared to him while he was at prayer; and the wicked enemy was able to arouse in him great fear and terror, but [216]not to harm him, because he found him protected with the impregnable rosary of the Virgin. Of him we have the pious faith that, full of years and of virtue, he has flown to heaven.”

[Contents]

Chapter XLV

The election as provincial of father Fray Domingo Gonçalez, and the state of the province

On the sixteenth of April in this year 1633, the fathers of the province assembled in Manila to elect a superior. Their minds were in such agreement that without difficulty they unanimously elected, on the first ballot, father Fray Domingo Gonçalez, prior of the same convent, not one vote being lacking for the election but his own. He was very acceptable to the estates, both secular and ecclesiastical, of this region, as have been all of the other provincials; since the electors have always exhibited great zeal for the good of the order, and have made their choice without considering personal predilections. In general, the election has not previously been discussed, so that the provincial is elected before anyone suspects who he is. Often a person is elected with regard to whom no one imagined any such thing, so that the city is not a little edified. He who was elected at that time was in España a student at the college of San Gregorio, where he was for many years a teacher of theology. After filling all the offices of the order, he became commissary of the Holy Office in these islands—as he still is, with which we must bring to an end all that may be said with regard to him.

The provincial and the definitors found nothing [217]to occupy themselves with in the reformation of the province. Advice was received of a new ordinance of the chapter-general held in Roma in 1629, in which permission is given to the provinces to discontinue the intermediate chapter as being the source of much expense and trouble to all the order—and, in this province, of much interference with the systematic instruction of the Indians in our charge, many of whom are entirely without ministers during the whole time spent in coming to these intermediate chapters. In their place were very prudently substituted the councils, which, being reduced to a much smaller number of religious, the picked men of the province, are almost as useful and much less expensive, and are not followed by the bad results spoken of. This permission was accepted, and the precedent has since been followed.

In this year the order was extended so far throughout these kingdoms that it had never before reached such limits. Although the number of the religious of this province is very small, they have taken up a jurisdiction so extended and so large that, even though many hundreds and even thousands of companions were to come to their aid, they would have enough to provide all these with labor, without needing to seek for or even to accept anything else, all of them being occupied with that which has already been acquired and gained. For the lack of ministers, the Indians are still untaught, and remain in their heathen state; while if they had ministers they would embrace and follow the law of God, as those have admitted and professed it who by the favor of heaven have been able to obtain ministers.

[The persecution in Japon was still increasing in [218]intensity and cruelty. The authorities of Japon now offered a reward of a thousand taes (which amount to almost as many ducados of Castilla) to anyone who would reveal the place of hiding of a minister, in addition to full pardon for all offenses previously committed. Besides this, a new and dreadful method of execution was devised for the Christians, inasmuch as their crime was regarded as so vile that the ordinary methods of execution—decapitation, or burning alive over a slow fire—should not be used as a punishment for them. The condemned Christians were hung, head downward, in a pit, in such a manner that they could not move their bodies, and that the blood ran out of their mouths, noses, eyes, and ears until they bled to death in horrible torment.52 In this way father Fray Domingo de Erquicia was martyred. Father Fray Jacobo de Sancta Maria,53 a Japanese by nation, who had assumed the [219]habit in our convent of Manila, August 15, 1624, was martyred in this year. He had returned to Japon in 1632. He went by way of the islands of the Lequios; and the champan in which he traveled with some Japanese fathers of the Society encountered storms, and was cast upon the shores of Coria. The sufferings of this voyage were such that his hair turned gray. At the end of five months he reached Satzuma, where he labored for about three months. His father, who was a Christian, was tortured by water until he revealed the place where his son was hidden; and on the seventeenth of August father Fray Jacobo died, after three days of torture, by the method of hanging described. In this year two preachers of our order made their way to Japon. One was the glorious martyr, father Fray Jacobo; the other was a Sicilian, a very thorough master of the Chinese language, who was called Fray Jordan de San Estevan. He had assumed the habit in Sicilia, after having studied arts and theology in Aragon and Castilla. He barely escaped capture immediately on his arrival; and the whole crew of Chinese who had been hired to bring him were executed for the crime of bringing a priest into the kingdom.

In this year, thirty-three, the cruel old emperor died; and in the commotions which followed it seemed as if all parties turned their hands against the Christians. Many other martyrs of other orders were executed at this time. Among them were Father Manuel Borges, of the Society of Jesus; fathers Fray Melchor and Fray Martin, Augustinian Recollects—Spaniards, who were caught before they learned the language; father Fray Jacobo Antoni, a Roman, of the Society of Jesus; fathers [220]Fray Benito Fernandez (a Portuguese) and Fray Francisco de Gracia, of the Order of St. Augustine; and a Japanese father of the Society named Pablo Saito, who had accompanied father Fray Jacobo from Manila. In this year father Fray Thomas de San Jacintho reported that thirteen religious were captured in Nangasaqui, besides two of the Order of St. Francis who were prisoners in Usaca. Besides these, there were Fathers Antonio de Sousa and Juan Mateos, and Father Christoval Ferreyra, all Portuguese Jesuits; father Fray Lucas del Espiritu Sancto, a father of our order; besides many Japanese, both lay and religious.

Father Fray Lucas del Espiritu Sancto was a son of the convent of Sancto Domingo at Benavente. An account is given of his labors in the chapter dealing with the year thirty-one. From his prison he wrote an account of his labors and travels in Japon, in which he told how he had gone through the most distant parts of the empire from east to west. Most of these fathers and many of their companions were tortured while in prison, and father Fray Lucas wrote a long letter describing their imprisonment and torture. In this letter he makes the following statement: that if he should die on the day of St. Luke, he would be exactly thirty-nine years of age; that he assumed the habit in 1610 in the convent of Sancto Domingo at Benabente, whence he went to study at Trianos and hence to Valladolid, coming to the Philippinas in 1617, and being assigned to duty in Nueva Segovia. He reached Japon in 1623. His letter is dated October 16, 1633, and two days later he was put to the torture of the hanging described, being respited for a time and afterward executed.] [221]

[Contents]

Chapter XLVI

The holy Fray Jacintho de Esquivel or De el Rosario, martyred on the way to Japon; and his holy life.

[To the six or seven holy martyrs of our sacred order—Fray Domingo de Erquicia,54 Fray Lucas del Espiritu Sancto, Fray Jacobo de Santa Maria, and three or four lay brothers, should be added another who, though he did not die in Japon, died on the journey thither, at the hands of traitorous heathen. This was father Fray Jacintho de Esquivel. He was a Basque by nation, noble in lineage and nobler in virtue. He assumed the habit in the convent of San Domingo of the city of Victoria. While he was a novice I happened, in returning from the chapter-general in Paris in 1611, where I was definitor for this province, to rest in his convent for a week; and at that time he conceived the desire to come to this province. He was sent to the famous college of San Gregorio at Valladolid, and distinguished himself in his studies, becoming a teacher of arts when still very young. In Manila he was appointed as lecturer in theology in the college of Sancto Thomas; and in this position he did not take advantage of the dispensations allowed, but rigorously observed the severe rules of the province. While he was teaching [222]theology he studied the Japanese language, under the teaching of father Fray Jacobo de Sancta Maria. With his aid he printed, at the expense of the college, a Japanese-Spanish vocabulary—a large book, which required very great resolution and labor. As a result of abstinence, he had lost the sense of taste. He dressed poorly and roughly, and his modesty and chastity were such that he once said that he had never looked a woman in the face. In order to make his way to Japon he went to the island of Hermosa. On the very night of the arrival of father Fray Jacintho occurred a heavy storm, which overthrew a small convent of ours with its church, which had been erected in the Parian of the Chinese. The other fathers attributed this to the wrath of the devil because of the coming of the father; but he rejoiced that materials were provided for building a church in Taparri, for which the ruins of these buildings might be used. This village of Taparri was populated by the worst tribe in the whole island; for they were all pirates, who committed as much robbery and murder on the sea as they could. It was less than a legua from the presidio of San Salvador, and strict orders had been issued that no one should go there without permission, and that those who went should always go in company and armed. The father asked permission to go and build a church in that village, where he soon learned a few of the words. When the Indians asked him where his wife and sons and land were, he answered that the religious had none, to which they replied that he was a great liar. At another time, when he told them of the resurrection of the dead, they called him mad. Afterward, when they came to have a great deal [223]of affection for him and offered him several marriages, and saw that he would not accept them, or even admit a woman into his house, they began to believe in him. He afterward set about building a church in another village on the same coast, nearer the presidio, and named Camaurri. He established peace between the two villages though they had always been enemies before. He was afterward sent to Tanchuy. He lived a life of great mortification, and labored strenuously to learn the language of this country. In a few months he succeeded, and made a grammar and a very copious vocabulary. Being sent back from Tangchuy to Sant Salvador, he obeyed most readily, and his labors were attended with great results. He exposed himself to dangers by sea and by land, and preached to Spaniards as well as to Indians. He established in the island of Hermosa the holy Confraternity of La Misericordia. The good cavalier Don Juan de Alcaraso gave four thousand pesos for the purpose; and father Fray Jacintho gave two thousand, which he had received in alms. He also established a school for the bright Chinese and Japanese children, and those of other nations in that country, where they might be taught the matters of our faith, and where those who are capable of them might learn Latin, the liberal arts, and theology. He hoped thus to train up children who might carry the faith into China and Japon. He finally embarked for Japon in a Chinese vessel, with a Franciscan; and after they had been at sea for a few days the Chinese, unwilling to wait and put them ashore in Japon, killed them and took their noses and ears to the judges in Nangasaqui, who paid them liberally.] [224]

[Contents]

Chapter XLVII

The martyrdom of the holy friar Fray Francisco de Sancto Domingo in the island of Hermosa, and the death of the venerable father Fray Angel de San Antonino in Great China.

[In the course of time arose a persecution of the Christians in the island of Hermosa. An Indian chief in Tanchuy excited some villages to rebel, and to kill some Spaniards from an ambush. They first employed their weapons upon the holy martyr Fray Francisco de Sancto Domingo, who had never done them anything but kindness, and who had just rescued from prison the man who excited all the others. This man had been placed there because his evil purposes had been detected. Father Fray Francisco was a native of Portugal, and a son of the convent of Zamora in the province of España, whence he went in 1615 to study theology in the royal convent of Sancto Thomas at Avila. He came in my company on the second expedition which I made with religious from España to this country. He was assigned to duty in Nueva Segovia, where he learned the language of the natives, and labored gloriously among them for some years. He was a lean man but had very good health and great strength. He was taken by the father provincial, Fray Bartholome Martinez, as his companion, and the conversion of the island of Hermosa was begun. He suffered from headache, in addition to which he subjected himself to the most severe penances. He was most kindly and charitable, especially to the Indians. When the Indians attacked him, he sank on his knees before [225]them; and they shot at least fifty arrows into his body. The Indians cut off his head, leaving the tongue and lower jaw on the body; and with the head and the right hand they went to the mountains, to celebrate the festival of head-cutting. On the way the head wept miraculously, and there was a dreadful earthquake, so that the Indians in alarm cast the head into the river. The holy martyr died January 27, 1633, the Lord working miracles upon his body after his death.

In this same year, there died in Great China father Fray Angel de San Antonio, who before coming to this province used his family name, which was Quoqui (or Cocci). He was of noble Florentine descent. Some mention of his virtues has been already made, when I spoke of the entrance of our order into the kingdom of China. By the assistance of miracles, he succeeded in carrying out the great desire of the province to preach the gospel in that most populous and wealthy country, the people of which have so much intelligence and such fine natural gifts. He was minister to the Indians of Bataan, whose language he understood; but by the direction of his superiors he undertook the study of the Chinese language, and, in spite of its difficulty, he obeyed with alacrity and promptness. Before he had thoroughly mastered this language he was sent to Hermosa, from which the governor, Don Juan de Alcaraso, sent him on an embassy to the viceroy of Ucheo. The treachery of the Chinese on the way has already been described; and an account has been given of the events which occurred in China. In the year in which the order sent him a companion (1633), he was taken sick, and died.] [226]

[Contents]

Chapter XLVIII

The beginning of the conversion of the Mandayas, mountaineers of Nueva Segovia

Although the conversions of the kingdoms of Japon and China turns thither much [missionary] effort55 in España, since these kingdoms are so magnificent, and summons many noble spirits, that is not the only conversion; nor ought the others to be despised where the Lord more quietly (and perhaps in a humbler way) works marvelous effects among the heathen who are converted—and also among the ministers, who profit greatly by so noble a work. Many examples of this have been written in this history, which are confirmed by the events of this year among the Indians called Mandayas, who inhabit some remote and craggy mountains in the province of Nueva Segovia. Though this island of Luçon is the first which received the faith in these regions, having done so at the time when the Spaniards invaded it, there are still many regions in it where for lack of ministers the faith has not been preached, and where the inhabitants have never heard more of the gospel than if Christians had never come hither. This is true not only of a village here and there, but of whole provinces, each inhabited by its own race and each possessing its own language, though they are all within this great island. Such were these Mandayas Indians, the conversion of whom was begun in this year by father Fray Geronimo de Zamora, a native of Zaragoça, a son of the most religious [227]province of Aragon—from whose report, and from that of two other fathers who for some time accompanied him, the following facts are drawn. In the provincial chapter of the year 1631 obedience sent this father as superior to the villages of Fotol and Capinatan, which are in Nueva Segovia near the aforesaid mountains. He had great joy in going there, for he immediately entertained great hopes of the conversion of these Mandaya tribes. They were as completely given over to their errors as if there had never been a preacher of the faith in this country, for they lived in mountains which were very rugged, although they were near the villages above mentioned. When father Fray Geronimo came thither and saw that these heathen sometimes came down for trade with the villages, he began to show them kindness, and to give them some trifles that they thought much of, until at last he secured their good will. For the time he did not speak of anything else, for they were not inclined to matters of the faith, much less to accept ministers who would interfere with the vices in which they lived and had been brought up. In this way a year passed, and at the beginning of the next year, seeing that they were more kindly disposed to him, it seemed to him that he could trust them; and he determined to go up to their villages. He was confident that even though they would not admit him as a teacher and preacher, they would receive him kindly as their friend and benefactor, who was not coming to take or to ask for what they possessed, but merely to provide them with a good which they were without. That he might not make a mistake by following his own opinion, he consulted first with the father vicar-provincial [228]of that region and some grave fathers of it; and after they had conferred, and discussed the case, they resolved that father Fray Geronimo should make the journey, while the others should pray to the Lord for a good result. Hereupon he most courageously went up into the mountains, about the end of January, taking with him some Indians whom he could trust and who were of good intelligence—acquaintances and friends of the Mandayas. It took him a day and a half of most laborious traveling to reach their first village, for they had to row up stream against the current, which is always strong and in some places terrible. The river runs between high mountains on both sides and in the middle of the stream there are great rocks, which make it very dangerous to go up—and still more so to go down, because the rapid current carries the boat against the rocks. They received him with great pleasure, and lodged him in one of their best houses, though it was built of thatch, after the custom of the country. Next to it the father had a building erected where he could say mass; and he sent round to the chiefs of the other villages to ask them to come to that one, and there he waited for them. They did so readily, because of their good will toward him; and, when they were all together, the father—standing in the midst of them in an open place, like St. Paul in Athens—expounded to them the mysteries of our faith, demolishing the delusions of their errors and the teaching of the devil, the Father of Lies, and saying much that was suitable for both purposes. To this they listened with attention, although the doctrine was new to their ears. God enlightened them within, and hence they did not answer as the [229]Athenians did to St. Paul—some making a jest of it, and others saying that they would hear him another time as to this matter, while there were few that believed; but here all said at once that they believed what they were taught, and wished to receive this holy law, placing themselves in his hands to be disposed of as he thought best. Great was the joy which father Fray Geronimo felt at this answer, which was beyond his hopes; and he gave many thanks to the Lord, seeing that it was he who had accomplished the matter so well, so quickly, and with so little effort, though it was a great matter. He also thanked them, and confirmed them as much as he could in their good purpose; and he asked them as a proof of the validity of the promise which they had given him, to grant him, as sureties that they would not retract it, their infant sons in baptism. Without hesitation ten of their chiefs on the following day brought ten infants, their sons, whom father Fray Geronimo immediately baptized, offering them to God as the first-fruits of this new conversion. As a token that in the name of Christ our Lord and of his most holy Mother he assumed possession thereof, he said mass, and assigned to the village as their patron the Virgin of the Pillar of Zaragoça.56 It was surely a prudent thought to fasten this tender church to this strong pillar, upon which from of old that noble city has been supported, and has stood firm without being overthrown by the storms that have assailed it since [230]its foundation, though it be as many years in age as the days of the same Virgin in this mortal life; and it shall last to the end of the world. Throughout that whole day the father spent his time in converse with his new sons, encouraging them to go on with what they had so happily begun; but he was obliged to leave them for the time, that he might return to the villages under his care, for Lent was at hand and it was necessary for him to listen to confessions. The ministers are so few that their strength and power cannot reach as far as their desire. The Indians were greatly grieved when they saw that they were to be without a guide just as they were beginning a path which they had never trod; but the father was more grieved at being obliged to leave them. He promised to come back and live among them as soon as he could; and they determined to go to his superior to beg for a minister and a teacher to instruct them in the way of salvation. They carried out their plan at such a fortunate time that they found the fathers preparing to go to the provincial chapter, which was at hand. The religious promised to help the Indians in their good purpose, and did so, as will soon be seen. Father Fray Geronimo departed from them with many tears on both sides—the Indians weeping from sorrow at being left behind; the father partly from grief at leaving them, and partly from joy at seeing his desires realized and his labors so well begun, for this meant that the work was half done. The fathers of the chapter complied with the promise that had been given, and recounted to the definitors the good beginning of this conversion which they had seen, and the great desire with which these heathen Indians asked for ministers to teach [231]and baptize them. The result was that the definitors felt obliged to grant so just a petition, and to give them as minister and preacher the same Fray Geronimo de Zamora, who offered to dwell in those solitary mountains in order to carry on what the Lord had begun through his ministry and diligence. That he might be able to go, he was provided with two good companions—a great number where the religious were so few, and where there was so much calling upon them for their help. The convent and convents which might be established there were accepted; and the patronage of the Virgin of the Pillar was extended over all the Christian churches which might be formed there. This last request was so just that it brought its favorable answer with it; and, even if father Fray Geronimo had not presented it, there was a definitor in that chapter who would have made it, because he was likewise a native of the same city of Zaragoça, and a son of the famous convent of preachers of that city. His name was Fray Carlos Clemente Gant,57 long an excellent minister of the province of Nueva Segovia. It is well that the sons of that noble city never cease, wherever they are, to see within their souls that great sanctuary which the city enjoys and in the shade of which they were bred. Though father Fray Geronimo was eager to carry out the orders of the chapter, he was unable to do so until the beginning of September, on account of the obstacles placed in his way by the devil, who saw how much he was to lose by the expedition. He finally embarked [232]to go up the river with one of his companions, father Fray Luis de Oñate,58 who called himself here by the name of del Rosario; he was a native of Sevilla, and a son of the convent of Portaceli in the same city, a religious of much virtue though of few years, and therefore very well suited to such enterprises. All of his qualifications were necessary, because in the midst of that voyage, at one most dangerous passage, full of great rocks, where the waves are high and the current is stronger, they were unable for three days to make a yard of headway by the greatest efforts that they could put forth, such was the force of the current—or of the devil, who, being unable to do more, strove in this way to interfere with the fathers on their journey. At last by patience and perseverance, which conquer everything, they reached the end of their difficulty. They arrived in the first village of the Mandayas on September 7, the eve of the Nativity of our Lady—a feast which, among the other feasts of the Virgin, is celebrated in Zaragoça with the greatest solemnity by the chapter and the clergy of the holy church of the Pillar. The Indians received them with great demonstrations of joy, after their fashion; and with much greater joy, though a spiritual one, the fathers celebrated on the following day the birth of the Virgin—for it seemed to them wonderfully appropriate to begin the foundation of this conversion on this day—the Virgin herself adopting it, so that, as if it were her own, she might look upon it with the eyes of a mother, [233]and of one so tender. The material (that is, the minds of the listeners) being so well disposed, it was an easy thing for the word of God to kindle in it; for it is like fire, as St. Jerome says in his comment upon the prophet Abdias [i.e., Obadiah], which consumes the straw and purifies the grain for the Lord. Hence the first thing which father Fray Geronimo did, because of his deep spiritual insight and his great experience as a minister, was to get at them under the straw of their vices and superstitions, and to place before them immediately the pure grain and clean seed of the faith. He began, as St. Paul did, in the eleventh chapter of the Epistle to the Hebrews, with the knowledge of and belief in one sole God, the great reward which He has prepared for those who serve Him, and the dreadful punishment with which He chastises the unbelief of the heathen and the sins of those who offend Him. With such force did he explain the greatness of the reward of glory, and the horrors of eternal punishment decreed for the heathen, that all those who heard desired to be baptized immediately. But as this was not possible for the adults, who must first be instructed in the matters of our holy faith, and relieved and unburdened from their previous sins and superstitions, they immediately offered their infant children, who might receive holy baptism without these preparations. Within a few days were baptized some three hundred and more, who learned the whole of the Christian doctrine with strange quickness, a clear indication of the great willingness with which they were converted to their Creator. On the first Sunday in October, which came very soon, an Indian chief and his wife were baptized; and four days later his [234]brother, a youth. It was attributed to the particular favor of the Virgin of the Rosary, whose festival is celebrated on that Sunday, that so barbarous a race, without knowing how to read or write, and bred in those mountains without commerce or communication even with other Indians, should so quickly learn so many prayers. This is still more wonderful because they were not taught them in their own language, which is a savage one, but in that of more highly civilized Indians, which is quite different from theirs. Although they usually all understand this latter, they never speak it among themselves, which increased the difficulty of this matter, and the grace shown by enabling them to conquer it in so short a time. The religious went on to two other villages higher up, and were received by the Indians with the same welcome and signs of rejoicing as in the first village. These Indians listened as readily to the teaching of the faith as the others. Here was founded a tiny church under the advocacy of St. Antoninus—for when lots were cast for this glorious saint, St. Jerome, and St. Francis, that of our holy archbishop came out; and, mass being said in his honor, the church was dedicated to him. Then followed the baptism of many children, whose fathers readily brought them for the purpose—and indeed desired to be the companions of their children in baptism, but were obliged to wait until they could be prepared. The religious could not remain here, and wait until they had prepared them, because they were called back by their obligations to minister to those who were already Christians in the older villages of their district, to whom a single religious could not attend sufficiently. As only one had been left behind, [235]the fathers were obliged to leave them after making so good a beginning, promising to return afterward and to perfect them in Christianity, after fulfilling these duties. It may perhaps seem to some a cause for offense when they shall read that these fathers left this growing grain in the blade, without protection or anyone to care for it, when there was danger that the enemy might come and sow tares in the field; but if the reader will consider how few ministers the province had, and how much they had to attend to, he cannot fail to see that they did not only what they could, but many times more—God giving them courage for that to which their natural strength, as it seemed, could not attain. Yet, even so, they were sometimes compelled guiltlessly to fail in that to which charity would have obliged them if they had been able to do it.

[When the fathers informed the Mandayas of their intention, the Indians were so much grieved that the chiefs and the council resolved to keep the fathers by force if they would not remain with them willingly. Father Fray Geronimo called their attention to the fact that, as a good father, he must attend to all his sons alike. They replied that it would be enough for one to return, and the companion of father Fray Geronimo was accordingly left behind. He was but new in the ministry, and was now to be left alone in the midst of these mountains to cope with the difficulties of a new conversion. Father Fray Geronimo separated from him and the Indians with little less grief and tears, on both sides, than when St. Paul departed from the inhabitants of Ephesus. Father Fray Luis, the minister who remained behind, determined to guide himself by the [236]instructions and the example of father Fray Geronimo. From father Fray Luis is obtained the report which follows. As it deals with matters in which he was himself concerned, it was very short, and he was greatly opposed to publishing it; but the truth of history requires us not to pass over the glory of his works. He was not to baptize any adults, however well instructed, until father Fray Geronimo returned, for fear of meeting with the impediments which are so frequent in such cases—irregularities in marriage, or the guilt of unjust enslavements and of wrongs done by the more powerful to the weaker, or any of a thousand other impediments which only those who are skilful and experienced in the ministry of new conversions can detect and settle. Father Fray Luis continued to exercise his office, and found in the Indians a wonderful hunger and thirst for the matters of the faith, and great readiness in learning it. Some Christians who were older in the faith, who had accompanied the fathers, were astonished. One of these was Don Francisco Tuliao, at present master-of-camp for the Indians of the whole province of Nueva Segovia; he had accompanied the religious, and his influence was of great importance in achieving the conversion of these people. When he saw the fervor of the Mandayas, and the ease with which they learned Christianity, though they were regarded even by the other Indians as rude and barbarous, he declared that the hand of God could be seen in this work. The Lord took to himself the tithe of the first ten baptized children; but the Indians who in their heathen days had been accustomed to spend a week in weeping and mourning their dead children, with a thousand superstitions and extravagances, [237]before burying them, now accepted readily from the hand of the Lord the death of baptized children who departed in their innocence; and, without a sign of grief, they themselves took the little bodies of their children to be buried in the church. In the case of adults also, some of them showed marvelous devotion and were baptized on their deathbeds. Even those who were not baptized believed, and helped the baptized to die blessedly. Many signs of true conversion were shown by these Indians; the Virgin showed special grace to some of the converts, in particular assisting one poor woman of small intelligence to learn the prayers, with which she had great difficulty; and miracles were wrought in order that those predestined by God might not die unbaptized. By the twelfth of January of the following year more than five hundred of this tribe had been baptized; and though it would seem that such a number would have justified the permanent residence of a minister among them, father Fray Luis was obliged to leave the Mandayas, to go to aid in hearing the confessions of those in the lower villages, where there were only six confessors for more than eight thousand penitents. He departed from them with grief, and left behind for their instruction some Indians qualified for the purpose, among them the master-of-camp Don Francisco Tuliao (who was an Indian). He had accompanied the religious in their good work, being also directed by the civil authorities to lead in a war for the reduction of some Indians near the Mandayas, in villages called Ysson.] They had risen; and, being favored by their location in the midst of rugged mountains, had refused the obedience and the tributes [238]which they had been accustomed to pay to their encomenderos. This difficulty was happily settled by Don Francisco, as a result of his prudence and authority. The truth is that the thing was already practically settled, father Fray Geronimo de Zamora having arranged it when he came up for the first time to the Mandayas. At this time he summoned the chiefs of the villages of Ysson along with the rest; and the arguments of this father had such an influence upon them that they immediately yielded to them and put themselves in his hands. As a token of their fidelity they cut off their hair, which is much cherished by these heathen; and this was as much as to say that they renounced their ancient customs and the laws of their ancestors, and that they desired to embrace the law of God, whose servants did not wear their hair long, as did all the heathen. Would that there had been ministers and preachers to give them; for they would have been able to enter this region immediately, and to go among the heathen villages, baptizing the Indians as if they had never served the devil. It is a pity that many of them should be still completely given up to their errors, for lack of someone to declare the truth to them. As soon as father Fray Geronimo and his companion were able to leave the confessions and the communion of the elder Christians, they returned to the aid of these new ones who so greatly required their presence. It did not seem that their absence had caused any great evils, for they found them well taught and prepared for baptism. Accordingly, a few days afterward, on one of the feasts of the Virgin, namely, the Purification, they were able to baptize eighty-three persons who had come [239]to years of discretion, belonging to the leading families in that country; and in two days more, forty others, elderly men. They took as great pains as they could to keep these solemn baptisms for festivals of our Lady, in recognition of her patronage, and with the purpose that after their spiritual birth these tribes might remain very devoted to her and continue under her protection. Music to make these baptisms joyful there was not in these villages, because they were so new; but there was no lack of music in heaven, for if the conversion of one sinner causes rejoicing there, the conversion of so many heathen could not fail to cause great joy indeed.

In the following April, father Fray Geronimo de Zamora reported that the conversion of the Mandayas was advancing; and that their Christian character was, by the grace of our Lady of the Pillar, becoming better and better established. These Mandayas Indians were little esteemed in the province of Nueva Segovia, being regarded as fickle and inconstant, and of small capacity—so that some venerable and prudent ministers thought it was not wise to extend Christianity so rapidly among them. But the proofs which they gave of being aided by heaven relieved their ministers of these fears, and caused them to baptize them without delay. They learn the faith rapidly, readily give up their old superstitions, and are much devoted to prayer. Before baptism they paid their debts, gave liberty to their slaves who were unjustly held, and did many other things that are very hard. They have given up killing and wronging their neighbors, and are now so friendly and peaceful that they visit and entertain each other without suspicion—even in the case of [240]persons, who a short time ago, were hunting each other with the purpose of committing murder. Under all these circumstances, was there any reason for prohibiting their baptism?

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Chapter XLIX

The beginning of the account of the glorious martyrdom of four illustrious martyrs—fathers Fray Jordan de Sant Estevan, Fray Thomas de San Jacintho, and two religious of our tertiary order in Japon.

[Father Fray Thomas de Sant Jacintho was a native of Firando in Japon, and was the son of Christian parents. He learned Latin and began ecclesiastical studies, and even commenced to preach, under the direction of the fathers of the Society. The breaking-out of the persecution obliged him to go to Manila to carry out his studies; so that he pursued the study of theology under the religious of St. Dominic in that city, where he assumed the habit. He showed great keenness of mind, and advanced far in learning. He was a companion of father Fray Jacobo de Sancta Maria, whose glorious martyrdom has been described. The native pride and hauntiness of the Japanese are very much opposed to the religious state, but father Fray Thomas in his novitiate and throughout his life exhibited the greatest humility. He spoke Spanish like a native, and took delight in fulfilling the duties and performing the offices of a friar. He made his profession August 16, 1635, being thirty-five years of age, and continued to carry on the study of theology afterward. Under these circumstances he was [241]selected by the father provincial, Fray Bartholome Martinez, as one of those to go to the island of Hermosa. On the way, the expedition was detained for some months in the province of Nueva Segovia, the climate of which is well known to be most adverse for the Japanese, who generally fall sick and die there. This had happened only a short time before to two priests, companions of his and devout religious. Father Fray Thomas, however, said nothing of his fears, and the Lord preserved him for the acceptable sacrifice which he was to make in Japon. There was great difficulty in sending religious to Japon; out father Fray Thomas went, disguised in Japanese dress, to the island of the Lequios, which is subject to the Japanese. Here by the death of his companion he was left alone, with ornaments and money, and with the direction to go to Japon at the first opportunity and to present himself to his superior, at that time the holy martyr Fray Domingo de Erquicia. In the letter which father Fray Thomas wrote back, he briefly mentions being in the island of the Lequios, making no allusion to the great sufferings which he must have passed through on this journey. He reached Japon in the year 1630, remaining there to the end of the year 1634, four years in all. He was a great help and comfort to the afflicted Christians. The authorities sought after him with great diligence, offering large rewards for his capture, and displaying the greatest severity against those who harbored the ministers of the faith.] [242]

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Chapter L

The coming of the venerable father Fray Jordan de San Estevan to this province, and his entry into Japon.

[Father Fray Jordan de San Estevan was a Sicilian, who had assumed the habit of our order in his native country. Hearing of the crowns of martyrdom which had been attained in Japon, he went to España, hoping that he might make his way thence to this province and have the opportunity of offering his life for Christ. He carried on his studies in the convent of our order in the city of Truxillo, and was a religious of the utmost devotion, abstinence, and spiritual elevation. Submitting his purposes to persons of learning and virtue, he received their approval, and set out for these islands. He formed a most intimate friendship with father Fray Jacintho de Esquivel, or del Rosario, who afterward was a holy martyr. To pass his time when in Mexico—for he was a great enemy of idleness—he wrote an elegant Latin summary of the lives of the saints of our order. When he reached these islands he postponed to his obedience his eagerness to go to Japon; and was assigned to minister to the Chinese, whose language and letters he learned, being acquainted with many thousand characters. The Lord had given him a great gift of languages; for in addition to his native language he knew Latin, Greek, Spanish, Chinese, that of the Indians of Nueva Segovia, and finally the Japanese. He generally lived in the hospitals of the Chinese, obeying the whims of the sick Chinese with the greatest [243]charity and kindness. At last he received permission to go to Japon, passing for a Chinese. In 1632 he set sail, reaching Japon in the following year. He met with many dangers and wandered about through the mountains. As a result of exposure he was afflicted by a severe illness, but was cured by the grace of God.]

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Chapter LI

The capture and martyrdom of the fathers Fray Jordan de San Estevan, and Fray Thomas de San Jacintho.

[The persecutors at this time were seeking with extraordinary diligence for an Augustinian father named Miguel, a Japanese by nation. The inquisition brought the officers of the law to the house where fathers Fray Jordan and Fray Thomas were lodging; and though, being informed of its approach, they fled, they were caught on the day of our father St. Dominic, August 4, 1634. When examined in court they answered briefly and boldly, and with Christian liberty showed no reverence to their unjust judges, denying the accusation of being spies of España. After a severe imprisonment and being ignominiously treated by the judges, before whom they were called several times, they suffered from the dreadful torture of water, which was poured down their throats until they swelled out like bags. They were then laid on the ground and a plank placed upon them, with two men on it, who trod on the plank and thus forced the water out of their mouths, ears, nostrils, eyes and other parts, with such torture as may be imagined. Afterward they again [244]filled them with water, and forced it out again. They were subject to other tortures of the most horrible nature. November 11, 1634, sixty-nine persons, men and women, were taken out of prison to suffer for Christ, some by burning, some by beheading, and our glorious martyrs by being suspended head downward. As they passed through the streets, the Christians showed them secret signs of respect. The martyrs who declared their faith were brought to a place of execution. Father Fray Jordan lingered for seven days, and father Fray Thomas somewhat less. During his lifetime father Fray Jordan had received marked signs of the divine favor, having power to reveal their secrets to guilty hearts, and receiving other special revelations.]

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Chapter LII

The glorious martyrdoms of the illustrious Marina and Magdalena, religious of the tertiary order

[The Christian Japanese who had been well prepared in the faith yielded many confessors; and the religious decided to admit into religious orders some of these of the most advanced virtue. Among these was a certain Sister Marina, admitted by father Fray Luis Exarch—a most holy woman. She was arrested and charged with being a Christian, and with protecting the religious. They revived in her case a torture which had long been given up as barbarous, exposing her naked to the public view and then subjecting her to other tortures by dragging her about from town to town, and causing her to suffer from thirst. Her valor and courage caused even the heathen to respect her. She was condemned to [245]be burned by a slow fire, and her ashes were cast into the sea.

Sister Magdalena was the child of two martyrs; she departed to the desert, and gave herself up to devotion. She received the habit from father Fray Jordan, and, though the officers were not seeking for her, she came before them and confessed Christianity, forcing them to imprison her. After subjecting her to frightful tortures, the tyrant judge finally grew weary and sentenced her to death, directing her to be hanged by her feet. She lived in this torture, without food or drink, for thirteen days and a half.]

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Chapter LIII

The condition of the Christian Church lately established by our religious in Great China

[Though the religious of our order who had recently entered Great China had not enjoyed entire freedom from disturbance, they had met with no such opposition as they had expected. They baptized many who became devout Christians. The Christians converted in China are better Christians than those converted in these islands, being of higher rank and greater intelligence. They live a life of devotion, and do much penance. They often ask acute questions, which cause the minister difficulty in answering; and they are very constant in times of persecution. Up to this year 1634 our province has had in China only two priests; while the Order of St. Francis has sent two others, who have at our request labored in company with the members of our order. Our religious have gone to cities which [246]do not belong to any other order, in order to avoid collisions. The Chinese women are kept in such seclusion that their conversion has been very difficult, though their husbands sometimes bring them; and the Lord has in some remarkable cases shown special favor to the preaching of his gospel by the members of our order. The Lord also works miracles by the hands of His preachers, showing that He is the true God, and that the idols are vanity. In especial, He has cast out devils by His ministers. At times the Chinese heathen have risen against the Christians, and have spread false tales about them. Three such uprisings are described, the church being torn down in one of them, some Christians being maltreated, and a few being slain. The judge punished the rioters, but directed the religious to leave the city. The women are devoted Christians. Father Fray Juan Baptista de Morales59 and father Fray Francisco Diaz60 were both [247]exposed to the danger of death at the hands of the Chinese rioters, and a number of weak Christians fell away; but even under these circumstances the presence of the missionaries achieved much. The Chinese are great idolaters, especially the women, for they believe that after death they shall come to life again in new form, even men taking the form of brute animals, and good women becoming men—which is something which they regard highly, because of the subjection and inferiority of women in China. The Chinese in the region where the fathers were at work were given to horrible vices and to excessive and superfluous courtesy. The converted Chinese departed from their vices, and did much penance.]

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Chapter LIV

The discovery by the religious of many superstitions concealed by some new Christians

[The greatest of the griefs of the Christian ministers in China was the discovery of a number of superstitions concealed by their converts. Many of these had to do with matters which were requisite for them to retain their honor and their positions in the state. They were obliged to offer the adoration yielded by everyone in this kingdom to their deceased ancestors and to worship a certain great teacher of theirs, Congchu61 by name, who has left for them admirable laws full of excellent moral [248]teachings and political virtues, and defective only from the lack of the divine illumination. The superiors of the religious orders went secretly to behold the mode in which the ancestors were worshiped, of which a full description is given in the text. The magistrates are required to render special worship to an idol named Chinhuan, the Christian magistrates, in order to hold their office, being obliged to perform sacrifices to this idol. Among the flowers they conceal a small cross, thus thinking that they may be able to satisfy their consciences and to keep their offices. All the Chinese scholars are obliged to sacrifice to Conchu. This worship is required of the mandarins and all public officers. Our religious informed the Christian Chinese that the mere exterior performance of these rites was a mortal sin, incapacitating them to receive the sacrament. It is affirmed by the Chinese that the fathers of the Society of Jesus permitted them to render this sacrifice, but this is not the case. The religious, by opposing these superstitions, met with many difficulties. At this time books were printed in Chinese against our faith, and the superiors of the two orders went to visit the author of the books, who, angry at the correction of the fathers, declared that they had attempted to kill him. Worse books were issued, one of them by a magistrate. The fathers openly opposed what was said, and were in danger of death, but were delivered by the hand of God.] [249]

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Chapter LV

The life of father Fray Luis Muro, and his martyrdom at the hands of heathen Indians in the island of Hermosa.

[To the judgment of flesh and blood it would not seem that the success of our order in the island of Hermosa was worthy of our efforts. We have sent there some of our best religious; and they have converted very few of the Indians, in proportion to the number of noble religious who have been lost there. Yet to him who will judge aright, and who understands the worth of the soul, it will not seem much to have spent the blood of martyrs and the sufferings of holy religious for the sake of those souls which have passed from this island to heaven. Among the martyrs on the island a high place is taken by father Fray Luis Muro, who died gloriously at this time by the hands of these Indians. He assumed the habit of the order in the famous convent of San Pablo at Valladolid, where he professed. Feeling the great need of preachers of the gospel in this province, he left all that he had to come to these islands (in 1626). He was desirous to go to Japan, but the Lord, not granting him that, permitted him to attain martyrdom in another way. He was a most devoted and successful minister in Bataan, whence he was sent to the island of Hermosa. Here he strove to bring back to the church those who had martyred father Fray Francisco de Sancto Domingo, and he obtained their pardon and safe-conduct. At this time there was a great lack of provisions in the chief town of the island, because of the failure of the ship [250]sent with provisions from Manila. Troops were sent out with money and cloths (which the Indians prefer) to buy provisions justly, and without inflicting wrong. Father Fray Luis accompanied the troops, to restrain them from harming the Indians, and especially from driving back those whom he was striving to regain for the church. God was pleased that six Chinese vessels laden with rice should arrive at the time, thus relieving their needs. A small guard, with whom father Fray Luis remained, was put in charge of the rice, the rest of the company returning with as much as could be taken at one time to the chief camp. Father Fray Luis went out to make an attempt to reconcile some other Indians who had risen against the Spaniards. The Indians, seeing the Spaniards very few in number, conspired to attack them. A detachment of troops were attacked in an ambush, and one of the first who was shot by an arrow was father Fray Luis. The Indians cut off his head, his feet, and his hands, and washed them with his own blood. Miracles were wrought upon the holy body, and the provincial chapter gave special attention to his happy death and his excellent life.]

This was the last life written in this history by the venerable lord bishop Don Fray Diego Aduarte. He was taken away by death at the conclusion of it, that it might not be printed without the life of its author, and that his memory might be eternal—not only as a result of the labor which he spent upon it, but also of the many labors which he undertook for the Lord and the good of souls, so greatly to the honor of this province. Some of these have been [251]recounted in the course of this his book; but many have remained in silence because they took place in España where he dwelt many years, filling with great distinction the post of procurator general of this province. Of what we have seen and known here, something will now be said, a great tribulation which came upon this province at this time, and which was in no small degree contributory to his death, being first dealt with.

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Chapter LVI

A new congregation of religious which was proposed in these islands at this time

In the ships which reached these islands in this year 1635 there came twenty religious, sent by his Majesty at the request of the procurator then at the court, father Fray Matheo de la Villa.62 This father had for many years filled that office with great excellence, because of the great love which he always had for the province—in which he had been many years a devoted minister of the gospel, prior of the principal convent in this city, and definitor in its provincial chapters. This was the only office which the province could give him, though it was far below his deserts. His merits attracted so much attention in the court that, without his having any idea of it, as the event showed, his Majesty nominated [252]him as bishop of Nueva Segovia. The humble father never accepted the appointment, although strongly urged to do so; and thus his virtue was better known, and received the higher glory. When these religious were about to come to this province it seemed, to one who had been in it and who was then resident at court,63 that this was a good opportunity to put into execution a certain purpose which he had; and he so disposed matters that father Fray Matheo de Villa accepted this religious as vicar of the shipload of twenty ministers sent by his Majesty to the province. This religious seemed to father Fray Matheo to be a person who would fill the office excellently, as he had been in these regions. He did not imagine that in the fair words which he heard was concealed the deceit which he afterwards learned. The fact was that this religious, perhaps with a good intention, had for many years striven to divide this little province, by dismembering from it Japon, China, and the other heathen kingdoms in which it had new conversions, not considering that these could not be kept in existence apart from the conversion which the province maintains here. He had discussed this matter with our late general, the most reverend father Fray Seraphino Sicco, of Pavia—who having governed the whole order with much prudence for many years, thoroughly knew and understood what would be for its advantage; and who therefore immediately perceived how destructive to the province and how harmful to the order this division would be, and imposed perpetual silence [253]upon him with regard to the matter. For other reasons added to this, he took from him his authority as procurator of this province and commanded him to have no more to do with matters of the Indias. Because of this mandate, and for other reasons concurrent with it, the royal Council of the Indias commanded him not to go to them. On these accounts he gave over his purpose for the time being, until the election of a new general of our order, to whom he went. As he was new in the government and very zealous for the conversion of the heathen, the religious was able, by making great offers in that regard, to persuade the father-general to make the aforesaid division; and to take from the province the said conversions, and to give them to a new congregation of fathers established for the purpose. The said father was appointed vicar-general of this congregation, and for its beginning and support it received all the houses belonging to this province for which the new vicar proffered his request. These, excluding the convent of the city of Manila, were the best in the province. All this was done because of the contention that this province, being much occupied with the conversions of Indians which it has undertaken in these Philippinas Islands, could not attend to the conversions of the said heathen regions. On a bosom so pious and so desirous for the good of souls as that of the most reverend general of the order, this made so great an impression that without knowing anything of the province, not even the procurator that it had in España, he granted everything that was asked. The suitor knew very well that this division could not be made without the consent of our lord the king as patron (in which relation [254]he stands to all the religious orders in the Indias); so he tried all expedients at court to obtain this assent, but was not successful in any of his efforts. The prudent counselors of his Majesty, with whom in particular he discussed the matter, declared that the royal Council would by no means consent to so great an innovation without first being informed by the prominent personages of this region with regard to the advantage or disadvantage of the plan proposed. This caused him to despair of attaining any of his desires by this road; for he had no hope that any person acquainted with the facts would declare in favor of his purposes, because of their thorough impracticability. He therefore determined to obtain by artifice what he could not obtain by reason or justice. An opportunity being afterwards offered for religious to come to this province, he strove to go as their superior, carefully hiding his purpose from the procurator of this province. Then, just as they were about to embark from Sevilla, he sent to the court notice of a mandate and act of excommunication from our most reverend general, commanding that this new congregation should not be interfered with on any pretext or cause. This was done at a time when it was impossible to put any obstacles in his way, because he would already have embarked beforehand. After leaving Sevilla, and even before going there, he already had on his side some of the religious, to whom he had declared his purpose. While at sea he revealed his plan to all, thus endeavoring to draw them into agreement with him. He placed before them the opportunity of being taken directly to Japon and to Great China, a most efficacious bait for the fervor with which the new [255]religious set out from España to the conversions of those regions. At the same time he strove to disgust them with the ministries to the Indians, declaring that the province had now no other ministries, and that he was the only one who could now send them to those kingdoms and to the conversion of those heathen regions. In this way he alienated them from the province, to which it was his duty to take them; for it was for that province that our lord the king had given them and paid their expenses, and to which our most reverend general had granted them. He reached the province, and presented only the letters-patent dividing the province and establishing the congregation, which were couched in very strong terms. The provincial, who had already been advised of the whole matter and of what he ought to reply, listened to them and made the following response. He was ready to obey the letters and the mandate of the most reverend general, as his higher officer and lawful superior, when and in the manner in which his Reverence desired that they should be obeyed and put into execution. This was by asking and first obtaining the consent of our lord the king, as patron of all the orders in all the Indias. Without this consent the division proposed could not be made, and new provinces and congregations could not be established; and our most reverend general would not desire to contravene the right and patronage of the king, because that would be contrary to justice. The father replied that this matter was now being attended to, and desired the provincial to show immediate obedience to these letters by transferring to him the contents of the province which by the letters were [256]assigned to the congregation. This obedience could not be shown, and therefore his claim was without effect. As nothing more could be done, the business remained in this condition for about nine months, during which this father, taking advantage of a certain opportunity, very inconsistently with his function of propagating the faith, asked and obtained a force of soldiers, with which he violently seized by force the houses of this province which he claimed, contrary to the royal patronage and the will of the most reverend father. When the general gave those letters with such authority as he had a right to claim, he desired first that the consent due by justice should first be asked of the patron, whom he in no wise intended to wrong. In addition, there were many other reasons making everything done in virtue of these letters unjust. They were notoriously surreptitious, and obtained by false information. It was manifest that the province, although it attended to the ministry to the Indians of this country, was not forgetful of the ministry to Japon and China. On the contrary, it gave so much attention to them that it was constantly suffering from suits and vexations because the governor, the Audiencia, and the city, and sometimes even the ecclesiastics, declared that the province went to excess in that direction. It not only sent preachers of its own order to those realms, but encouraged and stirred up the other orders to do the same thing, without shrinking from the excessive expenses necessary for the purpose. To this end it never imagined itself poor, though it was so poor that it had not and has not any income more than what the Lord sends it in alms. Hence the pretext for establishing the new [257]congregation was manifestly false; and the letters were so clearly surreptitious that, in order to prove that they were so, no other evidence was necessary than the evidence of the governor himself, of the royal Audiencia, and of the councils which were often held against the province on account of this. Under these circumstances, our most reverend general did not desire to have his letters put into execution until he had received information, as is expressly laid down (even with reference to the commands of the supreme pontiff) in the law, chap. Siquando, de rescriptis, and chap. Super litteris, eodem. Much more is this true if most grave inconveniences would result (as they would) to the conversions of those realms, which inconveniences our most reverend father by no means desired to bring about. It was his will that the execution of his letters should be suspended, as they were suspended, until information was sent to him with regard to the facts; and it was his will that his determination as superior should be awaited with humility. Further, in conformity with our constitution (distinction 2, chap. 1), no religious house may pass from one province to another unless the transference be approved in three chapters-general; and hence this great number of houses and of conversions was not to be immediately transferred at the first direction to that effect, without further approbation—especially since the evils which would have followed from this change were so many, so grievous, and so certain, as they were instantly proved to be by experience. It is true that the most reverend general said in his letters that he proceeded in this matter with the authority of the supreme pontiff, or of the [258]Congregation de Propaganda Fide; and this would be enough for his letters to receive entire authority if they were against particular persons, and did not include spiritual harms and evils to the aforesaid conversions. But as they were the destruction of this province, and would have produced the most grievous mischief in the conversions, the most reverend general did not desire that his letters should be executed until he had been advised. There was no obligation to do this, the commission not coming as is expressly said that it should come in the chapter Cum in iure, de officio et potentia iudicis delegati. This is the common judgment of doctors, from which may be seen how unreasonable it was to take violent possession of the aforesaid houses. This and other disturbances which followed caused great grief throughout this colony, for it was regretted that by information designed to effect an evil purpose, and in an improper manner, a province should have been so disquieted which had continued from its foundation in the greatest harmony, without any disturbances. The archbishop of Manila and three bishops in this country, the religious orders, and the city, all wrote to the most reverend general, testifying as eyewitnesses that the information given to him was not in conformity with that which was actually known to occur in point of fact. On the contrary, it was declared that the province had always shown great care and watchfulness in sending preachers to Japon, Great China, Camboja, the island of Hermosa, and other heathen realms near these islands; while the congregation which it was intended to establish not only could not surpass it in this matter, but could not even achieve as much, as is shown by [259]the many martyrdoms which the province has experienced in these conversions. This will always be plain, for by the grace of God they have not ceased nor are they ceasing, as we shall see even in these very years. The one who suffered most from the disquiet caused by the new congregation was the bishop of Nueva Segovia, Don Fray Diego Aduarte; for he was one who had most complete knowledge of the province of which he had written the history, and he understood him who now disquieted it, for he had had acquaintance and dealings with him for many years, and that intimately. He accordingly came directly from his bishopric, the capital of which is distant from this city of Manila a hundred and fifty leguas, and strove with all his might that the evil done should be undone. Though at the time he could not succeed, it is to be believed that he brought it about afterward, when he went to be with the Lord. For, returning in deep sadness to his bishopric, he came to his death before many days; and after this there were not many months before the matter was cleared up, and affairs were set upon their ancient basis, by the return to the province of the houses which had been taken from it. This was notably to its honor and caused the most universal rejoicing through the country that had been seen in many years. The people in the villages where missions were established which had been taken from the province and given to the congregation, were particularly delighted, and held public festivals for many days, when, after having experienced the method in which the congregation carried on its work, they saw the convents and the ministries returned to the religious of the province[260]—whose manner of conducting their affairs was so much better, that it had caused great grief to the Chinese and the Indians to be deprived of such teachers and ministers. Therefore, when the religious returned, those people displayed their delight by costly public rejoicings, carried on for many days.

When the evil befell the province—which was on the fourth of May, the first Sunday in the month, and the day of our great saint Catharine of Siena in the year 1636—all the religious of the province went to beg the favor of their patroness, the Virgin of the Rosary; and in all the houses of the order her holy litany was recited every night, in unison, with this purpose. This means was so efficacious that, contrary to every human hope, matters were settled and arranged as if by the hands of this great lady; and without any effort on the part of the province so many things were cleared up, and put together in its favor that finally, by the aid of one who was not expected to give aid, the truth was victorious; and the houses returned to their ancient and legitimate possessors, and the province to its longed-for quiet, September 6, 1637, after having remained in the power of the congregation one year and four months. The religious being grateful for this restitution to the Virgin, from whose generous hands they had received so great a gift, rendered public thanks to her in all the convents. In the convent of Manila a feast of an octave was most solemnly celebrated, this lady being drawn in procession with great majesty, like a triumphant conqueror. As such she remained all those days in the midst of the main chapel, with the richest adornments and the finest of decoration. In this we were aided by those outside of the order [261]to give to this lady our highest thanks, recognizing her supreme grace, which could have been granted by none but her powerful hand. The duty of writing with all care to the most reverend general was not neglected now, as it had not been neglected before; and a full account and report were sent to him showing how experience had manifested that the information in virtue of which the new congregation had been obtained was impossible. After the congregation had been placed in possession, and was under the obligation of going to the aid of Japon and China and other kingdoms, it did not do so; and there was no hope that it would do so, nor even that it would so much as have religious to maintain the houses which it had taken from the province. It was not to be expected that his Majesty would send them from España, and there was no other way or manner in which they could come. The vain expectation of giving many habits here was immediately disappointed, for even if they desired to give these, there was no one to whom they could be given, nor was there anyone suitable for the purpose. This would have been much more true if, as had been said to the most reverend general, the habit was to be given to Indians. This was something unworthy of thought; but it was actually stated in the very patent, because information to that effect had been given to the most reverend general, though it is contrary to the judgment of all those of ability who have been in the Indias, and contrary to the demonstration of experience ever since there have been religious orders in these regions. As soon as it saw itself possessed of the houses, it saw also the great difficulty or impossibility of this project; and even [262]to maintain them it found itself obliged to disquiet the religious of the province by persuading them to enter the congregation. Some were even received, contrary to the express mandate of our most reverend general laid down in this patent itself. It is plain from this that these proceedings must have been the cause of great annoyance and of many difficulties, for there was nothing but lawsuits with the province, and disturbances, which left no time to pay attention to the greater fruit of the conversions of the heathen which had been promised. On the contrary, it interfered with them, as the Lord, who was offended with these acts revealed, however secret the interference was kept. There must be added to all this that the congregation, from its very beginning, began to relax and to give up the supports which the prudent and holy founders of the province set up in holy manner for the maintenance of the evangelical ministry which it exercised. These are prayers, the disciplines, the rigorous abstinence, and the like, commanded by the constitution and ordained in the same law. The congregation did not accept them; and on this account, and because of the results which followed, it could not continue, and was brought to an end, the Lord not permitting that to go further which set out with so bad a beginning. Even before seeing these evil results by experience, nearly all the religious brought by this father from España foresaw them; and, leaving him, they were nearly all incorporated with the province. Generally speaking, the more religious and intelligent of them did not desire to go to the congregation; for they judged with much prudence that a thing which was so ill founded could not have [263]a good end, as it did not. Some of these have obtained the reward of this wise decision, for they have been sent to the province of Japon, and became most glorious martyrs, as we shall soon tell. One of those who were appointed for this most holy and happy mission lost and abandoned it by abandoning the province and joining the congregation. As a penalty for this act, he lost the crown of martyrdom, which his companions gained by remaining in the province. Thus the Lord manifested the truth of what we said when we declared that the province was more careful and even more able to attend to these missions than was the congregation which was formed for them. At the very time when the province sent out this mission, the congregation regarded it as impossible, and even strove to impede it, as has been said.

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Chapter LVII

The life and death of the venerable bishop Don Fray Diego Aduarte, a religious of this province

For those who knew the great virtues of the most religious father and most perfect bishop Don Fray Diego Aduarte, this history must certainly fall under the condemnation of being incomplete, not only because it passes over in silence the great good which he wrought in España before coming to this country, but also because he showed singular dexterity, in hiding, because of his humility, the admirable works in which he exercised himself, though when in the province he much surpassed others. In this he was much aided by his nature, which was not a little taciturn; and although he corrected this fault [264]by virtue, and those who dealt with him intimately found him always most kind, and extremely glad to do good to all, yet in himself at first sight and in one’s first conversation with him he did not seem so, and did not even give signs of the great devotion which he concealed within himself. Yet after no long time he revealed himself to one who had to do with him; and his devotion was the more admirable and the more esteemed the more it exceeded his nature and the less it was exhibited. At the same time, his great care to hide his own good works and his taciturn nature have concealed from us many deeds and writings of great edification and good example. He was a native of Zaragoça, and was of noble birth. At the age of sixteen he came to Castilla; and, as he was passing casually through Alcala de Henares, he fell into conversation with a religious of the order, who told him how, though he was a student in the college which the order has there, he was giving up this position, with all the hopes which it offered him, and was leaving all his kinsmen and friends in España to go to the Philippinas. The religious said that a new province was about to be established there, under the strictest rules, and on a basis of so extensive charity as to strive with all diligence and care for the conversion of the many heathen regions there. [This conversation, and certain other reasons, decided the young Diego to ask for the habit in that convent which the order has in Alcala; and they very willingly gave him the habit immediately, April 9, the day of St. Peter Martyr in the year 1586. He made his profession, and, being well instructed in the matters of religion and virtue, after the custom of the order went to study, reaching high attainments [265]in scholarship. He was ordained priest in the year 1594, and returned to Alcala on some business, without thinking of journeying to these regions. In spite of the incident described, he had never had any inclination to it, or to any other of the Indias; but was possessed by a particular love for the quiet and calm caused by retirement in the cell.] At that time there arrived there one of the religious who had founded this province in the beginning, Fray Alonso Delgado; he had returned to España, to assemble companions to carry on the many conversions of the heathen which had been happily begun. A few days before, the patents of the general of our order had been read in this convent, giving him authority to take with him those who might enlist in so holy a work. Father Fray Francisco Blancas, who was afterward called here “de Sant Joseph,” had offered himself. The prior and the friars of the convent had tried to hinder him because of the need of him which they should feel; for it seemed to them that there was scarcely anyone in the province who in life, spirit, and teaching could fill his place. Father Fray Alonso Delgado had complained of their interference, and was now returning with new directions that no one should disturb those who desired to go on this holy expedition. This brought to an end the force brought to bear by the prior and the convent, but not their prayers and persuasions that the said father would remain. Father Fray Francisco Blancas and father Fray Diego Aduarte were very fond of each other, being natives of the same kingdom of Aragon, sons of this convent of Alcala, and being almost of one age and of one mind. [Accordingly the prior asked father Fray Diego to persuade [266]father Fray Francisco to remain; but both of them were induced to go to Filipinas by the arguments of father Fray Alonso. With great content the two began their journey from Toledo on the first of June, and reached Sevilla in a fortnight walking poorly and humbly, and setting a noble example. They caused great joy in all the companions who, expecting father Fray Francisco alone, saw him arrive with so good an associate. When they set sail they met with great hardships. The ship was very inconvenient, being small and having no quarter-deck. They met with contrary winds and heavy seas the first fortnight of the voyage, which is the hardest for inexperienced sailors. They met with the heaviest weather in the gulf well named the Gulf de las Yeguas (i.e., “of the Mares”) because of the kicks which it generally gives to those who sail through it. On the land journey, before they reached the City of Mexico four of the religious fell sick, among them father Fray Diego, who alone escaped. The rest of the chapter consists of a somewhat abbreviated repetition of the accounts of journeys already given in the body of the work. A few details are added. For instance, we are told that, in the prayers of the fathers, father Fray Diego was usually the one to wake the others up by beginning the singing of the Te Deum. Those next him observed that he spent nearly all of the night on his knees in prayer. The only additional information as to his life in Manila before the first of his many voyages is, that he was assigned to the ministry to the Chinese. He learned the language, though he found it very difficult, hearing confessions and preaching in it within a few months. The narrative [267]of the first journey to Camboxa is given as in chapters xlvi–xlviii of book i, with the addition of some new information. When the Spaniards left Camboxa they passed by the contiguous kingdom of Champa, because of the savagery of the inhabitants, and went on to Cochinchina. The cruelties of the ruler of this kingdom are described at some length; and we are informed that on the return voyage the vessel in which father Fray Diego was sailing was obliged to take refuge in one of his ports. An account is given of a miracle wrought by the habit of father Fray Diego, which had been left behind with four soldiers in a boat at the time of the attack on the king of Camboja. These soldiers were shot at with volleys of arrows from the shore, but were protected by the holy habit as by a wall. The great respect felt by the religious of Malaca for father Fray Diego when they become acquainted with his virtue and learning is recounted.]

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Chapter LVIII

Other voyages and sufferings of father Fray Diego Aduarte under the direction of his superiors and for the preaching of the gospel.

[This chapter contains an account of the unsuccessful expedition to Camboxa undertaken by Don Luis Perez Das Mariñas, as narrated in book i, chapters xlix and l, of this history. In that narrative, given by father Fray Diego, he breaks off in the account of his own experience at the point where he was separated from the rest of the company, having gone to Macan to be cured of his illness while the others returned to Manila.] [268]

He was not able to remain very long in Macan because many Chinese mandarins frequently came to that city, and to the convent where father Fray Diego was, since the city is in China itself; and it did not seem to him that he was safe from the inspector. As there was no opportunity for him to make a voyage in any other direction, he set out for Malaca, a city of India about as far from Manila as Macan is. As we shall see, he went away partly that that ship and all in it might not perish. They set sail in the middle of January; and as they were crossing from the gulf of Haynao to the coast of Cochinchina, Champa, and Camboja, there was a furious storm at the same place where he had met a storm two years before, and on the same night, between the eighth and ninth of February. [This stripped the ship of its rigging, and threw them into great distress; however, as it was strong and steered well, it soon righted itself and reached Malaca. Here father Fray Diego remained, and the vessel sailed again for Goa, but came back again after struggling for forty days with heavy seas and unfavorable winds. Having lost this opportunity it was obliged to winter there, and departed with the next monsoon, in the middle of the following December. In it there went three Portuguese religious of our order, taking with them father Fray Diego, who, because of his poverty, was not provided with ship-stores. After they had passed the famous island of Zeilan (i.e., Ceylon), and were in latitude six, they encountered so heavy a sea that they were driven back to the equator, under the lee of the Maldive Islands, where a ship never lands. Caught in that archipelago of reefs and atolls, the Portuguese are long delayed before they [269]can make their way out. At last they reach the harbor of Kocchi in India, “after having spent five months in sailing four hundred leguas;” and, if they had arrived a few hours later, could not have entered the port over the bar, although they emptied the ship. Father Fray Diego waited in India for the season when he could voyage to España.] He was not idle, but was occupied with many devout exercises, which he had continued even when he was at sea. Yet this was not what he most desired, and not what was most suitable to his wishes, and to his calling as a religious. Hence when he found himself in convents of devoted religious, his spirit was greatly rejoiced; and he strove there to lay up some provision of devotion for the long voyage, in the service of God and of these new conversions, which he proposed to undertake to España for preachers. He visited first the Christians converted by the apostle St. Thomas, whose Christianity has endured from his time to the present in India, and is now purged from its errors, which it incurred only for lack of Catholic preachers. There are in that country matters to arouse great devotion, and anyone who was so devout as father Fray Diego could not go that way without visiting them, even at the cost of many days of journey and hardship. This was not in vain, but brought with it much spiritual reward. He embarked January 15, 1603, in the “San Roque,” a very large ship with four decks and two quarter-decks. They had favorable weather to the latitude of Cape de Buena Esperança [i.e., of Good Hope]; and thus a long vacation from hardships was provided for father Fray Diego, who had been inured to suffering them in the service of Him who was his [270]comfort in them. [But here they encountered first calms, and then fearful tempests, which almost wrecked the ship; and, to save their lives, they were compelled to lighten the ship, casting into the sea pepper and rich stuffs valued at fifty thousand ducados. Finally, they passed the Cape of Good Hope on May 12. The rest of the voyage was peaceful, save that they encountered a storm off the coast of Portugal; but they escaped from this and landed at Vigo, which is in Galicia, September 17, after having passed eight months in navigation. They all went barefoot to church to give thanks to the Lord, who had delivered them from so many and such great perils; and father Fray Diego went to visit the church of the apostle of España,64 which is fourteen leguas from there, because it would not have been proper to miss this devotion on account of so short a journey.]

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Chapter LIX

Other journeys of father Fray Diego in the service of the Lord, for the advancement of the conversions of these tribes.

After all these hardships and perils, which were suffered with such great patience, father Fray Diego went to the court of España—not to gain honor or [271]wealth, or rent, or any other temporal thing; but because of love of the Lord, for His glory, the extension of the gospel, and the salvation of these tribes. Since he had already passed through so many difficulties, divine Providence did not see fit that he should find them there, where there are ordinarily so many; and the royal Council immediately gave him permission and direction to convey a number of religious to this province at his Majesty’s expense, that they might there carry on the excellent work which had been begun by the religious of this order, and that they might continue to draw heathen from the darkness of unbelief to the light of the gospel. Father Fray Diego was not of a character to regard himself as exhausted, although he had so many reasons to be so; and therefore, without more delay, he traversed the [ecclesiastical] provinces of España, Aragon, and Andalucia, seeking for laborers for this part of the vineyard of the church, or this new vine in it. [As this was a work of God, He moved the hearts of many good religious to volunteer to undertake this arduous enterprise. They were greatly influenced by hearing from father Fray Diego and others of the great need and lack of religious in this province, to accomplish the vast work with which it is charged; and of the good done by our order in these regions, which follows the primitive order in the strict observance of the rule, and which is like the primitive church in the conversion of the peoples. This company embarked near the first of July, 1605; and, after suffering the ordinary discomforts of two long voyages following so closely one after the other, they reached Manila the next year, six having died in the voyages and journeys. One of [272]these was father Fray Pedro Valverde, a student in the college of San Gregorio, a son of San Pablo at Cordova, and a religious of superior virtue. He died as the vessel was just beginning to come among the islands, and was buried in an Indian hamlet near the port of Ybalon. Some years afterward, when the father provincial sent a religious for his bones, he found the body still entire, without a foul odor or any decay, just as if it had been newly buried; but neither the Indians nor their encomendero would permit him to take it away, keeping possession of it as a holy body. The day after they arrived, the superior gave them their assignments throughout all the province because of the great need of religious; and many were sent to Nueva Segovia.] Ere long, many of the religious wrote to him thanking him for having brought them to so devoted a province, where they had so much opportunity to serve God and to do good to their fellow-men. In particular, father Fray Matheo de la Villa, a son of Sant Esteban at Salamanca, wrote to him. He was in a large village, the whole population of which was composed of heathen who desired to become Christians. He taught them what they desired much, and he desired more. He wrote that on Holy Saturday he had been obliged to baptize six hundred of them in a church which they themselves were making; and that he now understood the language of the natives sufficiently, though he had been only six months learning it. In spite of this diligence, they were not able to attend to this great spiritual harvest, for the laborers were few; and so, though new and old were apportioned, there were not enough, although they did all in their power, for many villages of [273]heathen who begged for them with great urgency. The provincial, grieved by this, and seeing that he had no answer to make except that he would pray God to bring religious from España, wrote to father Fray Francisco de Sant Joseph, whom he had left in Manila as vicar-provincial, and to the other religious, an account of affairs. In particular he told them that the Indian chiefs from inland had come to him begging him, on their knees and in tears, to give them a religious to teach them the way to heaven; and that one of them had offered to make a village of two thousand inhabitants and the other of nine hundred, in order that the religious might with greater ease give them Christian instruction. The Indians in their heathen condition live in farmsteads and tiny hamlets, where it is very difficult to teach them; and it is impossible that teaching shall enlighten them, because of the inability of the religious to care for and attend to so many small villages. Hence, to make good Christians of them, it is necessary to gather them in larger villages. At the beginning, there was great difficulty in causing the Indians to leave their ancient abodes; though by the help of God, and of that spirit of gentleness and kindness which He gives to His disciples, the religious overcame it. These heathen Indians were so eager to have teachers that, unlike the rest, they did not wait to be asked; but, to succeed in obtaining religious, themselves offered by anticipation to remove this difficulty, which is generally so great. The provincial wrote, in addition, that if the ministers at Manila should be reduced somewhat in number he could send someone, or someone could go, to help in this extreme need, to which he could not give aid [274]from there. Father Fray Francisco de Sant Joseph called together the fathers who formed the council; and they, after considering the case, found only one religious who could go. This was father Fray Jacintho de Sant Jeronimo. Because of this father Fray Francisco de Sant Joseph—as one who always thought of himself that he did little, and that he would be little missed—set out with this religious at the time of his embarcation, without consulting anyone else. In this he acted as superior, which he then was. After he had sailed eight leguas, he wrote to the religious of Manila that he was going to supply this lack, since it seemed to him that he would not be much missed here. But the father-provincial did not approve, because he knew that for the Indians about Manila, whose language he understood admirably, he was a St. Paul. On this account he was called, even by the religious of other orders, “the apostle of the Indians.” For the Spaniards he was a second St. John Chrisostom in preaching and life; and hence the provincial was not slow in sending him back to his former post.

The position of prior of the principal convent in the province of Manila was vacant, and the religious in it unanimously elected father Fray Diego as their superior. He declined the position as long as he could, and accepted it only when he was compelled to do so by the rule of strict obedience. He filled the position remarkably well, though he did not hold it long; for in the following year the vessels from Nueva España brought news of the death of father Fray Domingo de Nieva, who had gone in the preceding year as procurator of this province in España. He had left the cares of this life to enjoy [275]the quiet which, because of his great virtue and charity, the Lord had kept for him in heaven. Since it was very necessary for the province to have someone in España to send them religious—for without this supply the province could not be maintained—they immediately arranged to send another; and no one was found so suitable as father Fray Diego. He was accordingly asked to return and begin his labors anew by embarking for España, where he was to act as the procurator of this province in all matters, and was especially to provide them with religious.... Notwithstanding the hardships and dangers of that voyage, his love to God and the province, and his perception of the need which forced them to do this, outweighed these other considerations; and he immediately prepared himself for the departure which was at hand. With only three woolen tunics in place of shirts, and the ship-stores for the first voyage, without a real or anything else for the remainder of the journey, he embarked in the middle of July, having remained in Manila not quite a full year. They had good weather until they reached the latitude of Japon, and from there such furious winds as lifted the sea up to the sky.... Since they had come from so hot a climate as that of this country, and had so suddenly entered this other, which was so cold, they could not fail to suffer from many diseases. Many died on this voyage, among them the commander and the master of the ship, and a rich merchant who was a passenger. He, perceiving father Fray Diego’s holy way of life, his great virtue, poverty, contempt for temporal things, devotion toward God, and charity toward his fellow-men, gave him all his wealth, which amounted to seventy [276]thousand pesos, that he alone, at his own pleasure, without being obliged to render account to anyone, might distribute the whole of it in pious works. He told him that, though he had no heirs to whom he was obliged to leave anything, he had some poor relatives in Portugal (whence he had come), and he charged him to aid them. Father Fray Diego gave so much attention to the fulfilment of his wish that he went in person to Portugal solely for this purpose, sought with great care for the relatives of the deceased, relieved their necessities, and left them all in good circumstances, considering their estate, and very content. He also fulfilled the rest of the desires of the testator in accordance with the trust given him, without applying to himself or to any relative of his more than the trouble and the reward from God, which would not be small. [Father Fray Diego went on to España, and thence to Francia, that he might for his province, and personally, yield obedience to the most reverend general of the order, at that time Fray Agustin Galamino, a holy man, who as such took particular delight in hearing what father Fray Diego related as an eyewitness of the devotion of the province of the Philippinas and of the great services which it wrought for the Lord in the conversions of these idolatrous tribes. The pious general gave him all the documents necessary for taking religious thither; and father Fray Diego was about to return with the documents, that he might not lose a moment in the execution of his trust, the great importance of which he perceived. But his superior obliged him to remain for the general chapter, which was to be held in the middle of the year in Paris (in which he was a definitor)—to the great [277]regret of father Fray Diego at losing all this time from the affairs of the province of which he thought so much. For ten years he filled this office of procurator for the province in España, setting an admirable example to lay and religious, who saw him always humble, devout, and in poverty, and putting forward no claims for himself, either within or without the order. This made him freely able to express his judgment with holy and religious liberty before the royal Council and to the president and members of it. They all looked upon him with special respect. He aided in sending the religious brought to this province by father Fray Alonso Navarete, who afterward was a holy martyr, the first one of our order to suffer in Japon, and the one who opened the door of martyrdom for so many as afterward followed his good example. He later sent another shipload, with father Fray Jacintho Calvo; and the same father Fray Diego, after sending these first two, afterward set out to bring other religious with him. But, when he arrived in Mexico, he received letters from the provincial of this province, desiring him to return to España and continue his functions as procurator-general in it. Here he could be of use only as one man; there he could do the work of many, by sending so many good religious. He went back to the labor which he had desired to give up; and abandoning a life of contemplation in a cell, for which he was eager, he returned to the publicity of tribunals, and the distraction of journeys, from which he desired to flee. At all times, however, he was instant in prayer, and in other devout exercises. As a reward for this care, he received from the Lord success in the business which he undertook, [278]a successful despatch of it being furthered by his prayer—which, it seemed, would have taken off his attention from his business and interfered with it. In spite of all this experience of the pleasure of the Lord in this exercise, he still desired to retire and to prepare himself for a holy death; and he constantly begged the superior of this province to send him a successor, that he might return to it.]

The province sent father Fray Matheo de la Villa, who has several times been mentioned with praise. Thereupon father Fray Diego, after obtaining the necessary licenses and decrees, gathered twenty companions and came to live and die with them in this province—nearly all the members of which were his sons, whom he had sent or brought from España, as has been recounted. Hence he was received as the general father of all, and was by all much beloved for the great good which he had wrought for all of them, for each one in particular, and for the whole province in general, by means of many royal decrees and grants which he had obtained at court for medicine for the sick, wine for the masses, oil for the lamps which burned before the most holy sacrament, and habits for the religious, which are great sources of relief in our great poverty. Among these things the provision for the dress of the religious ought not to be passed over in silence. Neither the province nor any house within it had any regular source of income; and it provided for all its expenses entirely with alms received from the faithful. Since serge for our habits had to be brought from Nueva España, it was a difficult thing for the province to send every year the money for all the clothing of the religious, at the price in Mexico. [279]The province provides the religious with clothing, for no member of it cares for himself, or has any deposit or anything else of his own, not even with the permission of his superior. Hence the province sent directions to father Fray Diego to ask his Majesty to give as alms the clothing for all the religious of the province—and this not for one year or two, but forever, since the same need and poverty were to continue forever. Father Fray Diego, who was acquainted with the heavy demands upon the royal treasury, regarded it as impossible to obtain this; and he put off asking for it until he felt obliged to send an answer to the province. Feeling practically certain that it would not be granted, he asked for it in a memorial of his own, sending in other memorials in which he asked for things which seemed to him very easy to grant; and when he looked over the answers he found that the royal Council had unhesitatingly allowed the grant and gift of the clothing (which he had regarded as impossible), but had refused everything which he asked for in the other memorial. From this it was plain that it was God who had in His hand the heart of the king; and that He had done more than what human prudence might hope for. This truth was all the more confirmed by the fact that when the royal decree came to be presented before the royal officials in Mexico, who were always accustomed to put a thousand difficulties and contingencies in the way of such grants, they not only did not put any such in the way of this grant; but, seeing that the religious had from mere timidity asked much less than they needed, urged them to ask for a sufficient amount. The matter was immediately settled on this footing, and has remained so [280]ever since, a plain token that the Lord is pleased that the religious of this province shall wear the habits which they have always worn—poor, humble, rough, made of coarse and heavy serge; a penance for the religious, and a good example for others, as have always been the poor and rough habits of religious orders. At the first vacancy of the position of prior in Manila father Fray Diego was a second time elected prior. He filled the post to the great benefit of the religious and the convent, to the needs and obligations of which he attended with great care and charity. He was by nature taciturn and somewhat rigid, but by virtue was so corrected and mild that he left no necessity unremedied, no afflicted whom he did not strive to console, no weak or fallen one for whom he did not pray. With all he was gentle, and to all he desired to do good. While he was in this position, and very far from thinking of changing his condition, he received in the year 1632 the royal decree appointing him bishop of Nueva Segovia. He hesitated long before accepting this dignity, presenting many arguments against his acceptance. But, since all the others were opposed to him in this matter, he gave up his own opinion and accepted the episcopate, with the most firm determination not to abandon his character as a friar vowed to poverty and to observe the manner of living which he had previously maintained—and even to improve it by far, as the superior station upon which he entered required of him; and this determination he most perfectly fulfilled, as will be seen. Someone very much devoted to the order sent him a diamond cross for a pectoral; and he returned it, saying that it was very rich for so poor a bishop, for [281]whom a pectoral of wood would be sufficient. The bulls did not reach him that year; so he waited for them without leaving the cell in which he had lived in the hospital of the Chinese. He took no servant, and made no change in his poor manner of living, dress, and clothing. He went to the choir and performed the other obligations of religious in this poor habit, and did everything else, whether by day or in the midst of the night, that he had promised. He was consecrated and went to his bishopric; and giving himself up wholly to his obligations as bishop he personally visited all his bishopric, leaving in all parts a lively memory of his sanctity, devotion, and alms-giving. His common custom was to spend one hour of prayer before mass, raising his fervor by mental devotion that he might say it with a greater spiritual elevation. This was in addition to many other hours of prayer by day and by night. After mass was finished, he spent another hour in giving thanks to the Lord for what he had received; and then he went immediately to his study of holy scripture, which likewise is prayer. He did not rise from his work until something happened which compelled him to. His expenses were almost nothing, so that the poor income of his bishopric was wholly spent upon charity and upon the adornments of his church; for in these two matters he spent as if he were rich. Hence in the short time during which he governed the bishopric (which was only a year and a half), he gave it more ornaments and jewels than others who had been superiors there had given in many years. He was most humble; and when father Fray Carlos Clemente Gant was vicar of the convent, the bishop used to go almost daily from his residence to [282]our house to confess to him. When father Fray Carlos begged him to remain at home, and said he would go to hear his confession every day, the bishop declined, saying, “Your Reverence is very busy. I, who am less so, will come,” and on this footing this matter always continued. He took less food than when he was in the order, giving up one meal when he accepted the bishopric. He said that his position brought more obligations; therefore his food ought to be less. He always ate fish, if necessity did not force him to take something else. His bed was a piece of felt for a mattress and a blanket for covering, without any other pillow than the mat used by the poor Chinese, or one of the native mats—which was given a coat of a sort of varnish, so that the perspiration might be washed off and the pillow kept clean. In his whole house he had no other bed-clothes, so that even in his last sickness he had no mattress nor sheets, nor even a linen pillow upon which to rest his head; it was therefore necessary to bring that which was kept ready in the poor infirmary of the convent, for no such comforts were used or were to be found in the bishop’s house. When he went on visitation, he always took with him some bundles of cloth to distribute among the poor, and these and other good works which he did for them constituted the sole profit of his visitation. He highly esteemed the ministers whom he had in his bishopric, and was greatly pleased to see that they were practically all religious—not only of his own order, but also of that of our father St. Augustine. He loved both tenderly, and always had much good to say of all of them. During his time another [283]bishop65 (who was a member of an order) put forward a claim that the royal decrees should be put in execution which provide that the religious who have charge of Indians shall be subject to the inspection and visitation of the bishop or his visitors. When this matter was discussed before the royal Audiencia, our good bishop was present—yielding, so far as his bishopric was concerned, the favor granted in these royal decrees. He declared and proved with many strong arguments that, though the execution of the decrees would greatly increase the dignity and temporal profit of the bishops, it was to the spiritual and temporal injury of the Indians. Hence, to avoid these greater injuries, he renounced with a good will these inferior gains, as a prelate who felt that all his gains were secured by procuring the proper ministry for those subject to him. The whole income of his bishopric he collected for the poor, without taking from it more than the labor or dividing it among the needy; for his own maintenance, he asked alms as one of the poor. When on any account he was absent from his bishopric, he left someone in it to distribute alms to the poor, that they might not be injured by his absence.

The habit which he wore was of serge, and he wore an old frieze cloak which had served one of the religious on his way from España. His shoes were old and patched, and his breeches poor and mean, like those used in this province. He wore no rings, and did not spend a real for them or for a [284]pectoral, being contented with those which were offered to him as to a bishop in such a state of poverty. When he entered our convents, he prostrated himself on the floor to receive the blessing of the superior, as the other religious do; and he joined the community and took no precedence in seating himself, just like any of the other brothers. He did not permit them to give him anything special in the refectory; and he remained in all things as humble and as perfect in his duties, as a member of the order, as he had been before becoming a bishop. The happy end of all his many arduous labors was at hand; and after only three days of sickness he went to receive the endless reward of his toils, leaving those who were subject to him above measure sad at the loss of such a superior, father, and common benefactor of all. But those who displayed the greatest feeling, and with the greatest reason, were the religious of this province, who had in him an honor, a defense, and an example, which incited them to all virtue, and to strict observance of their rules. [His death caused great sorrow, not only in his diocese but in Manila, where he was beloved by all; and notable honors were paid to his memory, even by the other orders.]

[Contents]

Chapter LX

The glorious martyrdom of four religious of this province, and two laymen, their companions, in Japon.

May 2, 1637, there was elected as provincial father Fray Carlos Clemente Gant, a native of the famous city of Zaragoça, and a son of the illustrious convent [285]of Preachers in that city, a person of much virtue and superior prudence, of which he had given evidence in many offices which he had filled with great praise. He was elected in this chapter on the first ballot, and the wisdom of his election was soon shown, the Lord choosing him as a principal instrument to bring to an end the congregation—which, as has been narrated, had already begun to be planned, to the great harm of these conversions.

[This year, which concludes the number of fifty since the foundation of this province, is closed, as with a precious key, by the marvelous martyrdom of four religious belonging to the province—father Fray Antonio Gonçalez, father Fray Guillermo Cortet (who here bore the name of Fray Thomas de Sancto Domingo), father Fray Miguel de Ozaraza, and father Fray Vicente de la Cruz. With the martyrdoms (already narrated) of father Fray Jordan de San Estevan and Fray Thomas de San Jacintho, the Japanese persecutors of the church had spilled the blood of all the Dominican friars of that kingdom; yet they had not, as they expected, caused the souls of the religious to fear, or cooled their fervent desires to go to Japon. Of all those who asked for permission to go thither, these four only received the desired license. Two of them were teachers of theology in the college and university of the province, in the city of Manila; and both of them had lectured on theology before coming to this province—father Fray Antonio in that of España, and father Fray Guillermo in his native country of France. Thus the province has sent its best to Japon. Father Fray Francisco de Morales was for many years lecturer on theology, and at the time of his mission was [286]prior of the convent of Manila; and father Fray Jacintho de Esquivel, father Fray Domingo de Erquicia, father Fray Lucas del Espiritu Sancto, and father Fray Diego de Rivera had all been lecturers on theology. There was great difficulty in sending these four religious to Japon, which was finally overcome by the determination of the religious. In the year 1634, some Spaniards had been cast on shore on the islands of the Lequios, which are subject to Japon. They were examined to see if they were religious or no; but, as it did not appear that they were, they were set free. Many Japanese came to them by night, asking them if they were priests to hear their confessions; and, being assured that they were not, they begged for priests to come to them. Father Fray Vincente de la Cruz and a Christian Japanese offered to take the religious whom the province might send and to make their way from the Lequios Islands to Japon. The governor, learning that the expedition was about to be equipped, burned the vessel which had been prepared, and set sentinels at the mouth of the bay to prevent the religious from setting out. By God’s aid they succeeded in eluding him, and after meeting with storms made their way to the islands of the Lequios, where they landed July 10, 1636. No certain reports have been received as to what occurred in the islands; but the fathers seem to have been arrested as soon as they revealed themselves, and to have been sent as prisoners to Japon.

On September 13, 1637, fathers Fray Guillermo Cortet, Fray Miguel Oçaraça and Fray Vicente de la Cruz, dressed in secular clothes, were brought from Satzuma to Nangasaqui, to be tried for their crime. Father Fray Antonio Gonçalez was not with [287]them, having sailed in another vessel, and not having yet arrived. They answered boldly, declaring that they had had no assistance from any government; and that their very pilot had been a religious who had known something of seamanship before entering the order. They were subjected to terrible torture, especially the torture of water, which they bore bravely. Their tortures were prolonged, and the text describes them with fulness. On the twenty-first of the same month, father Fray Antonio Gonçalez, the superior of the religious, arrived in Nangasaqui in another funea. He was accompanied by two lay companions—one a mestizo, the son of a Chinese man and an Indian woman; the other a Japanese, who had been exiled for the faith.66 As soon as father Fray Antonio set foot on the soil, he made the sign of the cross, in sight of all the Portuguese trading there and of a great multitude of people. The holy father, being of noble stature, towered above the company about him like another Saul. He was taken directly before the judges, confessed who he was, was cruelly tortured, and subjected to insult. The mestizo at first feared the torments, but afterward plucked up his courage to endure them. The Japanese wretchedly fell away from fear. Father Fray Antonio suffered the torture of water, to which he was subjected when he was very sick of a fever; [288]and he died in the prison, his body being burnt and the ashes cast into the sea. On the twenty-seventh of the month the prisoners were taken out to be martyred, being gagged to prevent their preaching. They were all suspended by the feet, and while they hung in their pits they chanted praises to God; and the ministers of justice, in admiration of their courage, caused them to be taken out from the holes still alive and to be beheaded, that they might no longer suffer torture. The ashes of the five holy martyrs were cast into the sea, three leguas from the port of Nangasaqui, on the same day, September 29, 1637.]

[Contents]

Chapter LXI

The exercises with which the Lord prepared these saints for martyrdom

[The Lord in general requires a holy life to precede a martyr’s death. Father Fray Antonio Gonçalez was a native of Leon, bred up for the Lord like another Samuel. He showed great capacity in his studies, and became the master of the students in the most religious convent of Piedrahita. Before his conversion, he was devoted to poetry and such matters, which, though they do not take away the grace of the Lord, choke the good seed of His special counsels and the way of perfection. But before long father Fray Antonio gave up these trifles, which, though they were not grave faults, were grave impediments to the perfection to which the Lord called him. Considering how God might best be pleased, it seemed to him that the best offering he could make was the offering of martyrdom. As a means to attain [289]this end, he considered that coming to this province offered the best opportunity for becoming a martyr. He devoted himself to virtuous company, and was most useful as a minister in España. He begged his way from door to door, and set out for the Philippinas when he was just recovering from a severe illness. He was greatly given to works of mortification, and most patient, kind, and obedient. He was devoted to be service of the Rosary, and offered a special devotion, among many saints, to St. Peter Martyr, whom he desired to imitate in life and in death. His martyrdom had been predicted while he was in España.

Father Fray Guillermo Cortet was a native of Visiers, a city of France. He was the child of noble and wealthy parents. While still a young layman he heard of the glory of our holy martyrs in Japon, which made such an impression upon his heart that he determined to give up all that he had and might hope for in the world, and to assume the habit of the order which contained such saints, hoping that he himself might be one of them. He therefore requested the habit from father Fray Sebastian Michaelis, who at that time governed the strictest congregation in France. In time he professed, and became notable for religion, virtue, and learning. So closely did he observe the rule that, when the famous convent of the order in Aviñon was to be reformed, father Fray Guillermo was sent there for the purpose. All this time he was sighing for Japon, and finally set out on foot for España, making the journey in the winter through rain, cold, and snow. He was greatly esteemed in the court, but left it to come to the Philippinas as a member of the congregation. [290]This he abandoned when he heard the convincing reasons with which the province, though obeying the most reverend general and his letters, suspended the execution of them until they could give him information as to the surreptitious manner in which they were obtained, the many impossibilities which they contained within themselves, and the harm which would be done to the work of conversion by the establishment of the congregation. The province directed him to teach theology in the college of Sancto Thomas at Manila, which he did obediently, putting aside his desire to go to Japon. That he might have more time and ease in the holy exercise of prayer, he never undressed at night during the last twenty years of his life, but slept seated in a chair. This country is infested with multitudes of annoying mosquitos; but he did not take advantage of the common means of preventing them, which is a tent, something permitted to all the religious. He would not accept one, but offered to the Lord the stings of the gnats, which is no small mortification and penance. It was no wonder that he paid small attention to the stings of mosquitos, as he often wore next to his skin a girdle bearing fifteen rosettes in honor of our Lady of the Rosary and her fifteen mysteries, with points so sharp that they drew blood when they were touched with the finger. Besides this he wore an iron chain, which was kept bright by wear and gleamed as if it were polished; and in addition to all these things he sometimes wore next his skin a hair shirt, with points of iron so cruel and large that the mere sight of them shocked some religious who happened to see them, as being the most severe thing that they had ever seen in their [291]lives. He was most abstinent, full of devotion for the mass, and above measure humble. He was also very kind and gentle, especially to repentant sinners. He was scarcely a year in this province when his ardent desire to go to Japon was finally gratified.

Father Fray Miguel de Ozaraza was a native of Vizcaya; and because of his virtues, devotion, and prudence he was much beloved in the convent of Sancto Thomas at Madrid, where he lived for some years in great quiet, with all the comfort that a good religious could desire. But as many laymen have been moved by the desire of worldly riches to leave their comforts in España and to go to the Indias, so the desire for spiritual profit caused father Fray Miguel to come to this most distant part of the world. He was very industrious, and skilful in the management of business; and had much to do with the management of the affairs of the shipload of religious with which it was intended to begin the new congregation. When he came to the province, and more clearly understood the condition of affairs here, he left the congregation and was incorporated into the province. For this he obtained the reward of martyrdom for which he sought. No opportunity for him to go to Japon immediately offering, he was directed to learn an Indian language, and to minister to the Indians; this he did with humble obedience, not looking down upon this despised ministry. At the same time he studied the Japanese language. His fortitude in martyrdom was supernatural and divine.]

Father Fray Vicente de la Cruz, whose Japanese name was Xivozzuca, was a native of Japan, the child of devoted Christians of long standing, and [292]was the youngest of seven brothers. He was offered to God before his birth; for, while he was still in his mother’s womb, his parents promised that, if they should have a son, they would offer him like a second Samuel to the service of the church. They bred him in this way as one dedicated to such a service, never permitting him to wear any colored clothes like other boys of his rank, that he might grow up with the sense of being dedicated to God, and of being bound to serve Him with all care and devotion. At the age of nine he was given to the fathers of the Society in fulfilment of the vow; and from that tender age began to be trained in Nangasaqui in the college of the fathers there—studying grammar, and the other moral teaching given by the fathers of the Society to those who are to aid them in their preaching. This Vicente did for many years, up to the persecution which broke out, with the fury described, in the year 1614. At this time Vicente went to Manila, when the ministers were exiled, returning soon afterwards to Japon; but like the dove in the ark, not finding a place whereon to set his foot, because of the persecution, he returned again to this city, seeking some established way in which he could serve the Lord as a minister of the church. He suffered great need, and was tempted by friends and acquaintances to change his plans and to marry; but he did not consent, preferring to be poor and needy in the house of the Lord than to live with ease among laymen. The Lord, who never fails those who put their trust in him, helped him by making him acquainted with the bishop of Zubu, Don Fray Pedro de Arce, a master of such virtue that the virtues of Vicente could not fail to advance [293]under him. Father Fray Luis Sotelo afterwards came to this city with the purpose of taking preachers to Japon, and Vicente joined him, being prepared for every good work, even at the expense of the hardship and danger required by the preaching of the faith in Japon. It was not yet time for this holy man to suffer, and hence he was prevented by sickness from accompanying the holy martyr Fray Luis Sotelo when he went to Japon; so he remained in this country, teaching the language to the religious who were to go to that realm. In this and in all his actions his conduct was so virtuous that the Christian Japanese offered him a liberal support, so that he was ordained priest and gave them his spiritual aid, preaching to them and administering the holy sacraments. That he might live with great perfection, he followed the rule of the tertiary Order of the noble St. Francis. The expedition of these holy martyrs was about to take place, and the superior of it endeavored to have father Fray Vicente accompany and guide them, as he was a native Japanese who had had experience in the preaching of the gospel in that realm. He not only readily agreed to this, but earnestly begged for the habit of the order; and he wore it—in such manner as he could, since he was going to preach in Japon—for more than a year; he professed and suffered, as has been described. May the Lord give us for the merits and intercession of these glorious martyrs,67 and of all [294]the other holy martyrs and confessors who have been in this province, something of the divine grace which made them such as they were. Thus, as up to this time the present members of the province have not belied the holy beginnings with which it was established, but rather seem to perfect themselves with each new increase, so may we not fall off in the future; but may our love toward God and our fellow-men, and our devotion to the rule of our order, forever preserve the perfection which has been found hitherto in the sons of the province, to the glory of the Author of all good, who is the same Lord God to whom belongs all glory forever and ever. Amen.


After the fifty years of this history were completed, there came the following letter from his Majesty, which settled the matter which had disturbed the religious of this province and kept them in affliction. This letter was received, as has been said in the history, without any representation from the province having come to the royal ears; hence it is a most certain proof that it was given by the special providence of the Lord, and by the aid of our great patroness the Virgin Mother; and that it is worthy to be placed as a conclusion to this history. [295]

[Contents]

Letter written by his Majesty to the venerable and devout father provincial of the Order of St. Dominic of the Philipinas Islands.

(Copied faithfully from the original.)

The King. To the venerable and devout father provincial of the Order of St. Dominic of the Philipinas Islands. From different reports which I have received, I have learned of the disturbance and disquiet caused among the religious of that province by the division of it that was made by virtue of letters obtained from the general of the order by Fray Diego Collado, and by the aid given him for the purpose by Don Sebastian Hurtado de Corcuera, my governor and captain-general of these islands. I desired that the said briefs should not be executed, since they were not approved by my royal Council of the Indias; and hence, looking rather to the conformity of the religious with the rule of the order, and to the quiet of that province, and perceiving that the said division must cause some relaxation therein, I have commanded my said governor and captain-general of these islands, and my royal Audiencia, to suspend the said brief and all other briefs brought by the said Fray Diego Collado, without permitting them to be executed. And I have commanded that the division of the provinces which has been made shall be annulled, and that they shall return to the condition in which they were before the said division. I accordingly request and direct you to attend to it, on your part, that these said provinces shall be placed in the state in which they were before [296]Collado to España immediately. That this may have effect, I have in a letter of this day commanded my said governor to have him provided with passage. You will inform me at the first opportunity of what you shall have done in execution of what I thus request of you. Dated at Madrid, February first, in the year one thousand six hundred and thirty-seven.

I the King

By command of our lord the king:

Don Gabriel de Ocaña y Alarcon [299]


1 Notwithstanding this fierce persecution—which, thus begun, culminated in the massacre of Shimabara (1637), and lasted as long as Christians could be discovered by the Japanese authorities—a considerable number of Japanese converts maintained their Christian faith, unknown to their rulers, handing it down from one generation to another until 1868, when their existence became known to the government, and for a time they were exiled from their homes, but were restored to them a few years later. This Christian church was at Urakami, about seven miles north of Nagasaki.

2 Rein states (Japan, p. 306) that there were 22 Franciscans, Dominicans, and Augustinians (agreeing with Aduarte’s total), 117 Jesuits, and nearly 200 native priests and catechists; and that these were shipped to Macao. Murdoch and Yamagata say (Hist. Japan, p. 503) that 63 Jesuits were sent to Macao; and 23 Jesuits, all the Philippine religious, and several distinguished Japanese exiles, to Manila.

3 Cf. Vol. IX, p. 68, for mention of earliest printing in the islands.

4 See Vol. XII, p. 222.

5 Angelo Orsucci e Ferrer was born in Lucca, Italy, in 1570, also entering there the Dominican order. Hearing of the Filipinas missions, he went to Valencia, in Spain, to join them, and arrived at Manila in 1602. He labored successively in the Cagayán and Bataán missions, and in 1612 went to Mexico to take charge of the Dominican hospice there. In 1615 he returned to Manila, conducting the mission band which Aduarte had brought to Mexico. He went again to Bataán for a time; but, hearing of the persecutions in Japan, determined to go thither, reaching that country in August, 1618. In the following December he was arrested, and imprisoned in Omura. He remained there nearly four years, and was burned alive on September 10, 1622. He was beatified in 1867.

See Reseña biográfica, i, pp. 211–214.

6 This was Juan de Silva, who died on April 19, 1616 (see Vol. XVII, p. 279).

7 A letter written by the Franciscan Fray Pedro de Alfaro to Fray Juan de Ayora, commissary in Manila, under date of Canton, October 13, 1579, and existing (in copy) in Archivo general de Indias (with pressmark, “Simancas-eclesiastico; cartas y expedientes de personas eclesiasticas vistos en el consejo; años 1570 á 1608; est. 68, caj. 1, leg. 42”), says of the Ilocos district: “Also it should be noted by your charity and the superiors who shall come that the province of Ylocos is the destruction and sepulcher of friars; for it is known how the first who went there returned, while I found the next ones, although they had come there so short a time before, with very ill-looking, flabby, and colorless countenances, and brother Fray Sebastian (may he rest in glory), smitten with stomach trouble. His sickness began there, and there was its ending. In consideration of this, and of the common rumor and report of all, I do not believe that it is a district where we can live.” The sick friar here mentioned was Sebastian de Baeza, who, at the time Alfaro wrote, had just died on a ship in Canton Bay.

8 Melchor Manzano came to Manila in 1606, and ministered in the Cagayán missions until he was chosen provincial in 1617. In 1621 he was appointed procurator of the province at Madrid; and he died in Italy, about 1630, as bishop-elect of Nueva Segovia.

9 After the battle of Sekigahara (1600) Iyeyasu had left Hideyori (the infant son of Hideyoshi), with his mother, in the castle of Osaka. After this child grew to manhood, he incurred the jealousy of Iyeyasu, which was doubtless aggravated by his intimacy with the Jesuits, and the shelter given by him to many discontented Japanese, both heathen and Christian. Armies were raised on both sides, and on June 4, 1615, the castle of Osaka was carried by assault, and burned, Hideyori and his mother both perishing. See Murdoch and Yamagata’s full account of this war, its causes, and its immediate results (Hist. Japan, pp. 507–567); cf. Rein’s Japan, p. 306.

10 i.e., “the lord shogun;” it is only a title of honor, not a personal name. It here refers to Hidetada, who had been associated with his father Iyeyasu in the government.

11 Later (at the beginning of chap. xiiii) Aduarte states that under Safioye were two officials in charge of the Nagasaki government—Antonio Toan, a Christian; and Feizó, a renegade Christian. After Safioye’s death, dissensions arose between these two; and finally the emperor made Feizó and Gonrozu (a nephew of Safioye) joint governors of the city, who proceeded to persecute the Christians with renewed severity.

12 This sentence may be a later addition by Aduarte himself; but is more probably written by his editor, Fray Domingo Gonçalez.

13 Among these Korean captives were numerous potters, who were carried to Kiôto, Hagi, Satsuma, and other towns of Japan, in order to introduce into that country the ceramic arts of Korea. Descendants of these potters are still living in Tsuboya, a village of Satsuma, where they still carry on their craft. See Rein’s Japan, pp. 289, 527.

14 Jacinto Calvo came to Manila in 1604, from the convent of Peña de Francia; but he soon returned to Spain, on business of his order. It is probable that he spent the rest of his life there, except for some years while he was in charge of the hospice at Mexico; it is not known when he died.

15 The Babuyan and Batan Islands, groups lying north of Luzón, extend northward to near the southern end of Formosa. From near the northern end of that island, the Riu-Kiu Island stretches in a long northeastward curve to the vicinity of Kiushiu Island, in southern Japan.

16 A vulgar appellation of the fish called rompecandados (“padlock-breaker”), according to note by Retana and Pastells in their edition of Combés’s Mindanao, col. 770. Taraquito may possibly be a diminutive form derived from tarascar, meaning “to bite, or tear with the teeth.”

17 The tribe best known as Mandaya are found in Mindanao; but the same name is conferred by some Spanish writers on the Apayaos (a head-hunting tribe in northwestern Cagayán and the adjoining portions of Ilocos Norte and Abra)—with doubtful accuracy, according to Blumentritt (Native Tribes of Philippines, p. 531). In U.S. Philippine Commission’s Report, 1900, iii, p. 19, is the following statement: “In the hamlets on the western side of the river [i.e., Rio Grande de Cagayán], Itaves, Apayao, and Mandayo are spoken;” but there is no further reference to a Mandaya tribe in Cagayán. See Aduarte’s mention of Mandayas in later chapters.

18 Juan de San Lorenzo came to Manila with the mission of 1618; he labored in the Cagayán missions, and died at Lal-ló in 1623.

19 A sort of trousers, generally made of cloth, covering the legs as far as the knees, buttoned or hooked together on the outside. It has also a dust-guard, which extends to the shoe. It is mainly used by laborers, carriers, and the like. (Dominguez’s Diccionario nacional.)

20 See book i of Aduarte’s work, chapters xii–xv (in Vol. XXX of this series).

21 Blumentritt characterizes the Gaddanes as “a Malay head-hunting people, with a language of their own, settled in the provinces of Isabela and Cagayán.” Landor mentions them (Gems of the East, p. 478) as having delicately chiseled features, and being now civilized and christianized.

The bulk of the population of Nueva Vizcaya is made up of converts from two of the mountain Igorot tribes, the Isinay and the Gaddang or Gaddan. This valley was called Ituy or Isinay. There are but three or four thousand people in each of these tribes, the rest of the christianized population of this province being made up of Ilocano immigrants. (U. S. Census of Philippines, i, pp. 449, 471. 472.)

22 Constantius, second son of Constantine the Great; he reigned from 337 A. D. to 361, and adopted the Arian doctrine, of which he was a powerful supporter.

23 Pedro de Zúñiga was a native of Sevilla, and a son of Marqués de Villamanrique, viceroy of Mexico; he entered the Augustinian order at Sevilla, in 1604. He came to Manila in 1610, and spent several years as a missionary in Pampanga. Fired with zeal for the Japanese missions, he entered them in 1618, only to be sent back to Manila the next year with other priests banished from Japan; but, as recounted in our text, Zúñiga returned to that land to end his life as a martyr (August 19, 1622). He was beatified in 1867. See Pérez’s Catálogo, p. 82.

24 Probably a reference to the rōnins, men who had left their masters, under the old feudal system in Japan, and spent their time in low company and in idleness and excesses; see Griffis’s Mikado’s Empire, p. 278.

25 This brother’s proper name was Mangorochi. The term donado, like the French donné (in each case meaning, literally, “one who is given”) was applied to devout persons who voluntarily entered the service of the missions, giving themselves (often for life) to that cause, and sharing the lot of the missionaries. All the martyrs whose fate Aduarte describes were afterward beatified.

26 Diego de Rivera came to Manila from Córdoba, in 1615. He ministered in Bataán at first, but was lecturer in Santo Tomás from 1619 to 1623—in which year he lost his life as described in our text.

27 Francisco Galvez, a native of Utiel, made his profession in the Franciscan order in 1600, at the age of twenty-six. In 1609 he departed for the Philippines, where for some time he ministered to the Japanese Christians resident near Manila. He went to Japan in 1612, but was banished thence in 1614; after several vain efforts, he succeeded in returning to that country in 1618. He was arrested by the Japanese authorities, and after great sufferings in prison was burned alive at Yendo, December 4, 1623. (See Huerta’s Estado, pp. 391, 392.)

28 Aparri is a port of entry on the northern coast of Luzón, at the mouth of the Rio Grande de Cagayán. It is the chief port of coast and ocean trade in that region, and the starting-point for inland river navigation.

29 Alonso García came from Córdoba to Manila, in 1622; he was sent to the Cagayán missions, where he died as here related. Onofre Palau was a native of Valencia, but entered the Dominican order at Manila, in 1620. In the following year he made his profession, and was sent to Cagayán, where he died with García. (See Reseña biográfica, i, pp. 294, 373.)

30 i.e., “Island of Fishermen,” indicating the occupation of nearly all the 50,000 inhabitants (of Chinese race) of the group known as Pescadores Islands, west of Formosa, and under the jurisdiction of that island (which has been, since 1895, a possession of Japan). The location of the Pescadores is such as to make them of strategic importance, and Japan is now (1905) fortifying them.

31 The Chinese refused to allow the Dutch to trade with them unless the latter would depart from the Pescadores, but permitted them to occupy Formosa. The Dutch settled there in 1624, at Tainan (formerly Taiwan) near Anping, remains of old Dutch forts still existing at both places; and this island was their headquarters for trade with Japan and China. See Basil H. Chamberlain’s account of Formosa in Murray’s Handbook for Travelers in Japan (4th ed., New York and London, 1898), pp. 536–542; Davidson’s historical sketch in Transactions of Asiatic Society of Japan, vol. xxiv, pp. 112–136.

32 One of the small islands in the bay of Kelung.

33 Francisco Mola was born in Madrid, and there made his profession as a Dominican, in 1600. He came to the Philippines in 1611, and spent many years in the Cagayán missions; afterward having charge of the mission in Formosa. After 1643 his name is not mentioned in the provincial records, as he returned to Spain about that time. (Reseña biográfica, i, p. 339.)

34 Juan García Lacalle entered the Dominican order at Manila, in 1602; he spent many years in the Cagayán missions.

35 Apparently a misprint for 1611. Sanchez remained in the Cagayán missions until his death, which must have occurred about 1640. The missionaries brought by him in 1626 numbered sixteen, sketches of whom are given in Reseña biográfica, i, pp. 375–381.

36 A play upon words, the Spanish hierro (“iron”) having almost the same pronunciation as yerro (“error”).

37 Both these missionaries came to Manila in the mission of 1609. Fray Francisco labored in the villages of Balete and Polo—the former being originally a village of Japanese, formed in 1601 by Tello from that of Dilao, near Manila, but again restored to Dilao in 1626. Fray Francisco went to Japan in 1623, and was burned at the stake on August 17, 1627. Fray Bartolomé served in a hospital (probably that at Los Baños), went to Japan in 1623, and met the same fate as befell Fray Francisco. See Huerta’s Estado, pp. 395, 557.

38 He had come to Manila in 1618, and labored in the Cagayán missions and the Babuyanes.

39 In this band were twenty friars; for sketches of their lives, see Reseña biográfica, i, pp. 381–390.

40 Spanish, castillo (“little castle”); apparently an imitation of the castillo de fuego, a contrivance built of wood in the shape of a castle, to which are attached various fireworks.

41 The reference in our text is to Go-Midzuno-o, who was mikado from 1611 to 1630; in the latter year he abdicated that dignity, forced to this step by petty persecutions and interference by the shôgun Hidetada, and lived in retirement for the rest of his life, dying in 1680. The statement as to cutting off his hair is hardly accurate in regard to its rarity, as it was then the custom for potentates of various degrees to abdicate their office at an early period therein, and retire into a Buddhist monastery, on which occasion the head of the candidate was shaved. Dairi is merely one of the appellations bestowed upon the mikado of Japan (see Vol. XIX, p. 51). The term mikado is practically the equivalent of “Sublime Porte;” the first to bear this name was Jimmu-Tennô (660–585 B. C.), and his dynasty has continued to the present day. After the conquest of Korea (202 A. D.) Chinese influences began to affect Japan; and the mikado’s authority was gradually diminished by powerful chiefs and lords, until the dignity of shôgun—a military title of honor—was conferred (1192) upon Yoritomo, and made hereditary in his family. From that time dates the dual monarchy which ruled Japan—the mikado being but the nominal sovereign—until 1868; the revolution of that year suppressed the shôgunate, and restored to the mikado his rightful authority. The mikado’s residence was established at Kiôto in 793, where it remained until 1868, being then transferred to Yedo (now Tôkiô). The comparison of the mikado to a pope arose from his possessing certain prerogatives in religious matters, and because a sort of divine character was ascribed to him from the claim of the first mikado that he was a descendant of the sun-goddess Amaterasu. See Rein’s Japan, pp. 214, 224, 315–317; also Murdoch and Yamagata’s Hist. Japan, chap. i, and pp. 697–700.

42 A variant form of Alcarazo, as the name is spelled elsewhere. These variations, which occur in numerous cases, may be due to additions made by Aduarte’s editor; or possibly to his employing more than one amanuensis.

43 The modern province of Nueva Vizcaya.

44 Juan Arjona came from the convent at Córdoba, in the mission of 1628, and was assigned to the Pangasinan field. In 1637–38 he was ministering in Ituy, and in 1639 was appointed to a station in Formosa. Afterward he returned to Pangasinan, and, after filling various offices in Manila, died there on September 4, 1666, at the age of eighty-four.

45 There are more than a hundred different varieties of rice, some of which are lowland, cultivated by irrigation, and some upland, grown in the dry lands (these being more numerous than the former). See U. S. Philippine Commission’s Report, 1900, iii, pp. 244, 245.

46 The province of Nueva Vizcaya (Ituy) is drained by the great river Magat and its tributaries, which fertilize its soil; this stream flows into the Rio Grande de Cagayán, which Aduarte seems to regard as the continuation of the Magat.

47 Jerónimo de Zamora came to the islands in 1615, and labored thirty-eight years in the Cagayán missions; at times he occupied various offices, among them that of commissary of the Inquisition. He died at Lal-ló about 1655.

48 i.e., “Equal shall be the portion of him that went down to battle and of him that abode at the baggage, and they shall divide alike;” in I Kings (of the Douay version; I Samuel of the Protestant versions), xxx, v. 24.

49 Hidetada died in 1632, hut he had, following the usual custom, abdicated the shôgunate in 1623, in favor of his son Iyemitsu—retaining, however, as Iyeyasu had done, the actual control of the empire until his death.

50 i.e., “That which decayeth and groweth old is near its end” (Hebrews, viii, 13).

51 i.e., “The old man carried the child, but the child directed the old man.”

52 The torment of the pit (French, fosse, Spanish, hoyo); a hole six feet deep and three in diameter was dug, and a post with a projecting arm was planted by its side. To this arm the victim was suspended, being lowered head downward into the pit, and left thus until he either died or recanted; his body had been previously tightly corded, to impede the circulation of the blood, but one hand was left free, to make the sign of recantation. This horrible torment did not bring death until two, three, or even six days; but most of the religious endured it unto death, rather than recant. Of the few who did so was Christoval Ferreira (Vol. XXIV, note 91). See Murdoch and Yamagata’s Hist. Japan, pp. 632–633.

53 Jacobo Somonaga (in religion, de Santa Maria) was born in Omura of Christian parents; he had ability as a speaker, and often preached while a student. He came to Manila, and at first became an Augustinian; afterward, he entered the Dominican order (August 15, 1624), being then forty-three years of age. In 1627 he was in Formosa; in 1632 he went from Manila to Japan, and in the following year died as a martyr. (See Reseña biográfica, i, pp. 256, 257.)

54 Domingo Ibañez de Erquicia was born about 1587, in San Sebastian, Spain, and entered the Dominican order there. He came to the islands in 1611, and was sent to Pangasinan. From 1616 he remained in Manila—except 1619–21, at Binondo—until 1623, when he went to Japan—where he labored, in spite of persecution and sufferings, until his martyrdom, August 18, 1633. (See Reseña biográfica, i, pp. 235–241.)

55 Spanish, de grãde estampida; literally, “causes a great stampede thither.”

56 Alluding to the cathedral El Pilar at Zaragoza, in which is a famous statue of the Virgin descending upon a pillar. It soon became a rival of the noted shrine of St. James at Compostella, in the number of pilgrims attracted thither, and miracles performed. Maria del Pilar is a favorite name for girls in Spain, commonly abbreviated to Pilar.

57 Carlos Clemente Gant made his profession at Zaragoza, in 1602. He came to Manila in 1611, and spent most of his life in the Cagayán missions, filling many high offices in that region; he was also provincial for two terms. He died at Lal-ló, in 1660, at the age of seventy-two.

58 Luis Oñate made his profession at Sevilla, in 1626, and came to the islands in 1632. He spent the rest of his life in the Cagayán missions; and he died at Manila on June 18, 1678, at the age of almost seventy.

59 Juan Bautista Morales was born in 1597, at Ecija; he entered the Dominican convent there, but was ordained in Mexico. In 1618 he came to Manila, and was assigned to the ministry among the Chinese there. In 1628 and 1629 he was in Camboja, but was unable to establish a mission there. In 1633 he went to China; after spending several years in the missions there, he was sent (1640) by his order to Europe, to make complaint regarding the practice of the “Chinese rites” by the Jesuits in China. Taking the overland route from Goa, Morales arrived in Italy in January, 1643; five years later, he escorted a band of missionaries to Manila, and in 1649 returned to China. He spent the rest of his life there, dying at Fo-Kien, September 17, 1664. (See Reseña biográfica, i, pp. 358–369.)

60 Francisco Diaz was born near Valladolid, October 4, 1606, and entered the Dominican order there. Coming to Manila in 1632, he spent some time in the Chinese hospital; and in 1635 he entered the China mission, where he spent the rest of his life, dying at Ting-teu, November 4, 1646. (See Reseña biográfica, i, pp. 393–411.)

61 Referring to the Chinese moralist and teacher Kôshi, usually known to Europeans as Confucius. His teachings have exercised a powerful influence on the history and national character of Japan; and Iyeyasu’s celebrated code of laws was modeled thereon.

62 Mateo de la Villa, born in the province of Oviedo, made his profession in the Dominican convent at Salamanca, in 1600. Six years later he came to the islands, where he spent many years in the Cagayán missions. In 1622 he was appointed procurator at Madrid and Rome, a charge which he held as late as 1665; but it is not known when and where he died. (See Reseña biográfica, i, p. 330.)

63 This was Fray Diego Collado, who had come to the Philippines in 1611; see sketch of his life in Vol. XXV, p. 158. The band whom he led were called “Barbones” (see Vol. XXV, p. 161).

64 Allusion is here made to the famous town of Santiago de Compostela, formerly the capital of Galicia. Its foundation was due to the alleged discovery (in the ninth Century) of the burial place of St. James the apostle, who afterward became the patron saint of Spain. A church was built over the tomb of the saint, by Alfonso I, but was destroyed by the Saracens; the present cathedral was begun about 1080. It soon became a noted resort of pilgrims, being visited by many thousands every year, and has continued to be such to the present time.

65 Referring to Fray Francisco de Zamudio, an Augustinian, the bishop of Nueva Caçeres—of whom bare mention (and that only as a confessor) is made in Pérez’s Catálogo. Cf. the earlier controversy on this question between Archbishop Serrano and the religious orders (1624), for which see Vol. XXI, pp. 32–78.

66 The Japanese was named Lazaro; he was one of the lepers who had been formerly exiled from Japan for the faith, and came with the Dominicans as a guide. Although at first he denied the Christian faith, under pressure of torture, he afterward recovered courage, and died as a martyr, September 29, 1637. The mestizo was Lorenzo Ruiz, a native of Binondo; he had left Luzón on account of a murder that he had committed there. He also was martyred, at the same time as Lazaro. (See Reseña biográfica, i, p. 276, note.)

67 Biographical sketches of all these martyrs are given in Reseña biográfica, i, pp. 258–276.

It is well to note, in this connection, the fact that the persecutions of Christians in Japan were not, in the main, on religious grounds. The Japanese government was tolerant to the new religion until it had reason to fear that its authority was being subverted by the influence of the missionaries, and the independence of the nation threatened by the foreign nations who sent to Japan the priests and traders. See Griffis’s Mikado’s Empire, pp. 247–259, Rein’s Japan, pp. 290–293, and Murdoch and Yamagata’s History of Japan, pp. 457–506. The last-named cites at length the writings of Charlevoix, Léon Pagés, and other historians.

[Contents]

Bibliographical Data

For bibliographical data of Aduarte’s Historia, which is concluded in the present volume, see Vol. XXX.

Table of Contents

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