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 XIII, 1604-1605
Edited and annotated by Emma Helen Blair and James Alexander Robertson with historical introduction and additional notes by Edward Gaylord Bourne.
CONTENTS OF VOLUME XIII
Preface 9 Relacion de las Islas Filipinas (concluded) Pedro Chirino, S.J.; Roma, 1604 2 Documents of 1604
Letters to Felipe III. Pedro de Acuna; Manila, July 15 and 19 221 Decrees regarding religious orders. Felipe III, and others; Valladolid, February-July 246 Grant to the Jesuit seminary at Cebu. Pedro Chirino; [undated; 1604?] 251 Decree regulating commerce with Nueva Espana. Felipe III; Valladolid, December 31 256
Documents of 1605
Complaints against the Chinese. Miguel de Benavides, and others; Manila, February 3-9 271 Letter from a Chinese official to Acuna. Chincheo, March 287 Letters from Augustinian friars to Felipe III. Estevan Carillo, and others; Manila, May 4-June 20 292 Letter to Felipe III. Antonio de Ribera Maldonado; Manila, June 28 307
Bibliographical Data 317
Autograph signature of Pedro Chirino, S.J.; photographic facsimile from MS. in Archivo general de Indias, Sevilla 215 Autograph signatures of Pedro de Acuna and members of the Audiencia; photographic facsimile from MS. in Archivo general de Indias, Sevilla 243
The larger part of the present volume is occupied with the Relacion of the Jesuit Chirino, begun in Vol. XII, and here concluded. In this work is recorded the progress of the Jesuit missions up to the year 1602, by which time they have been established not only in Luzon and Cebu, but in Bohol, Leyte, Negros, Samar, and northern Mindanao. The arrival of the visitor Garcia in 1599 results in new vigor and more thorough organization in the missions, and the numbers of those baptized in each rapidly increase. The missionaries are able to uproot idolatry in many places, and greatly check its practice in others. Everywhere they introduce, with great acceptance and edification among the natives, the practice of flagellation—"the procession of blood." Religious confraternities are formed among the converts, greatly aiding the labors of the fathers; and the latter open schools for boys, among both the Spaniards and the Indians. In time of pestilence they minister to the sick and the dying; and they gain great influence among all classes. They secure the good-will of hostile natives, quell a threatened revolt among those of Leyte, and reclaim certain outlaws and bandits. The Spaniards also receive their ministrations, especially in Manila; the fathers adjust dissensions and family quarrels, and reform several dissolute persons. The college at Manila prospers, and enlarges its curriculum. The labors of the Jesuits effect certain important changes in social conditions among the natives. Usury, unjust enslavement, and polygamy are greatly lessened, and sometimes entirely abolished, among the Indians in the mission districts; and most notable of these results, the fathers have much success in gathering not only their own converts, but even many of the wild and savage mountaineers, into villages under their personal care and supervision.
A new monastic order, the Augustinian Recollects, is permitted to send missionaries to the islands. Little of importance occurs there in 1604; but among the Spaniards there is much fear of an invasion by the Chinese, in revenge for the late slaughter of their countrymen in Luzon. Yet the cupidity or laxity of the officials has permitted the number of Chinese resident in the islands to increase beyond proper limits; and the archbishop of Manila endeavors to secure strict enforcement of the laws against this dangerous immigration. The leading officials of the Augustinian order complain (1605) of their provincial as unscrupulous and overbearing, and ask for relief and the suitable adjustment of the affairs of their province.
Chirino's narrative of the Jesuit missions (here concluded) narrates events from 1598 onward. In June of that year Father Vera goes to obtain more missionaries from Europe. In Mexico he meets orders from the general of the Jesuit order that Diego Garcia shall go with a reenforcement of laborers to the Philippines. In Manila, during that year, the Jesuits meet much success in their ministries—especially in the confessional, in public preaching, and in various benevolent works. They also accomplish much in private affairs, reconciling enemies, preventing lawsuits, and checking licentious conduct. The annals continue with the progress of the Antipolo mission during 1598. The mountain-dwellers continue to come to the mission, of whom many are baptized—among these some of the heathen priests. Among the converts are formed confraternities which most efficiently aid the labors of the missionaries. The people have given up their pagan practices, and display great piety and devotion as Christians.
At Cebu the bishop has greatly favored the Jesuits, who have opened a school for his clergy and the sons of some citizens. Their labors are chiefly among the Visayan natives and the Chinese, and meet much success. The writer relates some instances of especial virtue and piety among these converts; there, as in missions elsewhere, the women are distinguished in those respects. No less important are the labors of the Jesuits among the Spaniards of Cebu, among whom they exercise great influence, even the bishop depending upon their advice; and they often preach in the cathedral. The bishop, "in imitation of Manila," introduces the practice of flagellation at Lent, and himself leads the "procession of blood."
In the island of Bohol the infant church continues to grow. The converts have entirely abandoned idolatry; and certain miraculous cures have kindled in them a most fervent piety. In Butuan (in northern Mindanao) "Christianity is in a flourishing condition," according to Father Ledesma, whose letters are cited. Conversions are steadily increasing: and several chiefs are to be baptized soon, although the most noted leader, Silongan, is not yet cured of his polygamous inclinations. He is, however, most friendly to the fathers, and protects them in certain dangers. In Alangalang, Tomas de Montoya (an American Indian who has gone to the islands) has resumed the work dropped at the death of Cosme de Flores; he relates some instances of piety among his converts, and of punishment visited on the impenitent. At Ogmuc much caution had been exercised in conferring baptism, and those who have received it show most edifying piety. In Holy Week occurs a procession in which "the most pleasing and touching sight was to see all the children disciplining themselves with scourges which they themselves had made for that day." The missionaries adjust various family quarrels, and put an end in the islands to the practices of usury and unjust enslavement. Chirino here gives some account of these evils, but adds that they are abolished among all the christianized tribes in the islands.
Good reports come from Carigara and Paloc; the latter village is unusually prosperous because one of the Jesuits has aided the people to construct better dwellings. They have abandoned their idols, and take pleasure in scourging themselves on Fridays. At Dulac many baptisms have occurred, and various diseases, among them leprosy, have been cured by this sacrament. A letter from Father Otaco, who is in charge at Tinagon, shows that idolatry has been abandoned, and immoral customs are almost uprooted. He gives an interesting description of the methods pursued by the missionaries in their preaching, and by one of their native helpers in teaching his fellows.
In June, 1599, Diego Garcia is sent to the islands as official visitor of the Jesuit missions there, and he at once reorganizes and systematizes their plan and conduct. Soon after his arrival there is a violent earthquake at Manila, which injures two of the churches. The Jesuits receive much aid for restoring their building—contributions from the Spaniards, and services from the Indians. In an epidemic of disease among them much good is done by the confraternity established among the converts, and the sick depend upon the fathers for spiritual comfort. When the people harvest their rice, their first care is to carry an offering of the first-fruits to the church. As usual, the Jesuits here do much to better the lives of their penitents, both Indian and Spanish, reconciling those who were at enmity, and breaking up licentious alliances. The pestilence extends to Antipolo and other villages near Manila, and both the missionaries and their converts aid the sick and the dying in every possible way.
The uprooting of idolatry in the Taytay mission has been effectual; various instances of this are related by Chirino, as also the cure of a lunatic by wearing an Agnus Dei. Garcia, the official visitor, arrives at Cebu in 1600, and makes arrangements by which the Chinese there are cared for by other priests, the Jesuits being thus free to labor among the Indians. But the harvest of souls is far greater than the few laborers there can reap and more are urgently needed. Chirino relates some instances of conversion and pious deaths in that mission.
He then relates the progress of the mission in Bohol, citing for this purpose the letters of the two missionaries there. The new converts display much devotion, and even the pagans receive the fathers kindly. Many are converted, and some of their children are trained to instruct the people in the Christian faith. Sanchez procures the destruction of many instruments of witchcraft in a certain village; and relates some marvelous cures made by administering the sacraments, and some instances of feminine virtue.
In Butuan (Mindanao) a rich harvest of souls is being gathered by Ledesma and Martinez; and even the infidels are very friendly to the new religion. The converts are very devout, and will not countenance any pagan practices. Certain miraculous cures are recorded. The practice of flagellation is maintained in the Jesuit church there, as in other places.
The Filipinos had formerly lived in perpetual warfare between the petty chiefs and their adherents; those who could remove migrated to new homes inland, and thus the mountain regions became settled. In order to reach the natives, the Jesuits at Alangalang bend all their efforts, which are soon successful, to gathering these scattered settlements into large villages—mission "reductions" like those which they had already made so noted in Paraguay and other lands. Their labors are thus more advantageously conducted, and many conversions result. At Carigara their church services are greatly aided by a native choir, who sing in both their own and the European modes. A letter from Father Enzinas praises the purity of the converted Indian women. Father Sanchez relates a notable case in his missionary labors at Barugo. The progress of the church at Ogmuc is related, with ardent praise for the piety and fervor of the converts. The infidels are steadily growing more inclined to receive the faith; and polygamy is being suppressed. A brief mission at Paloc by Father Rodriguez results in fifty baptisms; and other subsequent missions there reap a rich harvest of souls. Flagellation is a usual practice in Lent; nearly all the people have received baptism; and the converted chiefs offer atonement to all whom they may have wronged.
The record of the Dulac mission shows seven hundred baptisms in one year; and the details of some conversions are related, especially that of two deaf-mutes, whose piety is most edifying. During Holy Week the converts practice flagellation; and on one occasion one of the fathers gives his flock a practical lesson in Christian charity.
In Tinagon the Jesuits baptize, during the year ending in April, 1600, nearly a thousand persons. The number of missionaries for this field is so inadequate that they send to some villages the Indian boys who have been instructed, in order that they may teach the people the catechism and doctrine. Accounts of missionary labors and of certain conversions are given in extracts from some letters written by the fathers. All the people are friendly to the new faith, and the prospect is most encouraging.
Chirino mentions the shipwreck of the vessels bound for Mexico, and the conflict with Oliver van Noordt, in connection with which he describes the deaths and the pious lives of some Jesuits who perished therein. In 1601 Father Gregorio Lopez brings to the islands a reenforcement of nine missionaries; and their long and dangerous voyage across the Pacific, safely accomplished through the intercession of St. Ignatius, is fully described. In the same year and the next arrive also many missionaries of the other orders: Chirino praises their devotion and zeal, the fraternal spirit among the various orders, the excellent influence exerted by their members among the Spaniards in Manila, and the religious spirit exhibited by the latter; and describes various exercises of piety practiced there—the institution of a religious congregation among the students in the Jesuit college, and, later, one among the townspeople; the practice of flagellation every week during the year, as well as in Lent; attendance at Sunday afternoon sermons; the choice of patron saints by lot; etc. The particulars of certain conversions and virtuous acts are also related—especially the conversion of the Dutch prisoners captured from van Noordt.
The Indians in Manila, who are largely in care of the Jesuits, are devout by nature, and much inclined to confession and other pious exercises. A confraternity among them accomplishes many pious and benevolent works, and exerts a great influence on those outside it. In the Taytay mission there is cheering progress, and many of the mountain Indians, hitherto infidels, are converted and baptized. The visitor Garcia has founded at Antipolo a hospital, and a seminary for boys, both of great assistance to the missionaries' labors.
Toward the end of 1600 the bishop of Cebu holds a council of secular clergy and missionaries, wherein their work is better planned and regulated, and various salutary enactments are made for the diocese. The Jesuit fathers pay especial attention to the Indians and the soldiers, giving up the charge of the Chinese in Cebu; an Indian hamlet near that city yields them many converts. Letters from Valerio Ledesma give encouraging reports of progress and gain in the Bohol mission. He is successful in gathering the scattered settlements into mission villages—in Loboc, "more than a thousand souls, gathered from the mountains and rivers, most of them people reared in war, robbery, and murder;" and on the Viga River two wild hill-tribes, who had never before seen a priest.
Ledesma visits many villages in that island, finding the people eager to receive baptism, and hospitable toward the missionaries; and many conversions occur among the savage and fierce mountain tribes. On one occasion Ledesma goes, alone and unarmed, to meet a hostile band (who had never before seen a Spaniard); and by his gentle and kind demeanor, and some small gifts, induces them to depart in peace, after winning their friendship for himself and his converts. The harvest is great, and more laborers are greatly needed in that field. This is largely due to the policy of the missionaries in forming the mission reductions of converts. The savage mountaineers still continue to migrate to these mission villages; and heathen priestesses are converted to the faith. In the Bohol mission there are now more than three thousand Christians. The island is again menaced by the Moro pirates of Mindanao; in 1600 they ravaged other islands, but did little damage in Bohol. Various citations from missionary reports show the docility and eagerness of the natives in embracing the Christian faith.
At the request of the secular priest in charge there, the district of Tanai (in Negros Island) is placed in the mission-field of the Jesuits, and Gabriel Sanchez is transferred thither from Bohol; he is welcomed by the people. His report contains accounts of numerous conversions and miraculous cures, as well as of a heavenly vision beheld by some converts. Returning to Tanai later, Sanchez finds his converts steadfast, and most exemplary in their lives.
In Ibabao (Samar), are conducted flying missions, from the central residence at Tinagon, the indefatigable missionaries coasting along the shores of that and other adjacent islands "casting their nets for souls." During the year they have baptized nearly four thousand persons, most of them adults. Six missions are formed, reports from which present many interesting accounts of the labors, methods, and achievements of the fathers.
In the Dulac mission (in Leyte), the fathers are also gaining many souls; at the Christmas feast alone, six hundred former infidels were baptized at Paloc. Various incidents are related of pious deaths, and of deliverance of those in danger.
Good progress is being made in the missions of Leyte—Alangalang, Carigara and others; nearly three thousand persons were baptized therein during the years 1600-1602. At Alangalang there are in the Jesuit church three choirs of Indians, who "surpass many Spaniards." The Christians at Ogmuc are exceedingly fervent; and the children instructed in the Jesuit school become, in their turn, teachers of their parents. The Indians of the Alangalang mission practice flagellation during Holy Week, "shedding their blood with such fervor that it became necessary to restrain them. Nor was there less fervor among the children;" and these, when too young to be allowed to scourge themselves, invent another penance of their own. In Leyte a notable disturbance among the natives, arising from the murder of a prominent chief, is quelled by the influence of the Jesuits, who reconcile the different factions and restore harmony, besides reclaiming certain outlaws.
While a ship is being built at Panamao (now Biliran), one of the fathers ministers (1602) to the workmen gathered there—Spaniards, Indians, and others. A Spanish youth is slain by a negro; this sad event disposes the minds of all to religion, and the missionary gathers a rich harvest of souls. He is almost overwhelmed with his labors, but is consoled by the deep contrition and devotion displayed by his penitents, and twice defers his departure at their entreaties and for the sake of their souls' welfare.
At the end of 1601, Father Francisco de Almerique dies at Manila, worn out with long and incessant toil in his ministry to the Indians. Chirino relates his virtues, labors, and pious death; he has rendered especial service by attracting the wild Indians of the mountains to settle in the mission villages, thus bringing them under the influence of the gospel. The Jesuit college at Manila prospers; a course in philosophy is begun, and the two religious congregations stimulate religious devotion among their members. The spells used by certain witches in that city are neutralized by the influence of an Agnus Dei.
In 1602 the Taytay and Antipolo mission grows rapidly, and more laborers are needed in that field. The devotions of Lent are, as usual, emphasized by "processions of blood," wherein the devotees scourge themselves through the streets. The mantle of Father Almerique falls upon Father Angelo Armano. The devotion of these converts is praised. The seminary for Indian boys, and the hospital, are efficient aids to the labors of the missionaries.
The mission of Silan has been recently assigned to the Jesuits; they find the people well-disposed and tractable, and soon have many, both children and adults, under instruction. In caring for these, they are greatly aided by a blind native helper, formerly a heathen priest. Letters from the fathers in charge of this mission describe their arduous labors, the faith and piety of their neophytes, and certain miracles wrought by an image of St. Ignatius. Here, too, the missionaries pursue their favorite policy of gathering the natives into reductions.
A chapter is devoted to the customs of the Filipinos in bestowing personal names. Surnames are conferred only at the time of marriage; but various appellations of relationship and endearment are given besides that chosen at a child's birth. Chirino praises the fertility, elegance, and politeness of the Tagal language. He says that formerly the natives did not adorn themselves with titles; but now "the wretched 'Don' has filled both men and women with such vanity that every one of them who has a tolerably good opinion of himself must place this title before his name; accordingly, there are even more Dons among them than among our Spaniards."
The bishop of Cebu visits the island of Bohol, accompanied by a Jesuit missionary who briefly relates something of their experiences in this journey. The bishop confirms, in the Jesuit missions, about three thousand Christians, and wins their hearts by his paternal love and benevolence. The fervor of these converts is very great, and even the little children are full of zeal to learn the Christian doctrine. The people are all well disposed toward the faith, and "the whole island would now be converted" if they had missionaries to give them instruction. There are islets adjacent to Bohol, where the people are going to hell for lack of religious aid; but the Jesuits cannot take care of them for lack of ministers. This difficulty is especially encountered in the island of Samar; a journey of Father Juan de Torres to a needy mission station is described at some length. At Catubig a flourishing mission is established (1601); the headman of that village is converted, and shows his faith by many pious works. Various instances of encounters with crocodiles, and some miraculous deliverances from danger or death, are related as occurring at Catubig. Chirino closes his narrative with an appeal for more laborers to be sent to the Philippines, as a field where so great a harvest of souls awaits them.
Permission is given (February 23, 1604) for the Augustinian Recollects to establish themselves in the Philippines. On June 3 the king sends orders to Acuna to repress the high-handed proceedings of some of the religious orders there; and on July 30 he directs the archbishop to punish those of the teaching friars who abandon their mission fields and sell or exchange church furniture.
Acuna writes to the king (July 15) about various business matters. He asks for money with which to make restitution to certain Chinese, and for royal favor to Christoval de Azqueta. Much fear of a Chinese invasion is felt in Manila. Trade with the Japanese is in good condition; but Acuna refuses to let them bring money to Manila for investment. Acuna makes various recommendations as to officials, their appointment, and the official inspection of their conduct; and asks that the royal treasury of the islands be properly inspected and regulated. In other letters of the same date, the governor urges at some length that the Audiencia at Manila should be abolished. The Spanish population is so small that the Audiencia has but little occupation; the auditors bring to the islands numerous relatives or friends, for whom they secure the offices and benefits which rightfully belong to the inhabitants; they appropriate the best of the Chinese trade and of its profits, compelling the citizens to stand aside; and they tyrannize over the latter in many ways. The auditors interfere with the affairs of the military service, and hinder the governor from performing his duties. The expense of their salaries is a heavy burden on an impoverished country, and the treasury has not enough means to meet the demands constantly made upon it. The people are discontented and clamorous, and they ought to be freed from this encumbrance. A postscript dated July 19 refers to the king a dispute between the Audiencia and archbishop regarding the seminary of Santa Potenciana.
Letters from Pedro Chirino (undated; 1604?) to the king ask for royal grants to aid the Jesuit seminary for boys at Cebu. In support of this request he cites the benefits derived from this school by natives as well as Spaniards, and the ministrations to all classes by the Jesuits in charge of it; and adduces the testimony of various witnesses, secular and ecclesiastical, to the same effect. His request is granted by the royal council. By a decree of December 31, 1604, the Spanish government regulates the trade of the American colonies with the Philippines. The substance of previous decrees is rehearsed, and Felipe orders that the trade of the islands with Nueva Espana be continued, although under some restrictions. The commander and other officials are to be appointed by the governor and archbishop at Manila, and chosen from citizens of the islands. The officials of the ships may not engage in trade, and the salaries of the two highest are fixed. Provision is made for more rigid inspection of vessels and their cargoes, for equitable allotment of space, and for the safety of the crews. Freight charges are to be moderated and regulated; additional duties on goods are levied, and provision is made for the care and expenditure of these, also for inspection of cargoes and money shipped at Acapulco. No person may go to the Philippines unless he shall give security for his permanent residence there.
In February, 1605, a formal complaint against the Chinese is made before the authorities at Manila by Archbishop Benavides, supported by the depositions of several witnesses. The Parian in that city, destroyed in the insurrection of 1603, has been rebuilt, and is again peopled by "infidel Sangleys." These Chinese are idolatrous, and exceedingly licentious and vicious; and in both these respects are demoralizing the Indian natives, and drawing them away from the Catholic faith. The Chinese, moreover, are inclined to revenge themselves on the Spaniards for the slaughter of their countrymen in the insurrection of 1603, and thus are a constant source of danger. He recommends that they be driven out of the city, except that they be allowed a place where they can live during the months while the ships for the Mexican trade are being unloaded and freighted; and that they be not allowed to hold intercourse with the Indians. The archbishop also denounces the Japanese (who reside not far from the Chinese quarter in Manila) as being equally vicious and dangerous. For all these reasons, he causes a secret investigation to be made of the whole matter, which he has not been able to induce the governor to do. Further testimony to the same effect is given by several witnesses. Talavera, a cura of the natives in Manila, states that he has been told that the Mindanao pirates were incited to hostilities by the Chinese; also that the archbishop had repeatedly striven, but in vain, to correct the evils arising from the proximity of the natives to these vicious foreigners. A sworn statement by Francisco de Avila (June 15) is appended, showing that Chinese were then residing in the houses of prominent citizens of Manila. A letter is written (March, 1605) by the officials of the Chinese province of Chincheo, to Governor Acuna, demanding investigation of the late Sangley revolt at Manila and redress for the killing of so many Chinese.
The leading Augustinians at Manila send to the king (May 4) a formal complaint against Fray Lorenso de Leon, whom they charge with arbitrary and illegal acts, and with scheming to gain power in the order, and with forcing his own election as provincial. They ask the king to induce the papal nuncio to revoke Fray de Leon's authority, and to send a visitor to regulate the affairs of the order in the islands. This request is supported by a brief letter from the commissary of the Inquisition (a Dominican), One of the Augustinian officials signing the above document, Joan de Tapia, writes another and personal letter to the king, giving further accounts of Fray de Leon's illegal acts and general unfitness for his office. Tapia also accuses him and one Fray Amorin of having appropriated to themselves various funds entrusted to their care; and says that Leon is investing in mercantile speculations money which must have come from the convents.
One of the auditors, Antonio de Ribera Maldonado, writes to the king (June 28); he complains of the conduct of Governor Acuna toward himself and others, and of his appointments to government positions. Maldonado also asserts that Acuna evades the laws regulating the Mexican trade, securing for himself and his friends privileges which rightfully belong to the citizens at large. He asks that he may be permitted to remain longer at Manila, instead of going to Mexico.
RELACION DE LAS ISLAS FILIPINAS (concluded)
By Father Pedro Chirino, S.J. Roma: printed by Estevan Paulino, in the year MDCIV.
Source: This is translated from the original printed work, for which purpose have been used the copies belonging to Harvard University and to Edward E. Ayer of Chicago.
Translation: This is made by Frederic W. Morrison, of Harvard University, and Emma Helen Blair.
RELATION OF THE FILIPINAS ISLANDS
And of What Has There Been Accomplished by the Fathers of the Society of Jesus
How Father Francisco de Vera returned to Espana for more fathers. Chapter XXXVII.
The men of the Society remained in the rest of those Pintados Islands, occupied as we have already seen. In various places, during those two years, there had been newly erected to the glory of Jesus Christ thirty churches; but in all this the least important thing was the material gain, for the real success was in the continual increase of the body of Christians in all those churches. In places where Ours did not reside, each church had its own representative [fiscal], who took care of it and assembled the people, at least on feast-days, to recite the prayers and chant the Christian doctrine. They did this, not only in the church, but in their houses; and even when journeying by water, or cultivating the soil, their usual recreation is to sing these exercises. In proportion at the fruit grew more abundantly, so did the need of laborers increase—until Ours, exhausted by their lack of strength to reap such copious harvests, unanimously called for the succor of new companions. But as this aid must be sent from Europe, which is so far away, and as they could not depend upon letters, it was agreed to despatch Father Francisco de Vera, as a person who had been most successful in conveying the last reenforcement, so useful and so large—which, however, was now too small for so greatly increased a harvest, and more reapers were needed. The father set out from Manila on this journey, in the month of June of the year one thousand five hundred and ninety-eight, in the ship "Santa Margarita," which, after a prosperous voyage of four months, reached Nueva Espana. Soon afterward, orders arrived there from our very reverend father-general, Claudio Aquaviva, that Father Diego Garcia, who had completed his term as rector of the college of Mexico, should repair at once to the Filipinas, to visit and console, on behalf of his Paternity, Ours who were there; and should take with him a reenforcement of earnest laborers in the vineyard of the Lord, which was the same object for which Father Francisco de Vera had gone. It seemed best to the superiors that the good father should remain there and obtain his much needed rest, and not undergo at once the fresh hardships of a second voyage to the Filipinas. Besides this, they desired to retain him in Mexico, because his presence in that province was important, as it had been in the Filipinas, and, still earlier, in Madrid, and in Alcala de Henares where he had been superior. So the father-visitor departed, as we shall later see, with some companions for the Filipinas.
Further transactions in Manila up to the year one thousand five hundred and ninety-eight. Chapter XXXVIII.
Although in Manila we had received novices from the very beginning, and although a goodly number of acceptable men of various ranks had entered our Society there, and had proved to be zealous servants of God and very useful in our ministries, at the time of which we are speaking their number was greater. For there were seven novices—all very religious, humble, and devout—also three brethren of long standing, and six priests; all were busy, each according to his degree and vocation. The number of those who attended Lenten services and the regular sermons continued to grow with the increase of the Spaniards in Manila, and our Lord was pleased to give our fathers the immediate reward for their labors, so that they might be thus encouraged to toil with even greater ardor. Besides the large number of ordinary confessions, many general confessions were made of great importance, and by persons who for many years had not confessed—at least, not as they should. In a single year one father heard forty general confessions; another, fifty; and another, two hundred. There were also many persons who desired, some to amend their lives, others to attain a higher degree of virtue, and who made retreat at home, in order to perform the exercises—especially persons serious and of high standing, such as the schoolmaster of Manila, the commander of the fleet, and other captains and men of reputation. During Lent and Advent sermons were preached on Sunday afternoons to the soldiers in the guard-room; and these were attended by many people of the city, as well as by the governor and some of the auditors of the royal Audiencia. Before commencing the sermon the children were, as usual, instructed in the Christian doctrine, with questions and their answers. After the sermon was concluded, the soldiers were invited to make their confessions, which they did with alacrity. After that a kind of usury was abolished, which the soldiers, without considering it as such, were inadvertently practicing in their eagerness for gain. This was to sell certain things for a higher price, on condition that the purchaser should make his payments from what he might gain at play. This they called "putting into one's hands" [dar a las manos]. During Lent, the discipline was practiced three days in each week, with so extraordinary a concourse of people that besides the Indians, who came in large numbers, there were more than five hundred Spaniards of all ranks and conditions—ecclesiastics and laymen, merchants, captains, soldiers, and men of other callings. Various friendships were made in this way, especially between ecclesiastics and laymen, which were of great service to our Lord.
Many needs of poor people were remedied, especially of those in the prison; and efforts were made to alleviate the hunger and thirst that they were suffering, and compassionately to settle their difficulties, so far as we had means and opportunity.
Efforts were also made to shelter in the seminary for girls some women who, on account of the absence of their husbands, were in danger. Arrangements were also made with the governor, Don Francisco Tello, to secure the marriage of certain other women, in which matter he lent assistance not only with his authority but with his money. Upon one occasion he charitably bestowed a dowry of six hundred pesos upon a woman of noble parentage who, for various reasons, had gone from Madrid to sojourn in that country. The brethren of La Santa Misericordia of Manila also lend assistance in these matters with great solicitude and charity, conformably to their profession and the aims of the Confraternity. The members are among the most noble and distinguished people in that community, and are most useful therein, to the great glory and service of God our Lord.
Our fathers devote themselves at all hours to consoling and confessing the sick and afflicted, for these always have us summoned, even though far away. In this connection I shall relate a special instance. A sick man, having abandoned hope of life (for the physician had declared him past recovery), seeing that human remedies were of no avail, had recourse to the divine; and he sought aid from the mother of God, to whom he made a vow to betake himself for nine days to her chapel called Ermita de Guia, which, as I have said, lies without the city walls. Having made the vow, he arose at once, just as he was, to fulfil it. A marvel of God! as the days went by, his health continually improved; and at the end of the nine days, he was entirely well. This meant health of body, but the two days following his recovery brought him life for both body and soul.
An honorable woman lived in great suffering through the cruel treatment to which her husband subjected her; and she determined to free herself from this pain and anguish by putting an end to her life, which was passing in such bitterness. For this purpose, she placed a noose around her neck, the demon aiding her, and hanged herself. The noise which she made while in the pains of death was heard by one of her neighbors, who hastened to her, and, encountering this horrible sight, promptly cut the rope. The woman, when she came to herself, repented of her wicked act, and had recourse to one of Ours for counsel; and, through the mercy of the Lord, she now lives in peace and contentment. Another married woman, likewise disheartened by the abuse and bad temper of her husband, resolved to leap into the sea and drown herself. Collecting some of her goods, with tears and great sorrow she bade her daughter farewell, and set out to accomplish at once her desperate purpose. When she was on the point of throwing herself into the water, the Lord, having compassion on her wretched lot, sent to her a voice which caused her to hesitate, and to realize what she was doing. "What art thou doing, woman? Trust in God, for thy husband shall treat thee well." With this she was affrighted; but, as a proof that this deliverance had come from Heaven, her husband came soon afterward, and began to caress her and to show her much kindness. Then she grew calm, recognizing the great mercy which the Lord had showed her.
In this same year our students gave evidence of their intelligence and application, on the occasion of the safe arrival at Manila of the most reverend archbishop and suffragans, whom they entertained in their schools with two ingenious dialogues, and other proofs of erudition. In that season arrived also some of the gentlemen of the royal Audiencia who were visiting our schools for the purpose of showing them favor and honor. They greatly enjoyed a third literary exercise which had been prepared for them and were thus encouraged to carry out their intention of placing their sons in these schools, as they did. In time, these studies began to bear fruit, and some of our students even entered the religious life.
The leading events at this time among the Indians in Manila. Chapter XXXIX.
The ministries to the Indians are those which are exercised with the greatest satisfaction in our college, for which occupation we had in that year three fathers who had gained a mastery of their language. If there had been many more, each one would have had something to occupy him, on account of the great number of the Indians, not only within the city, but beyond the walls, in many villages which are in the vicinity of Manila, and whose inhabitants attend our church. In that year our Lord was pleased to favor this ministry with new tokens of His favor; for although in former years the conditions were such as are described above, in this year  the attendance in our church for sermons and confessions was extraordinary—indeed, there was one father who heard more than three hundred general confessions. This was due partly to the increase in the number of fathers who knew the language; and partly to the cessation of the sermons which were formerly preached by other religious orders, through the press of other labors with which they ever busy themselves most zealously in the service of God. By these holy means we set aright many important affairs which concerned enmities and sinful lives. As an instance of this, certain legal proceedings were instituted for the separation of a married pair; these had made considerable progress, but were abandoned, and the husband and wife were reconciled, and again lived together in peace. Efforts were also made to break up illicit relations, and separate those who lived therein; and the result was that, through the mercy of God, those persons have not relapsed into evil ways. Although among these were some cases of special interest, I will confine myself to other matters which occur to me, which are cleaner and more agreeable. The first concerns an infidel Indian woman whose conversion was a difficult matter, on account of her marriage with a Chinese or Sangley who was also an infidel; for her husband kept her, as is the custom among the Chinese, under close confinement and guard. One of our fathers was desirous to gain this woman for Christ; and, finding no other means, placed some Christian Indians where she could hear them talk about the things of God and the life eternal. The woman was so impressed by what she heard that, fleeing from her husband and abandoning her home and child, she came to our house and asked to be instructed for baptism; her request was granted, and by this means the husband was also converted. His conversion is a valuable one, since it is very difficult to incline the people of his nation toward the truths of our holy faith.
Some Indian women, during a pest of locusts, erected in their sowed field a cross containing some relics; and our Lord was pleased to honor the emblem of His death, as well as the faith of these, His new faithful ones, for the locusts passed on without causing them any loss. The owner of the land gave, in gratitude, all its harvest as alms—which he was able to do, as he possessed some wealth.
Although these incidents, and many others which are not here related, show that our Lord is desirous of drawing these peoples to Himself by the bonds of Adam, namely, by love and mercy, He also chooses to show them that He is a God of justice. This He made evident in the dreadful fate of a man and wife who swore to be faithful to each other during his absence, and, supplemented their oaths with terrible curses which are in use among them. Yet the woman, overcome by the devil, was false to her compact and promise of fidelity; and while the unhappy adulterers were thus sinfully engaged, both were struck dead, and were found thus by persons who told it to the father. By his orders the matter was suppressed, as much as was possible in so frightful an event.
Of the villages of Antipolo and San Juan del Monte. Chapter XXXX.
So great was the increase of that mission throughout those two years [1597-98], by the continual arrival of people who came to us, as we have already stated, from those mountains and deserts, that besides two entire villages which were established near Antipolo, at a distance convenient for the instruction of the people, more than a hundred persons came down from the mountains with some children, who were at once baptized. Among these were three ministers of their idols, who, upon arriving at Antipolo, went to Father Almerique, and, making avowal of the evil employment which they had up to that time practiced, renounced it before him and many others who were then present. They promised never again to resume it, and asked that this declaration be given them in writing, as a proof of their conversion, and that no one in times to come might attribute to them guilt for what they had done in the mountains when they had no knowledge of the true God.
In each of these two villages there was formed a confraternity, which, besides other works of piety and devotion, practices two that act as a preservative against the two great evils of idolatry and intoxication—which, as we have already stated, were customary in cases of sickness or death—since in this confraternity are the people who are most prominent, most Christian, and most trustworthy in those villages. Moreover, they take the utmost care to ascertain who in the village may be sick or dying; and they aid the families of both the sick and the dead by frequent visits—in such cases not only exercising perfect piety and charity, but preventing the abuses, superstitions, idolatries, intoxications, dirges, music, and wailing which had been their own custom when they were pagans, as now among these others. These confraternities have rendered Christianity in those regions most glorious, and for their good deeds are so highly esteemed that he is not considered a person of worth who is not received into one of them. On two special occasions they made processions, in excellent order, and with great solemnity and concourse of the people, and attended mass and preaching; and very many frequented the communion. One of these was at the foundation of a confraternity; the other was occasioned by a plague of locusts which had been devastating all those islands for two years. In order to obtain from God a remedy for this evil, they chose the most holy Virgin Mary as their intercessor, and made a vow to celebrate the feast of her most pure conception, and to give on that occasion liberal alms as aid for the marriages of the poor and the orphans. They fulfilled their promises, and our Lord received their humble tokens of service and showed them that He was well pleased, by turning aside the locusts from their crops, and giving them that year very abundant harvests. All the people of the village have now directed to the church that recourse and dependence which they formerly exercised toward the ministers of the devil; and, consequently, when they experience any ill, however trifling it maybe, they summon the father to hear their confessions, or to have the gospel recited to them. Hardly a day passes, while their sickness lasts, when they do not cause themselves to be conveyed to the church, at the time of mass; and when that is ended they approach the priest, to have him recite the gospel and sprinkle them with holy water. Sometimes there are so many of them that, when the priest has done this for them, he is compelled to wait until they go away before he can leave the altar. They also carry first to the church whatever grain or seeds they are about to sow, to have these blessed, in return for which they offer the priest the first-fruits of their harvests.
The leading events in the city of Santissimo Nombre de Jesus. Chapter XXXXI.
As a result of the favors bestowed upon the six resident members of the Society by the right reverend bishop of Sebu, Don Fray Pedro de Agurto, a religious of the Order of St. Augustine (who entered this year into his church and erected it into a cathedral), the fruits of our ministries were at this time most abundant and prosperous. As I have already stated, these were exercised among the various nationalities who inhabit that city, or who resort thither from various regions for their business and traffic. Likewise, at the instance of his lordship, a school of Latin was opened in our college for his servants and clergy, who were joined by the sons of some of the citizens. This school was not only a common and general benefit, but also very useful as a retreat and aid for those who in the school for children were already advanced in reading, writing, and reckoning. Although many of the boys remained in the lower school as pupils, a considerable number of students began the study of grammar with the new master, Father Francisco Vicente Puche, who as an initiation to the studies, and as a welcome to the bishop, gave with his students a two-hours' dramatic representation in the cathedral, in honor of his Lordship, which proved most agreeable, learned, dignified, and devout, and gave extraordinary pleasure to all the citizens, who had never before seen such a thing in their city.
There were two Indian peoples among whom we were especially laboring at that time: one the Bissayans, who are the natives of that country, to whom we preached, on Sundays and feast-days, throughout the year, in their own language; the other the Chinese—many of whom, coming from their own land into this (and many do come in the merchant-vessels), remain here. They have established in this city, near our house, a quarter of their own, which at that time was in charge of the Society; and our fathers administered the sacraments to them and their families, including their women and servants—Chinese, Japanese, Malucos, and Bissayans. They repaired with great frequency to confession and communion, especially on days in jubilees and in Lent; and we always had catechumens among the infidel Chinese, whom we baptized only at the notable feasts, and with great solemnity—excepting on occasions when that sacrament was bestowed on persons at the point of death. The first confirmations which the lord bishop celebrated outside of his cathedral were in our church, where he most devoutly bestowed this holy sacrament upon our Chinese and their families. On Easter of this last year, he celebrated in the same church, as an encouragement and a favor, the solemn baptism of the catechumens, of whom there were a large number; and he was greatly delighted and edified to behold one of our fathers, his assistant on that occasion, conversing in the Chinese language.
The fruitful results of these ministries were displayed in many instances, more especially in regard to purity and constancy. I shall mention one case only, wherein it seemed to us extraordinary constancy which could inspire with courage for such resistance an Indian woman whose former occupation, while she was a heathen, was so contrary to such conduct, as we have related. It happened in this way. One of those women was solicited by a wicked man whom she bravely repulsed. But he finally began cautiously to offer her money, urging her to receive it, and assuring her that he made no claim upon her thus. Not less valorously than before did she reject his offering, saying that she desired no money which, when she must appear before God; would cry out against her, and be an accuser and witness against her; and she reminded him that this money, with which he was striving to wage such war against her, could serve only for her condemnation and chastisement. In proportion to her resistance, so did the furious passion of this wicked man increase, who gave himself no repose in devising projects for her downfall. Attempting to accomplish this, on a certain occasion when she was alone, she uttered loud cries, at which someone came to her aid and delivered her from his violence. With that his love turned to hatred, and his cajolery to threats, which he carried out by accusing her to her masters, with false testimony. She went from their house, in great affliction and distress, but ever repeating, with much patience: "God sees it all." Still further to exercise her virtue, God permitted that even her master, who was a person of high rank, instigated by the devil, should solicit her with great importunity. She answered him by saying that she would, under no persuasion, commit such a sin, and that he should consider that he would greatly disgrace himself, as a man of so high position, by seeking relations with her, a woman of lowly state. She added that, besides this, she kept before her the thought of God, in whose presence she dared not commit any vile act, or consent to it in her heart, knowing that God sees all things; and, moreover, she had consideration for her mistress, who treated her as her own daughter, and against whom she could in no wise commit such treachery. The man, irritated by this resistance, threatened her with harsh treatment; but she replied that even if he were to kill her, it was enough for her that God saw all that she was suffering to avoid sin. The evil man, notwithstanding, carried out his threat, annoying her and treating her with great harshness; yet this only increased the strength and virtue of this innocent and chaste woman. Another Indian woman, left a widow, was so devoted to the preservation of her chastity that, without the advice of anyone, she made to God a vow of chastity, and most strictly kept it. There are many other women who, though they make no vow, preserve intact their chastity and virginity. Nor are the men behind the women in the fervor and contrition wherewith they make their confessions, and the rigor with which they scourge themselves and do penance. One of those Indian women made her confession with so abundant tears and signs of true contrition, that the father who confessed her was greatly aroused and moved thereat, and afterward related that the feelings of devotion caused by those so fervent tears and true contrition remained with him for many days; and that when he wished to humiliate himself or enliven his piety he had only to remember what he had beheld in that Indian woman. For it is vastly different to but talk of contrition for sins, and to contemplate its vivid image and reality in a soul. Another woman came to the confessional and, without noticing the multitude of people in the church, began her confession, and continued it with so many tears and such grief for her sins that she could with difficulty speak. She was thereupon seized with a great longing to do penance, and desired to go at once through the streets of the city, publicly scourging herself, as many do here [in Europe] throughout Lent, in the early part of the night. A young man in the confessional experienced such horror at his sins that, incensed against himself, and without informing the father, he scourged himself through the streets with such severity that he fell down as one dead, and was considered as such. He came later to our house to confess his offenses, and was as disfigured as if he were recovering from a severe illness; but, not content with the former scourging, he desired to inflict on himself another—for, as he said, his heart was transfixed, as by a nail, with grief for his sins. The father, however, commanded him to cease for the present, and he obeyed. There were many other special instances which, for the sake of brevity, I here omit. Not the least affecting among them were those where there was manifested the eternal predestination which has mercifully provided for many at the hour of death the resource of baptism.
Our ministries in behalf of the Spaniards were no less fervent at this time. They repaired in great numbers to our fathers, especially during Lent and on days of jubilee, when the results of their instruction were most apparent. There were, very commonly, consultations in cases of conscience, not only with laymen, but with ecclesiastics, and religious, and even with the bishop—who hardly took any step without the advice of our fathers, although he was a most learned and discreet prelate. It must have been from seeing that persons of so high standing held our Society in so great esteem that the people conceived the idea, and made the resolve, of coming to our house for their confessions; and for that very reason they felt under obligation to lead better lives. With regard to this, one man said that during our absence he had endured many inward struggles on account of not having made his confession to Ours; but that, after he had done so, he had, through the mercy of God, overcome them all. In short, no matter of weight or importance arose where the advice of the Society was not sought with confidence and truth, especially when it was seen that the bishop had such confidence in us—which his Lordship manifested on many public occasions and before many people, by words and deeds which could not then be heard or now repeated, without confusion and embarrassment.
Our sermons in the cathedral and in our own church were regular and frequent, and were all attended by the right reverend bishop, who also honored our church with a pontifical mass for our feast of New Year's day, which was celebrated with much solemnity, many persons, from all classes of people, repairing to confession and communion. His Lordship also preached at the titular feast of the same church (that of the glorious St. Ildefonso), which was celebrated with the like attendance and devotion, in the presence of a concourse of people, and with many communions. His Lordship was also desirous of introducing, in imitation of Manila, the practice of scourging in the church during Lent; and he actually visited it, on the first Friday, with a considerable following. He began by preaching a very devout sermon, at the conclusion of which, seeing that, although night had set in, the church was still light with the rays of a full moon, he determined to leave it for the time, and accordingly returned after his choir had sung the Miserere.
On account of the heat in this region, the churches are so constructed as to be open and airy, and for this reason are poorly adapted for taking the discipline. Accordingly he changed his plan and, inviting the children of the school, and the students, with these and many others of the town, he arranged for every Friday of that Lent a procession of blood, in which the bishop himself marched barefoot. This procession left the cathedral in the evening, and proceeded to the other church (of the Immaculate Conception of Our Lady), some distance away. In the meantime the rest were flagellating themselves, even to the extent of drawing blood; and while the choir was singing the Miserere, the holy bishop scourged himself alone in the sacristy.
How the Christian religion extended in the island of Bohol. Chapter XXXXII.
Through the solicitude and fervor of the two fathers who were in Bohol, who soon received the help of a brother, that new Christian church was notably increased, especially among the old people, from sixty to eighty years of age. These—the world no longer for them, or they for the world, but for Him who died for them—He did not disdain to receive into His church when their sun was setting, although they had not begun so early to follow and obey Him as He had to seek and invite them; many of them died shortly after they were baptized, having left many tokens and proofs of their salvation and the sincerity of their faith. All of them—little children and grown men, youths and aged people, the well and the sick—all convinced and persuaded by the truths of Catholicism, are certain that no other road leads to heaven; and so, without resistance or objection, they prepared themselves for holy baptism—although the fathers with praiseworthy prudence, restrained them by conferring the sacrament on those only who were well prepared, or really in need of it. Many who received the holy sacraments were cured of their maladies, and, consequently, the earnestness and devotion with which they sought and received them were intense. Even when they are in health, it is indeed marvelous to see the satisfaction and willingness with which they repair to all virtuous exercises, especially to confessions and masses. There was no scent or trace of vice or idolatry, or witchcraft, or of other evil customs practiced by them while they were pagans; and if, in confession or elsewhere, mention were made to them of these things, they became deeply offended, saying: "Since we are now Christians, how could we do such things again?" Especially notable is the fidelity maintained by married people, which they observe not only in outward act, but in their hearts.
I cannot mention without sorrow the many souls, in this and neighboring islands, who clamor for deliverance and have no one to give it to them. During this same year some chiefs came from one of the adjacent islands who asked, almost in tears, that one of the two fathers who were there would, for the love of God visit them at least once a week. In another island, called Siquihor, or the island of fire, distant from Bohol some four leguas, there are many so well inclined to the faith that, upon receiving the Christian doctrine of one who went from that region to their island, they learned it very carefully, and the chiefs even came with the others to ask for baptism. They were all, however, appeased with the good prospects that were held out to them, although these did not suffice to console them in their sorrow at returning still hungry for the bread of heaven; or Ours at seeing them with such righteous hunger for it, yet unable to procure it, and with no one who might give them a share of it with the many who in other regions have more than enough.
The increase of Christianity in Botuan. Chapter XXXXIII.
What the other two fathers accomplished in Botuan I shall relate in their own words; for, if I am not mistaken, he who has the task in his own hands can well declare it. Father Valerio de Ledesma in one of his letters writes thus: "Christianity here is in a flourishing condition, as is seen in the large attendance at divine services and in the silence and reverence displayed in the church (for even when it is crowded with many people it seems as if not one were there), and in the affection of the people for the sacrament of confession. In even their petty troubles, many repair to the confessional; and some have already begun to receive communion, concerning which sermons have been repeatedly preached. I trust in our Lord that many will be ready by Corpus Christi; although in the beginning it is best to proceed very gradually that they may reverence the sacrament and know how to distinguish this divine food. The people attend the services more than ever, and on Sundays a very large audience listens to the word of God. The doctrine is sung at night, and the heavens themselves seem to rejoice at music so sweet. In all the families there are many persons well-disposed to the Christian faith; and soon a large number of adults will be baptized; among them some chiefs of high standing, although the largest fish of all is not yet caught. If it were not for the difficulty of learning the doctrine, it seems to me now that almost the whole village would come to us." Thus writes the father. This "largest fish" whom he mentions is that great Silongan of whom we spoke. Although he divorced five of his wives, one of them holds him so in captivity that finally he is keeping both of them [i.e., this one and his lawful wife]. Although every possible means of a gentle sort has been used to free him from this impediment, nothing could be done; and yet he showed a great desire to become a Christian, and the utmost esteem for the things of God, as well as extraordinary affection toward our fathers—which he manifested by giving his son to their care, and on two occasions of special importance. One of these was when the inhabitants, in fear of their enemies, the Ternatans, who were scouring their coasts, received the news that there were some ships at the mouth of the river, which, although they belonged to friends, were not recognized as such; the inhabitants, fearing that these might be enemies, accordingly armed themselves at once. It was then that this chief, with all the men of his district, all armed with lances and shields, crossed to the other side of the river, where our house stood; and there, upon learning the deception and recognizing the friends, Silongan in front of our house performed some feats of activity to show his valor and strength, and said that it was he, Silongan, who protected and defended the fathers and who, in trying circumstances, showed what should be done in their behalf. The other occasion was when one of our fathers, while going up the river, happened to encounter another chief who, on account of a murder, was plundering that district with many others who defended and guarded him. The father, dreading this man, sought the protection of Silongan, who happened to be in the same locality. The latter, with his numerous slaves, surrounded the church where the father was, guarding it with great vigilance; and, when he returned, took, in his own boat the box of church ornaments and brought them all back in safety.
The departure of Father Tomas de Montoya for the doctrina of Alangalang. Chapter XXXXIV.
To take charge of this Christian community (which, as we have said, was bereft by the death of Father Cosme de Flores), Father Tomas de Montoya left Manila, abandoning the instruction which, to their great profit, he was imparting to the students. He himself tells what he accomplished there, and I shall state it in his own words: "As a result of the good music that we have in the church, the divine services are celebrated with much solemnity, and to the great satisfaction of the natives. Many solemn baptisms and marriages have been celebrated which were attended with great fervor, especially by the inhabitants of one village, who in this respect have had the advantage of the others. One of the women of this village received the sacrament with such devotion and joy that a few days after her baptism she made her confession, and persuaded her husband to become a Christian; and she was one of those who practiced the exercises of the Christians with most pleasure. An old man, already so exhausted by age that he could hardly stand upon his feet, came one day with the others to the church, and upon being enjoined to become a Christian, that he might give to God the little of life that remained to him, told them to leave him in peace, for he was no longer fit for anything except death. Seeing that for the time being nothing impressed him, I left him; and afterward caused him to come to my house, where I represented to him the benefits which he would gain in heaven by becoming a Christian. This had such an effect that our Lord moved his heart; and, unable to repress his satisfaction, with much gladness he urgently sought immediate baptism. I told him to go away and to reflect upon the matter for a time, for an affair of such moment could not be hastily settled. He again answered that it should not be delayed, as he desired baptism immediately; but, at last, the ceremony was deferred. While being instructed he made the most joyful answers, and afterwards received holy baptism with the same tokens of pleasure. During the remaining short period of his life his happiness was such that he imparted it to everyone who spoke to him. The great goodness and mercy of God were seen in the case of a new born babe whose pagan mother—an inhabitant of another village, far distant—gave birth to it in a village of this mission. To escape the burden and labor which she must sustain in rearing it, she took it in her arms and, descending to the bank of a river, was about to bury it alive. A Christian chanced to see her and hastened to inform us. Upon reaching the spot I found the child, so small that it was a cause for astonishment. I baptized it, and it soon passed away to the eternal rest of which the imprudent mother (worse than a step-mother) had recklessly tried to deprive it. But as God our Lord showed to these the gentleness of His great mercy, so on others did He execute the rigor of His justice, chastising them for their obstinacy and hardness; and others He terrified, so that some day they might enjoy His mercy. One of Ours had asked a certain man to receive baptism, following the advice of his father, who was an Indian of high standing and governor of the village. He made excuses, saying that he did not wish to receive the sacrament until he had been married. But God our Lord did not allow him to fulfil this desire, on account of which he deferred holy baptism until he paid for the delay by an untimely death. Besides dying as he did, in his heathenism, and very hastily, the character of his death was violent and horrible; for he was carried away by a poison which caused the flesh to fall from his body in pieces. Another man was continually ill, and, fearing that any day he might die, he asked me to baptize him. Upon summoning him one day for instruction, he failed to appear, having abandoned his purpose. Soon afterward he embarked for a neighboring island, where he died in his paganism. One day, the children of a village came together to be baptized, but one of the pagans refused to allow her child to receive the sacrament; neither entreaties nor arguments availing to soften her. Accordingly, we had to give her up—our Lord taking charge of this obdurate one, as He did, suddenly deprived her one night of life."
But the event which caused among these Indians the greatest surprise and terror, was the death of two of their most esteemed and respected chiefs. The first was an Indian who in former days had married six wives. He was so arrogant and cruel that whenever he made a journey he sent Indians ahead of him to cut the branches of the trees, in order that he might pass without bending his body; and if any of his followers neglected to clear away a branch he paid for his carelessness with his life. This chief became sick, and a father entreated him with much earnestness to receive baptism. This he refused, and, having no fear of death, said: "Father, as yet I have sufficient strength in my eyes to see, in my hands to work, and in my feet to walk. Leave me for the present, for, since thou art near by, I will send one of my slaves for thee if I find that I am in distress." The father left him, seeing that he would do nothing for us; and within two days was told that this man was dead, having gone where he must expiate his obstinacy as well as his pride and cruelty.
For the better understanding of the second case, we must assume that one of the ways in which God has been best served in that mission is in persuading the Indians who have two or three wives to abandon them and to content themselves with one. The means used to accomplish this end was to condemn polygamy, to the assembled natives, as a state unworthy of the nobility of man, saying that they ought not to make themselves beasts and brutes by having so many wives. Our Lord granted a fortunate outcome to this effort, for the men were thus persuaded to give up their wives. The Indians were so impressed by this teaching that once when a swarm of locusts lit in the grain-fields of a certain village, they accounted for it by saying that God had sent this pest on the people of that village, because the men were wont to keep two wives. There was an Indian chief of high rank in the island of Leite, by the name of Umbas, one of the most prominent among the chiefs on account of his riches and the good government which he maintained in the villages under his rule, and the thoroughness with which he fulfilled all his responsibilities; he was esteemed by not only the Indians but the Spaniards. All eyes were turned to him, and consequently, had he but become a Christian, large numbers of people would have followed his example, for he was regarded by the rest, even in distant parts, as a pattern to follow. This Indian had two wives, and being frequently urged, with many entreaties and arguments, to abandon one of them, so great was his love for his sons that he could not make up his mind to divorce one of the women, preferring not to be separated from their children. He was urged in the church, before all the people of the village, to divorce one of his wives; but he only answered that he had already been told this. Many of our fathers, as well as his encomendero, therefore besought him with great earnestness to be baptized, but all in vain. But finally, seeing that all the rest (and especially one of his sons, also much esteemed and beloved) were abandoning their wives, he said that he would do the same after he had harvested his rice, for which the time had arrived—alleging as a reason that since he and they had toiled together in the sowing, they should together enjoy the harvest; and when that had been done, he would remain with but one wife. But the Lord, who already had just cause against him, by His lofty judgments prevented him from carrying out this intention; for, very soon afterward, when he suspected no misfortune, he was stabbed by an Indian whom he tried to seize. No second blow was needed, for he fell to the ground dead, thus ending his disobedience and obduracy.
Of the fervor of the Christians of Ogmuc. Chapter XXXXV.
Our fathers in the residence at Ogmuc, having proceeded with due prudence and caution, had up to this time baptized only eighty-eight adults. There was, however, a goodly number of catechumens, who were very earnest in seeking baptism. Those who are baptized seem to have known for many years the things of our holy faith, to judge by their knowledge of its mysteries, especially those concerning Christ our Lord and His most holy mother. They highly esteem the confessional, and when they become sick they clamor at once for the father, and find relief in making their confession. A sick man said that day and night he thought of the father, who was absent, and desired him for confession, adding that what most aggravated his sickness was to know that he did not have the father at hand for that purpose. His relatives, desirous of taking him to another place, had no success, nor could they persuade him to go; for he maintained that they were about to take him where he must die without confession, and where there was no church in which he could be buried after death. As soon as he learned that the father had arrived, he went, although very ill, to make his confession, weeping for gladness, and never ceasing to render thanks to the Lord that he had permitted the father to arrive at such a time; and he declared that he could die consoled, now that he had made his confession. During Holy Week there was a great concourse of people who devoutly attended the divine services, keeping the receptacle of the most holy sacrament handsomely adorned. On Holy Thursday, in the afternoon, after the sermon a very devout procession was formed, by which the people were more thoroughly instructed in the faith, and taught what Christ our Lord had done for our salvation. The most pleasing and touching sight was to see all the children disciplining themselves with scourges which they themselves had made for that day. At Easter some Spaniards chanced to be here, who augmented the solemnity of the occasion with salvos from their arquebuses. Peace was restored between many married people who had been living in discord; and some abuses were corrected, especially two very baneful practices anciently common among them, namely, usury in loans, and enslavement through tyranny. In order that my readers may better understand and recognize the power of God, who has unrooted these evils, it has seemed to me best to describe them in greater detail.
Of usury and slavery among the Filipinos. Chapter XXXXVI.
Among other vicious practices common to these nations and proceeding from that fountain and abyss of evil, idolatry, one was that insatiable cupidity mentioned by the evangelist St. John as one of the three which tyrannize over the world.  This caused them, forgetful of that natural compassion which we owe to one another, never to lend succor in cases of need without assurance of profit. Consequently, whenever they made loans (not of money, which they did not use or possess, but of other things, most commonly rice, bells, and gold—this last more than all else, for when weighed it took the place of money, for which purpose every one carried in his pouch a balance), they must always agree upon the profit which should be paid them in addition to the sum that they were to lend. But the evil did not stop here, for the profit or gain itself went on increasing with the delay in making payment—until finally, in the course of time, it exceeded all the possessions of the debtor. The debt was then charged to his person, which the poor wretch gave, thus becoming a slave; and from that time forth all his descendants were also slaves. There was another form of this usury and slavery, by which the debtor or his son must remain from that time a slave, until the debt, with all the usury and interest which were customary among them, was repaid. As a result of this, all the descendants of him who was ether a debtor or security for the debt, remained slaves. Slaves were also made through tyranny and cruelty, by way of revenge and punishment for offenses of small account, which were made to appear matters of injury. Examples of these are: failure to preserve silence for the dead (which we have already mentioned), or happening to pass in front of a chief who was bathing (alluded to in the fable of Actaeon), and other similar oppressions. They also captured slaves in war by means of ambuscades and attacks, keeping as such all those whom they did not wish to kill. Since these cruelties were so usual among them, and, on the other hand, the poor are commonly oppressed by the powerful, it was easy to increase the number of slaves. Consequently they used to have, and still do have, a very large number of slaves, which among them is the greatest of riches. This has been no small hindrance to their conversion, and has fettered the hands of many ministers of the gospel, and subjected them to great doubts and perplexities. But since, on the one hand, pious individuals have, although with difficulty, paid ransoms; and, on the other, the royal magistrates have ascertained the facts and provided redress for those thus tyrannically treated who seek their liberty; and, moreover, since God our Lord has influenced many in their baptisms and confessions, an enormous number of ransoms have been given. Usury also quickly diminished, the creditors being satisfied with the original interest, without expecting a continual increase. But now, through the grace of our Lord, all that custom has been abolished, and the natives now proceed with mercy and Christian charity, not only in Ogmuc and throughout the island of Leite, but in all the other islands where there is knowledge of Jesus Christ.
What the Christians accomplished in Carigara. Chapter XXXXVII.
From the very beginning, the people of this mission showed their fervor; consequently, the Christians continued to increase in numbers, although, as I have said, our fathers were very cautious in granting holy baptism. All those Christians have frequent recourse to the confessional, prizing it highly and greatly benefiting their own souls. Those who are not Christians are all catechumens; and there is not one of them who does not desire holy baptism. There was formed in this church, and completed this year, a very delightful musical choir, composed of the children themselves, who are very clever in this exercise; and thus the divine services are celebrated with solemnity.
Of the remarkable increase in the mission of Paloc. Chapter XXXXVIII.
This village is one of the finest and best regulated in all the island, thanks to the labors of one of our fathers, who helped the natives to construct good houses. The Christian doctrine is taught every day to the children in all the villages; and so many of them attend this exercise that it is necessary to appoint four chanters in order that they may be heard. Every day the people attend mass, after they have had their lessons in the doctrine. One day of the week is set apart when all the Christians come together to learn the doctrine and catechism; and, even without the presence of the father, they all assemble in every village. Great benefit has been derived from this practice, for thus those who know the doctrine do not forget it, and those who do not know it may learn it. Every night an Indian goes forth with a little bell, warning all to prepare for death and to repent for their sins, and enjoining the Christians to pray to God in behalf of those who are not, that they may know God. While he is uttering this message, perfect silence reigns, for they call this "the warning of God;" and, in truth, it has been so effective that there is not an Indian who does not reflect on death and desire baptism. Before Lent some sermons were preached to them on confession, and they were taught that they must not conceal their sins; to enforce this, a very appropriate instance was cited, which had such an effect upon them that many persons, though they had left the church very late that night, returned the next morning to make another confession.
Although idolatry was formerly very common among these pagans, who practiced it on every trivial occasion, our Lord has been pleased so to diminish it that hardly anything is now known of it. Two children, whose mother was sick, took three fowls for the purpose of making a sacrifice to the demon. While on the way to the house of the priestess (who in that country is usually old, and belongs to a mean class), one of the children said to the other: "Whither are we going, and what are we doing—we who are Christians and know that God sees us? Let us give up this purpose." With this they abandoned their projected sacrifice, and returning to their home, set the fowls at liberty. The practice of disciplining on Fridays was begun, and was taken up by all the children and the adults of the village. On the first night when they assembled for this purpose, the father made known to them the spirit in which it should be done, and so profoundly impressed them that they soon named Friday (which is the usual day for the discipline) "the day of atonement for sins."
Some notable incidents in Dulac. Chapter XXXXIX.
In this residence, from the month of June in the year ninety-eight to January in the year ninety-nine, there were solemnly baptized more than one hundred catechumens who greatly desired the sacrament and prepared themselves very carefully for holy baptism. This did not include the sick, who through the mercy of God had been but few that year; but among these sick persons, both children and adults, was experienced the virtue of this holy sacrament for bodily health. Some persons who were covered with leprosy and their recovery despaired of, were restored by baptism to so good health that, although borne down by years, they were able to till the soil and sow their fields. I wish to relate the faith of a pagan woman whose husband, also a pagan, lay sick. Believing his condition to be dangerous, she persuaded him to accept baptism. For this purpose she sent for the father, and, when the latter asked the sick man if he desired baptism or instruction, she helped him to make his answers. The father, observing her to be so capable and so desirous of the welfare of her husband, inquired if she also wished to become a Christian. She answered affirmatively, saying that she had heard in the church that only the good Christians went to heaven, and that those who were not Christians must burn in hell; and that for the sake of retaining her husband's affection she was not willing to die an infidel, and come to so bad an end. Finally, when it seemed that the sick man was well prepared, and his sickness was becoming dangerous, he was baptized, and then our Lord was pleased to give him health—whereat the good woman was more than ever anxious to receive baptism for herself. After they were both baptized, they received the nuptial benediction, as do all the other married people who are baptized, renewing their marriage according to Christian usage. I will also mention the death of a child, which was no less remarkable than the recovery of the other. The father was passing through a village late in the day, on his way to another settlement. He was hastening his steps, for the sun was setting and there still remained a considerable strip of road before he could reach his destination. But at the very entrance of the village a Christian came out and called to him, entreating him to go and baptize a child, the son of infidel parents, who was very sick. The father went to the house and baptized the child; and, having offered a prayer for it, went away. No sooner had he gone, than our Lord called the child to Himself; and it seemed as if the little one was only waiting baptism in order to enter heaven immediately.