Sunday, 29 September 2013

Filipinos martyred in hatred of the faith

To date, Saint Laurence is one of the two Filipinos—the other being Saint Peter—canonised by the Vatican. There are other causes pending in the Vatican, and many more are still waiting to be initiated. We have the case of Felipe Sonson (also Felipe Songsong), an Macabebe of noble birth and a Jesuit donado, who was martyred in Guam in 1685.

Marker for Felipe Sonson
in front the church of Saint Nicholas
Macabebe, Pampanga

Read fully here.

Other possible cases would be those of the martyrs during the Philippine clerical indigenisation.

Church of Saint Monica
formerly the church of Saint Michael the Archangel
Sarrat, Ilocos Norte

We have Don Mariano Edralín (probably a relative of Ferdinand Marcos on his mother’s side), parish priest of San Miguel de Sarrat, who was murdered on 2 February 1910 in his convent, the day after a court of Laoag ordered the return of his parish church to the Church.

Still another would be Ildefonso Valencia, a native of Abra, who, baptised in the iglesia independiente, converted after he was catechised by lay catechists. In October 1912, during a procession headed by Fr. Theodor Buttenbruch, an SVD missionary to Abra, the Aglipayan priest of Abra, incensed at his conversion, brandishing a cutlass, approached Ildefonso and struck him to the ground. It is said that the blood of this martyr splattered upon the immaculate vestments of Fr. Buttenbruch, who later would be martyred on 14 November 1944.

(foreground, left to right)
Msgr. Wilhelm Finneman, S.V.D., auxiliary bishop of Manila;
Rev. Fr. Wilhelm Schmidt, S.V.D., director
Lateran Ethnological Missionary Museum;
Rev. Fr. Theodor Buttenbruch, S.V.D., regional superior
of the Divine Word Missionaries in the Philippines

Rumour has it that Fr. Buttenbruch was buried alive by the Japanese in front the SVD seminary.

[Note: The cause for Bishop Finneman is currently open. He was martyred in 1942, thrown into the sea by the Japanese whose atrocities in Mindoro he strongly opposed.]

Pray that these martyrs be raised to the dignity and honour of our hallowed altars.

1 comment:

  1. I found you're great blog again after searching for Ildefonso Valencia. I had just read Fr. Buttenbruch's account of what seems like a pretty clear case of martyrdom. Fr. Buttenbruch said that Valencia gave up "his pure martyr soul" in his arms. I wonder why the SVD's or the diocese never opened a cause before WWII. This lack of official causes seems to be rather frequent in the missions (if you can refer to the Philippines as a missionary country) -- I would guess it has to do with the workload of missionary priests.

    God bless and keep up the good work,