“Philippine Jesuits Without a Country” by Fr. Victor Badillo, S.J.

Fr. Jose Algue, S.J., Director of Manila Observatory, was stripped of his citizenship, because Spanish authorities thought he was too friendly with the enemy, the invading Americans. Algue displayed diplomacy in convincing a government that bannered separation of church and state to accept the Manila Observatory as its Weather Bureau. He continued serving the Philippines and God. He was an active pacifist. A street in Tondo is named after him

Miguel SelgaFr. Miguel Selga, S.J., renounced his Spanish citizenship in order to arrive in Manila an American citizen. He took residency in the U.S. and studied astronomy at Georgetown Observatory. Before he could finish the required time of residence, he had to leave the US for Manila due to urgent calls from Manila Observatory. Both he and Algue were given traveling documents when needed by the Americans. The faith of many Filipinos with wavering faith was strengthened by the comforting presence of a kindly and competent Spanish priest scientist in times of natural calamities. During World War II he was the Master of novices. A street in Davao City is named after him.

Novices worked in the kitchen under Brother John Doyle, S.J., and in the piggery. Doyle was born in Ireland. In his youth, he migrated to the U.S. There he joined the New York Province, without need to be an American. Then he volunteered for the Philippines. He labored at first in Mindanao and finally in the Sacred Heart Novitiate in Novaliches.

Fr. John Delaney, S.J., Chaplain of the Catholics in the University of the Philippines, formed a fervent Christian community. UP Student Catholic Action (UPSCA) became a potent political force. People saw the threat to their hold on power and tried to get Delaney out. In an open forum he proclaimed, “I am Irish by race, English by birth, American by citizenship and Filipino by choice.”

In 1768 the King of Spain ordered all members of the Philippine Province to gather in Manila. There, under heavy guard like convicts they waited for the sailboats that would take them away. After crossing the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans by sail, and Mexico on foot, Spain, the land of their birth, refused to accept them. Their wandering ended in the Papal States in Italy. Soon they were no longer even Jesuits. The Pope had ordered the Society of Jesus suppressed. In all this, like their King led to the slaughter, they spoke not a word.

“Being of the form of God, he emptied himself taking the form of man, becoming obedient unto death, death on the cross.”

badillo_victor.jpg (32085 bytes) Source: Pedro Calungsod blog by Fr. Victor Badillo, S.J.

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About ateneophysicsnews
Physics News and Features from Ateneo de Manila University

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