Sunday, April 03, 2011

First Mass in the Philippines

On 31 March 1521, the very first Mass was celebrated in the Philippines. By a remarkable coincidence, I spent much of that day in Manila's old district, Intramuros, where the four hundred year old church of San Agustin, the sole survivor of four centuries of earthquakes, other natural disasters, and a most lamentable war (the Second World War reduced Manila to a pitiable cinder, the second most devastated city in all the theaters of that War). Although the exact place of the Mass is still hotly debated today, what is true, even after the gulf of four hundred and ninety years, is that it set the course for the almost ineluctable Christianization of these islands. The photo above is a detail of the main portal of the Manila Cathedral, rebuilt in 1958 after being destroyed in the war, along with many other great churches. I'll try to share some of the other photos I shot, soon.


JD said...

Yes, some more photos would be lovely :)

Niko said...

May I use this photo?

Archistrategos said...

Dear (Fr?) Niko, yes, you may use the photo!

Vicente Calibo de Jesus said...

The prevailing view, affirmed by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines, is Limasawa Island in southern Leyte is where the "first mass" was held.

So it should be easy for anyone to win this quiz.

We have increased to TWO MILLION PESOS the amount you can win if you can point to the word "missa" (mass) in the Limasawa story. All that you have to do is point, no need to argue, no need to write anything not even one word.

If you can't find the word, you can still win the prize money if you can find any veiled reference, a hint, or a glimmer of a hint of an Easter Sunday mass in Fr. Francisco Combes' Limasawa story.

If not, you can still win the TWO MILLION if you can find in any primary or secondary account the word "Limasawa."

If you can't, you can still win that money if you can show the word "Limasawa" is found in any Philippine language (there are some 170), or in the various languages of those who were in Magellan's fleet, e.g., French, Italian, Spanish.

If you still can't, you have another chance. In the story, Combe' says the captain-general was named "Alonso" Magallanes. Point to any primary, secondary document that says the name of Magelan is "Alonso."

If you can't, here another chance to win TWO MILLION PESOS, show me any primary or secondary account that says the fleet entered through Siargao as Combes writes.

If again, you can't, here's one more chance: Combes wrote the fleet's first landfall is Limasawa. Now find any primary or secondary source that says the first stop is an island named "Limasawa."

Combes writes the fleet went to Butuan where a cross was planted. Now point to any primary or secondary account that says the fleet went to Butuan. If you can, you'll win the award.

Ok. I'll leave you now to try to win the prize money.