[Endorsed on front: “Relation of the condition in which were found the Filipinas Islands. Their location is described in detail, and the fertility of the soil for food products, pasturage, the sugar industry, and that of indigo. The year 1577.”]
Bull for Erection of the Diocese and Cathedral Church of Manila
Gregory, Bishop, servant of the servants of God: In perpetual remembrance of the affair.
Trusting in the safeguard of Him who moves the hinges of the earth, toward whom are bent the minds of men—through whose providence, moreover, all things derive their government—we willingly do our share of the duty entrusted to us from above, to the end that they who now are in darkness may be enabled to enjoy the true light which is Christ Jesus, and that the rays of His light may beam upon them. Wherefore, in accordance with the preeminence of this apostolic see in the regions of the earth, all and singular, as required by necessity and other reasonable motives, we plant new episcopal sees and churches, that by new plantations may be increased the new adhesion of peoples to the church militant; that everywhere may arise, spread, and flourish the profession of the Christian religion and the Catholic faith; that even insignificant places may thereby be enlightened, and that their inhabitants and the dwellers thereof, girded around with new sees in charge of prelates of rank, may the more easily win the rewards of everlasting happiness. In truth, since the soldiers of our very dear son in Christ, Philip, Catholic Sovereign of the Spains, voyaging many years ago to the sea known as Mar del Sur ["Southern Sea"], discovered there very many islands known as the Philippines, near the continent of China, in some of which (chiefly in Luzon and Zebu) they made settlements; while the same King Philip sent to the aforesaid islands not only temporal governors for the purpose of establishing and maintaining justice therein, but ecclesiastical persons, both regulars and seculars, that they might administer the sacraments of the church and confirm converts in the Catholic faith—the result was that, through the mercy of God, many natives of the said islands were converted to the said faith. However (albeit matters in the spiritual realm have thus far been managed in this fashion), with the increase of Spaniards in those islands the same King Philip, in order that they might become more peaceful and populous, with this intent sent thither Spaniards—two hundred men with their wives and children, and four hundred unmarried men. Daily very many of the said natives, embracing the aforesaid faith, receive the regeneration of sacred baptism, although the islands aforesaid are more than two thousand leagues distant from the province of the Christians known as New Spain, subject to the rule of the said King Philip, whence supplies are brought to those islands. It therefore was proper and necessary, for the welfare of the souls