The Philippine Islands, 1493-1898, Volume XXIV, 1630-34 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 320 pages of information about The Philippine Islands, 1493-1898, Volume XXIV, 1630-34.

At this time one of the Recollect religious, a doctor and scholar, named Fray Diego Rodrigo, was head of that order here.  He bore the title of father vicar-provincial, for the province had as yet no authority to elect a provincial.  He had some disputes with a beneficed secular, whereupon the said beneficiary complained to the archbishop, Don Fray Miguel Garcia.  The latter sought advice as to whether he could try that cause, and, I know not why, kept the priest secluded in our convent.  The cause was continued, and afterward the said vicar-provincial, Fray Rodrigo, went to Espana by way of India.  Through that journey he accomplished matters of no little importance; for he suffered much and served the Catholic church greatly.  He converted and reduced many schismatic Russians [57] to the Catholic church, and bore a solemn message from them to his Holiness.  For this religious had excellent qualifications for distinction; he was a fine Latin scholar and an excellent preacher, and was no less a theologian.  In the Roman court he was of great aid to the religious of the Filipinas against the pretensions of the seculars, so that his arrival there was very important.  He was very well received in that court, and in that of Espana; and he would have obtained his desires, had not the Lord been pleased to cut him off, taking him from this life to enjoy that which is eternal.  He had written a book on the affairs of this country, but it is not known into whose hands it has fallen.  May it bring to the light achievements so eminent and honorable.  Without doubt they would be of much importance for a knowledge of what there is in these lands so remote from our own.

CHAPTER XXXIX

Of the election of our father Fray Alonso de Mentrida

This chapter-meeting which follows was somewhat stormy, for the opposition made it more conspicuous than was right.  Our father provincial, Fray Juan Enriquez, had had a most happy triennium.  The time coming to appoint a successor in his place, he considered our father Fray Juan de Henao—­a man who was well liked in the province and who had many influential persons who were affectioned unto him—­a suitable man.  Others, although few, resented this choice, and therefore tried to block its accomplishment.  Those men were few in number, but they had great authority.  The affair went so far that it came to the ears of Don Alonso Fajardo, who was governor of the Filipinas.  He tried by means of his authority to mediate, so that there should be no scandal; for he was well inclined to the order, and grieved over the matter.  Finally, our father Fray Juan Enriquez preferred to set aside his own pleasure rather than that of the order; and, consequently, did not attempt to elect a provincial by force, although he could have done it, for he had many followers.  Our father, Fray Juan de Henao, performed a truly religious action; he stated publicly that he renounced any claim that he might have on the provincialate, and signed the same.  He declared that those who had hitherto been his partisans he authorized to support any other man who should be of greater account to the province.  He said that he was not considering his own welfare, but that of the province, which he recognized as his mother; and, as such, he would always place its good in the foreground.

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The Philippine Islands, 1493-1898, Volume XXIV, 1630-34 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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