A review of 500 years of Christianity during the Philippines — and counting!

A review of 500 years of Christianity during the Philippines — and counting!

This year is an important occasion for the faith life of Filipino Catholics worldwide.

This present year we commemorate the quincentenary of Christianity when you look at the Philippines. It had been 500 in years past, in 1521, your Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan, representing the Spanish kingdom, arrived in the Visayan area for the Philippines.

Therefore began the process of European colonization, which ultimately led to the organization of Christianity. Even today, the Philippines continues to be the only significant mostly Catholic nation in Asia.

The backdrop that brought to this monumental celebration may be worth recalling.


Whenever news of Christopher Columbus’ advancement on the Americas in 1492 attained Europe, a fervor and thirst for treasures, reputation and potential Christian converts got hold of those empires that were navigationally competent to grow beyond their own borders.

The Spanish additionally the Portuguese empires had been opponents, and so the 1494 pact of Tordesillas in essence separated society into two halves: the Americas and Asia. The Spanish Empire was actually granted research rights to your Americas, therefore the Portuguese Empire had been provided these liberties to Asia.

Enter the Portuguese navigator and explorer Ferdinand Magellan (1480-1521). From 1505-1513, the guy sailed for his very own Portuguese Empire toward eastern coasts of India as well as the western coasts of Africa. But after conflicts together with very own King Manuel over payoff for his treatments, he gone to live in Seville, Spain, and flipped allegiance to master Charles we.

According to their interpretation associated with the Treaty of Tordesillas, Magellan persuaded the Spanish master your exploration legal rights with the spruce countries or Moluccas (located just northeast of Indonesia and south of the Philippines) had been controversial. Obviously, there seemed to be one way to find down: The king will have to send some one on the market immediately and state it when it comes to Spanish Empire, prior to the Portuguese appeared there first.

Therefore on Sept. 20, 1519, the essential ambitious exploration started because of the goal of just saying the Spice countries, but in addition circumventing the whole world, all your magnificence, popularity and wealth of the Spanish Empire.

On March 31, 1521, Easter Sunday, Magellan and his crew commemorated bulk on a little isle from the coastline of Leyte, merely northeast of Cebu during the south area for the Philippines. There clearly was much to commemorate, since a couple of weeks prior to this size, through the few days of March 20, their collection had achieved the coasts among these countries.

Her knowledge simultaneously began the entire process of transforming the indigenous visitors to the Christian belief. In large parts, their own approach is straightforward: As long as they could encourage the chiefs of each island to transform, next everyone would stick to match. Thus Magellan arranged their landscapes towards island of Cebu (positioned left of Leyte) where Chief Humabonreigned.

To start with, both frontrunners exchanged gift suggestions, with Magellan offer 13 bits of Spanish iron and Humabon supplying 10 pieces of the area gold. Discussions about whoever goodness had been better transpired, however it was the abilities of magic that ultimately certain the chief to take into consideration baptism.

Their grandson was ill for 2 years, and following associated chaplain baptized the students man, leading to his cure, Humabon was actually certain and expected become baptized themselves. And as forecasted, over 2,200 of their people were baptized after.

With all the success of establishing an operating union using island people of Cebu, they didn’t take very long for Magellan setting his views on a lot more bold and expansive aim by thinking about the colonization associated with the entire archipelago, comprising of over 4,400 countries and islets.

However, in the attempts to broaden beyond Cebu and various other neighboring isles, he eventually had been hit by a spear and died during a conflict. Alas, Magellan never ever done his aim of circumventing the entire world, but their team in the course of time accomplished this considerable feat in the title.

The quincentenary that marks the introduction of Roman Catholicism within the Philippines cannot go unnoticed, given the effects and influence that Catholicism keeps and continues to has in everyday resides of Filipinos.

Today, 8 in 10 Filipinos profess Catholicism as their faith. After Brazil and Mexico, the Philippines boasts the next premier number of Catholics, followed by the usa.

Actually beyond rates, you can easily enjoy and appreciate the Catholic belief has become integrated within wide variety social and spiritual techniques that draw the daily physical lives of Filipinos.

For instance however they are not limited to: the sacramental tactics being fostered around the families programs; a variety of devotions toward saints, particularly to Mary, since expressed through day-to-day rosary recitations, novenas and pilgrimages; the sequence of introduction masses generally Simbang Gabi (“Night Masses”) that keeps growing in recognition in the U.S.; together with effective participation of numerous Filipinos within regional parish liturgies, pastoral outreach training and diocesan personal happenings.

y pray in thanksgiving for the present of your Catholic belief, but we furthermore look forward to the next 500 years!

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