Silang’s Early Accounts Part 3, Silang Baptized


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Perhaps the Jesuits’ ability to cure the sick was so widespread that they were able to increase the number of converts embracing village after village for baptismal ceremonies. Indan (Indang) was mentioned as one of the villages which became part of the mission. As their parishioners increased they were able to conduct religious ceremonies like the communion and processions.

Another point of curiosity, the dates being mentioned such as the feast of St. Gregory and the Annunciation and the Lent of what is already assumed 1605 following the return to Manila on Christmas of 1604. Using an online date calculator [1], it gave an exact date and day of April 7 (Maundy Thursday) up to April 10, 1605 with March 12, (Saturday) and March 25 (Friday) as the saint’s feast and annunciation respectively.

The following are excerpts, translated in English by FW Morrison of Harvard University, edited and annotated by EH Blair and JA Robertson in the book, The Philippine Islands, 1493-1898 Volume XIII, 1604-1605, from the book Relacion de las Islas Filipinas written in 1604-1605 by Fr. Pedro Chirino, S.J. and published in Rome.

(Excerpt Part 3) The new residence of Silan and its Christians. Chapter LXXIX.

“After Christmas I was summoned back to Manila, but in Lent was sent again to the village of Silang. At that time I found the mission greatly increased by the many natives whom the fathers had recently brought together; they were coming to us each day from other villages (the entire village of Indan had joined us), all of them very needy, and almost half of them unbaptized. On the feast of St. Gregory I baptized twenty-five persons, only one of whom, a sick woman, was of adult age, and on the feast of the Annunciation twenty-one, of whom nineteen were adults; at present another goodly number of them are being prepared.

Jesuit Retablo

The number of those baptized this year is about two hundred, and the confessions very numerous; and the number of those admitted to communion is about fifty, the choicest of whom are members of the confraternity. We erected our altar of the sepulchre [25] as skillfully as we were able, and celebrated the offices [appropriate to the occasion], by the help of which this new people gained new light upon the services of Holy Week. Those who took the discipline, going forth in a formal procession, were on Holy Monday, the singers, who did this by way of preparation; others desired to march on Holy Tuesday, but, as the day was stormy and the winds violent, I forbade them to do so.

azevedo2They had their procession on Holy Wednesday; and others, in greater number, marched on Holy Thursday. Our most important procession was on Holy Friday, in the evening; two images were carried–one, a small crucifix (for we had no larger one); the other, an image of our Lady–while the choir sang the litanies. When this procession ended, people gathered in sufficient number to form another; this was caused by the lack of [woolen] tunics, which were removed by their wearers and lent [to those in the second procession]. In all the processions except the principal one, the music consisted of the Christian doctrine, sung by the children as they walked.

[1] Online Date Calculator http://www.timeanddate.com/calendar/index.html?year=1604&country=16

[25] Spanish, _monumento_; an altar erected in churches on Holy
Thursday which resembles a sepulchre.