Tuesday, February 2, 2010


San Pedro Bautista

San Pedro Bautista was sent in 1581, as missionary to the Philippines, where he built a house of prayer in San Francisco del Monte in Quezon City, staying there in 1696-1699. The provincial house of the Franciscans in the Philippines still exist in that place.

Born in Spain in 1542, San Pedro joined the Franciscans of San Gregorio Magno Province where was ordained and devoted himself to preaching and teaching, especially among the poor and less fortunate.

San Pedro is the recognized founder of the hot springs in Los Banos, Laguna. He determined its medical element and promoted it among the sick persons. He was also first to organize a parish choir in the Philippines. He did not only organize them, but taught them how to use musical instruments made in bamboo. He became known in building the liturgical life of the people where ever he was assigned. He also strongly defended the rights of the indigenous peoples of Zambales. He affirmed their basic human rights and taught the slave drivers to recognize God's dignity in their lives. It was a firm, moral stand that opened the people's minds on the value of life.

On their way to the Philippines, San Pedro and his companion missionaries stopped over in Mexico and spent three years there evangelizing the natives.

In 1592, San Pedro, obedient to King Philip II's civil mandate, was sent as ambassador to Japan. His diplomatic mission succeeded and he won favors with the Japanese authorities. He received permission to stay on in Japan and to build a church and friary in Kyoto. He labored zealously and his companions in mission, converted many to the faith

Their success in making converts and establishing churches and hospitals caused them to become a threat to a community leader, Hideyoshi. A fierce persecution broke out and in 1596, Christians were rounded up and thrown in jail. Along with the mission-companions. San Pedro was forced to make a long and horrendeous march to NAgasaki. They died by crucifixion in 1597.

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