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The Jesuits & Their Major Heritage Sites In The Philippines

Who are the Jesuits
  • ''Jesuits'' refers to the Society of Jesus'' and its members which is a religious Order in the Roman Catholic Church for males only and established on 15 August 1534 and officially recognized on 27 September 1540.
  • Jesuits are monks but in this Order they are exempted the cloisted rule of having to live in monasteries and are expected to ''live in the world''. They are also exempted from wearing traditional monk dress better enabling them to blend in the general community.
  • In 1545 the then Pope issued a proclamation that they could also preach, hear confession, say mass and ''dispense the sacraments without reference to a Bishop. Thus they were effectively free agents. Originally in 1534 the Jesuits were organized by one Francis Borja who was the organizer and financier in the formation of what was then intended to be the first dedicated military order of monks of the Roman Catholic Church. However it soon developed into a teaching institution and for which it is still recognized today.
  • The involvement in the Philippines is to be seen in the context of the Jesuit expansion into Asia, principally Japan and China.

The Jesuits In The Philippines

  • In 1581 the first Spanish Jesuits arrived in The Philippines. These were Antonio Sedeno and Alonzo Sanchez. They introduced the Jesuit system of education first  formulated in 1559. Sedeno founded the first school in the Philippines, the Colegio de Manila located in Intramuros in 1590. This was also known as '' Universidad Maximo de San Ignacio ( named after the founder of the Jesuit Society ). In 1621 the then Pope conferred the right for it to confer University degrees in theology and the arts and in 1623 the King of Spain [ Philip V ) conferred similar rights making it the first royal and pontifical university in Asia.
  • The Jesuits in the Philippines and elsewhere in Asia educated the indigenous students to seek self governance and rebel against the Spanish Regime. In the mid 18 century various Catholic Kingdoms including Portugal, Spain and France expelled the Society of Jesus from their colonies. In 1768 the Jesuits handed control of the University to Spanish civil authority. At this time the Jesuits were being expelled from Spain and the rest of the Spanish colonies. In 1773, Pope Clement XIV under pressure from various Catholic Kingdoms, declared the dissolution of the Society of Jesus.
  • The Jesuits would return to the Philippines nearly 100 years later in 1859. The Society was reinstated by Pope Pius VII in 1814.