The Jesuits, on the other hand, were with him practically every minute of the time, six priests going in relays, usually two at a time, in an attempt to bring about Rizal’s conversion. They have written the only complete story about his last day. Their earliest account was published in Spain in 1897; it is found in chapter seventeen of a book called La Masonizacion de Filipinas, Rizal y su Orba, printed by Tipografica Catolica of Barcelona.
The author is anonymous but is thought to have been Father Pastalls. 03) In starting chapter seventeen he says: “We will relate the fascinatingly interesting incidents as furnished to us from a new unedited and authentic account received from Manila. ” The account deals so largely with Father Balaguer, that it probably depended upon the notes Father Balaguer said he kept. (04) How far can we rely upon the accuracy and fairness of this book? Fortunately, we have a means of judging it. The first sixteen chapters deal with the life of Rizal which we have already studied.
It says he was a model youth until he went to Europe to study medicine. There he joined Masonic lodges where he heard Republicans declare, “Liberty should be demanded with bullets and not on one’s knees. ” Ideas like this turned him into a “fierce revolutionist. ” The book finds not a single wrong in the Philippines; but finds several governor-generals too lenient! It says that the liberal Governor Terrero was so weak that the religious orders had to hound him out of the Islands. 05) Governor General [Valeriano] Weyler (the “bloody Weyler” of Cuba) was an ideal governor who “knew how to attack with firmness the evils permitted in the time of the weak Terrero.
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To use his graphic phrase he ‘sucked out the brains’ of those he captured, so that the insurrection could not raise its head nor Masonry make any gains (06) . . . If only Rizal had remained in the Philippines and studied agriculture he would not have become the scandalizer and corruptor of his people. ” (07) The book strikes that note throughout, concerning Rizal and his most “miserable work. (08) He was completely wrong, Spain beautifully right, but too mild at times; not injustice, but Masonry and Germany led Rizal to write his books — indeed, most of the conclusions are diametrically opposite to the truth. One is prepared by this distortion of facts to be on his guard in reading the chapter on Rizal’s last day.
Father Pio Pi, who succeeded Father Pastells, and was head of the Jesuit order in 1896, but not personally acquainted with Rizal, wrote a little book in 1909, calledLa Muerte Christiana de Doctor Rizal. 09) This follows the anonymous book of 1897 closely, often quoting word for word, but adding other details. (10) Father Balaguer, who says he secured Rizal’s retraction, signed (11) a sworn statement in 1917 in which he says: “If anyone judges that I could not remember so many details, after twenty years, I may say that the same day in which Rizal died I wrote a very detailed story, the entire original of which I saved, and I have borrowed from it to make the present statement. “
All three writers evidently depend upon the notes of Father Balaguer for the most disputed part of the story. 12) Because the controversy as to whether Rizal did retract is so intense, it will be interesting to read the essential portions of the narrative, in an effort to get at the truth. It was what Retana calls “El Dia Supremo” for the Jesuits. They had worked with Rizal for four years without visible results. Following a well-conceived and well-executed plan, the government had “touched his heart with the sufferings of his relatives,” with exasperating espionage, with alternating laxity and severity, with heart-breaking disappointments, with loneliness, while the Jesuit fathers tried to win him with kindness and arguments.
... by one of the first men to publish a book based on symbolism. This man is named Nathaniel Hawthorne ... Hester Prynne, the esteemed Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale, and the cold-hearted doctor, Roger Chillingworth. Like Hawthorne I believe that evil is ... Heart of Man Evil is the nature of mankind, says the devil in the supernatural tale of Young Goodman Brown, which is written ...
They had apparently failed. Now they had twenty-four hours or never! Father Pio Pi writes that “the Archbishop showed great eagerness for the conversion of the man sentenced to death, and granted us all his authority to do whatever might be necessary. He directed us also to prepare a retraction, in the hope that the condemned man might be willing to accept and sign it; and we agreed to do so and to present it for his approval. . . .” As usual, the Jesuits went at their task with tremendous fervor.
From seven o’clock of December 29, when Rizal was notified of his sentence, until he fell dead, there were few moments when they were not with him, coming in pairs and marshalling every means they could think of to play upon his emotions, to appeal to his reason, and to terrify him when other methods failed. Rizal’s statue: “The Sacred Heart of Christ” The rector of the Ateneo, Father Miguel Saderra Mata, and one of the professors, Father Luis Viza, took with them an image of the Sacred Heart of Christ, which Rizal had carved when he was a student in the Ateneo. Look,” said the Father, “how the heart of Jesus has been here twenty years waiting for Rizal. It wishes to convert him. ” Pi says that Rizal took it and put it on his table, where it remained until after his execution. “Then Father Antonio Rosell was with the prisoner for awhile, and returned with a bad impression; he believed from what he heard that the man was a Protestant. “Father [Federico] Faura also visited him that morning. Rizal asked as soon as he entered, ‘Do you recall, Father, the last time we talked and what you foretold?
It has come to pass. You are a prophet; I am going to die on the scaffold. ‘ Padre Faura could not subdue that spirit, still rebelling against the appeals of grace; so much so that the Father retired broken up with grief. ” From Rizal y su Obra (13) comes an account which sounds true, for there could have been no object in inventing the story: “Father Balaguer returned to the chapel to discuss the religious question with the prisoner. The symptoms were very sad; there was little hope.
In the morning when he had been given a medal of the Holy Virgin, he took it, probably from courtesy, and said coldly: ‘I am a little Marian. ‘ Unfortunate man! To such an extreme, because of his error, had the former secretary of the Marian Congregation fallen. And yet he did not desire to abandon Her whom he had formerly served with filial love. “Concerning religion, Rizal began to speak with reverence of God, of our Lord Jesus Christ, of the Holy Gospel, and of the Sacred Scriptures; he said that he prayed, and that he was always asking God for light, as his only wish was to fulfill his Holy Will. .
... of which are disturbing to consider. Nickels lost his faith in both God and man. He believes that the purpose of life is ... or the desire for it? What is man supposed to base his faith on if God does not always act justly? What is ... . Zuss has faith in J. B.'s faith. However, J. B.'s faith in God is ill founded. J. B.'s faith in God is based ...
He seemed like a fervent probationer. But observing that his statements were those that a Protestant would make, Father Balaguer narrowed him down to concrete and categorical questions, which showed that Rizal did not admit the authority of the Roman church nor of the Pontificate, and held as his rule of faith, the Scriptures as interpreted by his judgment, in short that he seemed to be guided by a Protestant criterion, but mixed in reality with free thinking and a strange piety. Father Balaguer, who had been with Rizal inDapitan, is the man who claims that he secured the retraction.
We will let him tell his own story as to how he did it: “I, who knew the history of his errors and what his books contain, in order to carry out our delicate mission, asked Rizal to explain his ideas about religion. He showed at once that he was a Protestant by certain phrases in which he manifested love and respect for Jesus Christ; but he told me more or less explicitly that the rule of faith was the word of God contained in the Sacred Scriptures; . . He told me that he was guided by the reason which God had given him, adding with a self assurance that froze the blood, that he could go to appear before the judgment seat of God, tranquilly as one who has done his duty as a rational man. In attacking him, I then began with arguments of the Catholic doctrine to expose the objections, a thousand times refuted, of the heretics and rationalists, and we argued about the criteria and rule of faith, the authority of the church, its infallibility and divine authority. . . nd many points in apologetics. “
“But with all this,” says Father Pio Pi, “the poor condemned man was not convinced. So far had he lost his faith, and so proud was his self-conceit that he would not admit light nor law into his limited vision. . . With very good tact Father Balaguer tried him out, and giving a sudden turn in the conversation, exclaimed: (14) “‘So, at the judgment seat of God, before whom we must appear, you will be unpardonably condemned forever, if you do not bring your intellect into subjection to faith. “Whereupon,” says Father Balauger, (15) “at hearing this threat of mine, the tears sprang to his eyes, and he replied, ‘No, no, I will not be condemned! ‘ “‘Yes,’ I replied, ‘you will go to hell; for whether you like it or not, extra Ecclesiam Catholicam nulla datur salus.
... Citation (MLA 7th Edition) Francia, Luis H. “Jose Rizal: A Man for All Generations.” The Antioch Review Winter 2014: 44 ... mixed ‘Malay,’ Spanish and Chinese descent.” His father, Francisco, was a prosperous gentleman farmer, an inquilino –someone ... the Cross), who believed he had a calling to serve God, but being an Indio, had been rejected by the friar ...
Yes, outside the Catholic Church there is no salvation’ . . . Agitated at this chiding, he said to me: “‘See here, Father, if I should comply with your request and sign what you propose, without feeling it, I would be a hypocrite and would offend God. “‘Certainly’, I said, ‘I do not desire that. But do you not believe that it is the greatest grief for me to see a person whom I love, obstinate in his error, to see that he will be damned and not to be able to help him? We value you so highly, believe me, that we would give our blood and our lives if we could achieve your salvation. Right now we would offer ourselves to be shot in your place. ‘ “‘But Father,’ he replied with feeling. ‘What would you have me do, for I do not think I could conquer my reason. ‘
“‘Offer yourself’, I answered. Offer to God the sacrifice of your self-esteem, and even though it should be contrary to the voice of reason, ask God for the grace of faith, which is a gift of God, which he offers in abundance, and which is infallibly obtained with humble and persevering prayer. The only trouble is that you reject it. ‘ “‘Good then, Father’, he said, ‘I promise you that the rest of my life I will use asking God for the grace of faith. ‘ . . . ” Father Balaguer continues: “For a better understanding of the events of that day, I think it best to relate them in order.
Father Vilaclara (now dead) and I arrived at Fort Santiago about ten in the morning. After being received by Rizal, the discussion with him began as related above. At twelve I went to the Palace to tell the Archbishop what had happened, as he had requested, and I had to say that up to that time the condemned man had remained obstinate in his errors and ideas contrary to the Catholic faith. Upon hearing this, the Archbishop, in his ardent zeal for the conversion of Dr. Rizal, at once sent a circular to all the religious communities of Manila, that they should plead for the conversion of the condemned man.
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In all of them there was fervent prayer, and in some of them there were offered for this purpose many penances, celebrating the Holy Sacrament. “At three in the afternoon or a little later I returned to the Fort where Father Vilaclara had remained, and continued the discussion with Dr. Rizal. This lasted until evening, stopping at the point which I indicated above.
I then went with Father Viza to the [Archbishop’s] palace, to give an account of the condition of the condemned man and to express hope for his conversion. While Father Balaguer was gone, Father Pio Pi’s account tells us that “Rizal became restless and asked Father Vilaclara to hear his confession. The later told him that it would be necessary first to make a retraction, for which purpose he should await the formula which the Prelate had promised to furnish. . . “At ten in the evening he was given [by Father Balaguer] the long formula of retraction which had been written by order of the Prelate. . . The inner fight had not yet ceased, and though his spirit was more humble, it was not wholly conquered. . .
The wording did not suit him, both because of its length and because the style was not clear. ‘See here, Father’, he said, ‘even though I should sign this, nobody would believe that it was mine. You know my style, that it is very clear. Bring me a pen and you dictate what I ought to say. ‘ Then Father Balaguer began to dictate the other formula, which had already been approved by the Archbishop, much briefer, though expressive and decisive, which, after offering some objections, he accepted in its entirety, only asking to interject on his own initiative a few brief phrases, which only add expression and courage to the document. “