The Augustinians, Franciscans, Jesuits, Dominicans and Recollects

The statues at the rear of the old San Ignacio Church ruins in Intramuros represent the first five religious orders to arrive in the Philippines.  Unfortunately, the markers that describe each friar order are no longer there. National Artist Nick Joaquin wrote an essay about the significant contribution of each friar order to arrive in the Philippines. These “Paladins of Cloth” were the Augustinians, the Franciscans, the Jesuits, the Dominicans and the Recollects. 

The Augustinians 

The Augustinians came to the Philippines with the Legaspi expedition in 1525 as represented by Fray Andres de Urdaneta. With him were four other Augustinian missionaries. The Augustinians were known to build the oldest church in the Philippines. This is the church and convent of St. Paul or more popularly known as the –San Agustin Church. 

The Franciscans 

The second group of friars to arrive in the Philippines was the Franciscans  or Order of Friar Minor (June 24, 1578). This religious order established their mother church inside Intramuros in honor of Nuestra Senora de los Angeles (Our Lady of Angels). Today, the Mapua Institute stands on the site of the old Franciscan church. The mother church of the Franciscans is currently located at the Santuario de San Pedro Baustista in Quezon City.  Fray Juan Clemente OFM was a famous Franciscan lay brother who established the Hospital de San Juan de Dios in Intramuros near the Parian. San Juan de Dios stood in Intramuros for over 300 years until it was destroyed by the last world war. Today, the Lyceum occupies the site. The Franciscans are also known to have established the leprosarium Hospital de San Lazaro. San Lazaro Hospital is located in Sta. Cruz Manila and it is known as quarantine for deadly diseases and rabies vaccine. 

The Jesuits 

The Jesuits or the Society of Jesus arrived in Manila on September 17, 1581. The Jesuits are known as educators who founded the school Colegio de Manila or Colegio Maximo de San Ignacio in Intramuros in 1590. They also built their first school and mother church and convent where the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila presently stands.  The Jesuits surrendered all their properties to the civil government when they were expelled from all Spanish territories in mid-18 century. Upon their return in 1859, the Jesuit began to take over the Escuela Municipal de Manila, which currently known as the Ateneo de Manila University. The mother church was built right next to the school and was named in honor of the founder of the Jesuit order, San Ignacio de Loyola. The Jesuits also establish the Manila Observatory in Padre Faura St. Ermita. Robinson’s Place Manila now occupies the former Jesuit Observatory. 

The Dominicans 

The Dominicans or the Order of Preachers were the fourth friar arrival. 15 Dominicans landed in Cavite on the eve of the feast of Mary Magdalene. These Dominicans of the Santisimo Rosario de Filipinas would elect St. Mary Magdalene as the protector of the order in the Orient. Sto. Domingo de Manila stood on the north side of Intramuros for almost four centuries. Today, the BPI building stands on the site. Fray Diego de Sta. Maria started an orphan school for boys which was adopted by the Dominican Order in 1652 as the St. Peter and Paul School. This school is presently known Colegio de San Juan de Letran. It was 1611 when the Dominican Order began organizing a boarding school for students which is presently known as the Pontifical and Royal University of Santo Tomas. 

The Recollects 

The last friars to arrive in the Philippines were the Augustinian Recollects. The recollects initially established their mother church outside Intramuros. In Intramuros, their motherhouse was known as the La Yglesia y Convento de San Nicholas de Tolentino. Today, the Manila Bulletin occupies the site. The motherhouse of the Recollects was transferred to Quiapo which is currently known as the all-steel church –the San Sebastian Church. 

Source: Manila, My Manila by Nick Joaquin

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13 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. The Augustinians arrived in 1565 with Legazpi. Fray Andres de Urdaneta was with Fray Martin de Rada, OSA; Fray Diego de Herrera, OSA; Fray Andres de Aguirre, OSA and Fray Pedro de Gamboa, OSA…

    • Thank you so much for the info!

  2. As an Australian who spent much time in the Philippines how can I join a Missionary Order

  3. I also wanted to join this religious orders but we are already a part of jesuits, because our school is a jesuit school the Ateneo de Zamboanga University..

  4. I want to Enter this Religious Life…..I want to serve god with all my life.

  5. I’m willing to enter a religious life. How to enter. Pls help me to find joy.

  6. Just a correction: the Jesuits are not friars. They are clerks regular. The word “friar” loosely means “brother.” Only the Dominicans, Franciscans, and Augustinians use the term because their orders are brotherhoods.

    • sure about that..well thanks for info cos thats my report.

  7. [...] – Augustinians, Franciscans, Jesuits, Dominicans and Recollects.You can find further details HERE.After that, I passed by a building but I was not sure what building this was! If you are a Filipino [...]

  8. Im sorry just to corrct some things, the mother house of the Recollect friars is not in san sebastian basilica but in Quezon city or the provincialate

  9. thnx…

  10. I am trying to locate Ateneo Convent, Padre Faura St., Ermita, Manila. Does any one knows how to contact them? Phone, email or??
    Thanks

    • The Ateneo Convent and the Manila Observatory has been demolished a long time ago Jonathan. If I m not mistaken Robinson’s Place Manila and the hotel right next to the mall now stand on the site.


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