09/25/10

The church and the community of the archangel-soldier

The late 16th-early 17th centuries which marked the beginnings of Spanish rule in the Philippines, in Manila in particular, also marked the influx of migrants to this newly-Christianized city. Most of these migrants are Japanese refugees fleeing from the persecution of Christians by Japan’s shogun government. (who eventually closed the country from foreign contact) They eventually settled in what is now the area of San Marcelino in northern Ermita. To meet the needs of this new community, the Spanish Jesuits decided to erect a parish for them. By 1611, the church was finished and the parish established, dedicated to the archangel-soldier St. Michael or San Miguel. It has been said that St. Michael was chosen to attract the community which was mostly composed of samurais or the warrior class of Japan.

DSC04679

Continue reading