Philippine Islands

[map of the Philippine Islands] Republic in the Malay Archipelago, administered by a governor-general appointed by the President of the United States and a local legislature. When Legaspi reached the islands from Mexico in 1564, he was accompanied by several Augustinians. The Franciscans arrived in 1577. The first bishop, the Dominican Salazar and a few Jesuits in 1581. The Dominicans in 1587 and the Recollect Fathers in 1606. The work of evangelization progressed rapidly, the missionaries penetrated into the interior of the country, and founded missions and .schools. The natives, attracted by the zealous lives of these priests were converted to Christianity in great numbers, and the missionaries were an active influence of peace, upholding the cause of the people against the injustices of the civil governors. These missionaries also did remarkable work in literature and science. At the time of the United States occupation of the Islands the Washington administration took over many of the large parcels of land that had come into the possession of the Friars there, paying them a handsome indemnity. Similar indemnities were paid for injuries done to church property at the time and for other properties which had been abandoned by the Friars. The country is over 80% Catholic with large minorities of other Christians.

Ecclesiastically the country is governed by the archdioceses of the dioceses of the vicariates apostolic of the territorial prelatures of and the See also In recent years most of the bishops have been Americans. Missions are conducted by the Jesuits, Franciscans, Benedictines, Augustinians, Vincentians, and the Society of the Divine Word.

New Catholic Dictionary

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