Sunday, October 28, 2007

Fr. Jose Burgos - The Champion of Filipino Clergy

Jose Apolonio Burgos was the youngest of the three Filipino Priest Martyrs collectively known as the GOMBURZA (Fathers Mariano Gomez, Jose Burgos and Jacinto Zamora).

Born on February 9, 1837 in Vigan, Ilocos Sur to parents Don Jose Tiburcio Burgos and Florencia Garcia.

His first teacher was his mother then finished elementary in Vigan. He went to Manila and entered the Colegio de San Juan de Letran where he finished the Bachiller en Artes at the age of 17. He studied priesthood at University of Santo Tomas and conducted his first mass at the Paroquia del Sagrario de Intramuros.

With his liberal and and nationalist views, he made a courageous defense on the Filipino priesthood for ecclesiatical reforms. He penned articles in response to some written attacks on native clergymen. Because of these he earned the title "The Champion of Filipino Clergy" but incurred the hatred of the Spanish friars.

He was busy seeking reforms when the Cavite Mutiny broke out in 1872. Because of an unjustified testimony of a captured mutineer, the Spanish authorities captured Burgos along with other priests Father Gomez and Zamora. After a mock trial on February 15, 1872, they were sentenced to death by garrot. On February 17, 1872, they were executed in Bagumbayan (now Luneta). Burgos, at 35, was the last to die.

The martyr priests' death was a seminal event in the life of Dr.Jose Rizal, who inspired him to write his second novel as a nationalistic movement.

Jose Burgos - an Ilocano pride. His works on the defense of the Filipino clergymen and his martyrdom had inspired and ignite the flames for nationalism.

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