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Fr. Diego de Oropesa ( 1590)

by  Fr. Cayetano Sanchez, OFM


About Fr. Diego de Oropesa, very little can be said, although Fr. Ribadaneira dedicated a whole chapter to him, as well as to his companions since we can hardly find concrete details about him.  Fr. Antonio de Llave also wrote something about him. Gomez Platero gathered some biographical data about him in his catalogue, which was reproduced by Fr. Antolin Abad in these terms:


            “He was born in the town of Oropesa and professed in the province of San Jose, He became a member of the founding mission organized by Fr. Antonio de San Gregorio in 1575.  He embarked for the Philippines in 1577 arriving in Manila the first day of July of 1578.  He was among the first who Christianized  Laguna and Tayabas, together with Fr. Plasencia being able to gather abundant harvest and so they were the founders of the towns of  Pila, Lilio (Liliw), Nagcarlan, Panguil, Siniloan, Morong, Taytay, Antipolo, And Mecauayan.  Furthermore, he became the guardian of the convent of Santa Maria de los Angeles of Manila from where he departed for the mission of Cochinchina in 1583.  He traveled to the court of the said Kingdom but due to a storm he was forced to land in Haynan, where he was made prisoner, chained and brought from tribunal to tribunal and finally liberated in Macao, from hence he returned to Manila in 1585.  Travelling through Balayan and Mindoro, he still had the spirit, to go back to his old places in the archipelago. He sailed for Spain on July 27, 1590 and dies during the journey before reaching Acapulco, about the middle of November of the same year, a holy man and a zealous apostle.”

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