Tuesday, July 22, 2014

12 Facts About Hermano Pule

 De la Cruz, Apolinario (1815-1841) 
  1. Apolinario De la Cruz was also known as Hermano Pule (Brother Pule).
  2. He was a Filipino religious leader who tried to provide native-born Filipinos with a means of entering a career in the Roman Catholic Church which meant opposing the Spanish rulers of the Philippines during that time.
  3. Hermano Pule was born in Barrio Pandác in the town of Lucban in Tayabas Province (now Quezon) on 22 July 1815. 
  4. His parents were wealthy and devout Roman Catholics named Pablo de la Cruz and Juana Andres.
  5. As a young man in 1829, he went to Manila and tried to join the Dominican Order to become a Catholic priest, but no Catholic order would accept a native Filipino during those times.
  6. He was accepted as a donado in the San Juan de Dios Hospital and he was admitted to the Cofrad'ia de San Juan de Dios, a religious brotherhood open to the native-born, which was an affiliate of the hospital that opened De la Cruz's interest in public speaking. 
  7. He was expelled from the hospital for reasons unknown and went back to his native town, Lucban, and founded  Cofradia de San José (Confraternity of St. Joseph) in 1832 which was composed of native Filipinos.
  8. The aims of the cofradia were never clear in the accounts, but one of them was to honor Saint Joseph and Virgin Mary by having a mass celebrated on the 19th of every month. This gave historian David P. Barrows reason to describe the cofradia as a "special cult."
  9. Apolinario started the Cofradia with 19 members and called himself, being the leader, as hermano mayor, thus, he became widely known as Hermano Pule and later on, the Confraternity's membership rose up to 5,000 members which prompted the Spaniards to suspect that it was a secret political organization set to overthrow the state. 
  10. In 1 November 1841, Spanish soldiers attacked Apolonio De la Cruz and his followers and after fours hours of fighting, a thousand members were killed.
  11. Hermano Pule was able to escape to Sariaya, Quezon but was tracked, captured, arrested, tried for treason, executed at the age of 26 on 4 November 1841 and and as a warning those who are similarly inclined, his body was cut into pieces while his head was placed in a cage and was hung on a pole along the road leading to Majayjay town. Two days later on 6 November 1841, prominent members Dionisio de los Reyes and Miguel de Jesus, both of tayabas Town, and Francisco Espinosa of Sariaya, were executed by a firing squad.
  12. A monument in his honor now stands in Tayabas City, and his death anniversary is a holiday in Quezon Province and Hermano Pule may have influenced secular priest José Burgos - who was executed in 1872 - to demand for racial equality in the clergy.

Bust of Hermano Pule; Photo courtesy of Watawat Website

2010 World Book
APOLINARIO A. DE LA CRUZ (1815-1841) Crusader of Religious Freedom
Hermano Pule

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