Diego of Santa Maria (+1655)
and the college of
Saint John of Lateran

 

A brief history of the arrival of the Dominicans on the Philippines.
A brief  biography.

 

1620: Don Juan Jeronimo Guerrerro, a retired army officer in Manila, decided to spend the rest of his life in the welfare and education of abandoned and orphaned children. He gave this institution the name: 'Colegio de niños huerfanos de san Juan de Letran', from the Basilica of St. John of Lateran in Rome.

1623: Philip IV, King of Spain, informed about Guerrero's institution, issued a royal decree (cedula) on July 16, 1623, placing it under his patronage and granting it a subsidy of seven hundred pesos, which would continue until the end of the 19th century.

1632: In May of this year Fray Diego de Santa Maria, O.P. may have arrived at SantoDomingo, Manila, from Spain via Mexico. he was officially assigned to this same convent on April 23, 1633 and was given the task of conventual porter. He took pity on the poor and abandoned boys of Manila and gave them shelter in a room adjacent to his office, taught them the rudiments in human knowledge and religion. Fray Diego called this community of orphan boys the Çollegio de niños huerfanos de San Pedro y San Pablo.'

1640: As Don Juan was dying, the Governor General Sebastian Hurtado de Corcuera and the Archbishop of Manila, Most Rev. hernando Guerrero, begged Fray Diego to take charge of the Çolegio de niños huerfanos de San Juan de Letran'. The merger of two similar institurion was effected known first as Çolegio de niños de San OPedro y San Pablo de San Juan de Letran'. For a time one name prevailed over the other Eventually, the second one remained. The colegio moved to a lager building.

1655: Death of Fray Diego de Santa Maria

Source: Internet: Letrán through the centuries.

The number of the schoolboys was four thousand, when the Spanish Dominicans transferred the Colegio to the Philippinian Dominicans in 1971.
Famous students were the liberator Emilio Aguinaldo (02.03.1869-06.02.1964) and Apolinario Mabini (23.07.1864-13.05.1903), the theoretician and spokesman of the Philippine Revolution.

 


 

 Philately

 

The founders, Diego of Santa María, O.P. at the left, 
and Juan Jerónimo Guerrero with their pupils in
the
front of the Colegio de San Juan de Letrán in Manila.

 

Philippines  1987, Mi 1818, Sc 1899.

 

 

 


 

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