Asia Philippines
Our Lady of the Rosary of La Naval

A brief description.

"The invasion of the Dutch fleet on the Philippines, the only Spanish colony in South East Asia. was a spill over of the Spanish-Dutch war in the European continent, which for the Hollanders was part of their struggle for independence and  religious freedom. As a matter of fact the see-battles of 1646, known in the annals of the Philippines as the 'battles of Naval', happened only during the last days of that war which lasted 80 years (1568-1648). Two years after those battles, which were declared later on as miraculous because of the circumstances surrounding those sea encounters, Spain and Holland signed the Treaty of Münster in 1648, part of the Treaty of Westphalia which ended also the so called Thirty Years War in Europe." P. 5.
There were some other naval battles. So when at about September 1600, the first Dutch fleet under Olivier van Noort (1568-1521) reached the Philippines and anchored for one month in Abay, then raided Capul, on their way to Manila.They were engaged in an naval battle by the Spanish squadron under Antonio de Morga near Fortune Island in December 13-14, 1600 where the flagship of the Morga the 'San Diego' sank. P.112.
In 1615 Fr. Juan de Rivera was sent as an envoy to Goa by Governor General Juan de Sila, to procure four galleons from the Portuguese to assist in curbing the Dutch threat in Sout-East Asia. The galleons, however, passing the winter in the Strait of Malacca, were attacked, first by an Sumatran king, who sank one galleon and then by the Dutch who were succesful in sinking the other three. But they ware not able to conquer Malacca. P. 113.

The Naval-battles.
A worse tragedy happened on November 30, 1645. A devastating earthquake hit Manila and its environs. Most of the big buildings of the city were destroyed. Three monts after this, news came on February 1, 1646, that Dutch war ships were seen on three points of the archepelago. Manila had only two galleons: 'Nuestra Señora del Rosario' and 'Nuestra Señora de la Encarnación'.  Another was still being built and the fourth 'San Diego' was in Mexico. Then the Spanish commanders, all the soldiers, marines, deck-hands, and the Dominican chaplains made a vow that if they came out victorious against their foes, they would all go barefooted to the shrine of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary at Santo Domingo Church to give thanks for this singular favor. This was accompanied by the daily recitation of the 15 mysteries of the rosary in two choirs in front of an image of the Blessed Mother and the intermingling shouts of 'Viva la Virgin', and the shots of artillery during the thick of the fight, with the rosary in one hand and a torch to fire te canon un the other. P. 2-3.

The first 'La Naval' battle took place near Bolinao, Pangasinan on March 15, 1646. Two Spanish galleons against 5 Dutch ships (4 galleons and a small oared vessel). The Dutch almiranta was badly damaged, but escaped under cover of darkness.The Philippine fleet looked for them until Cape Bojeador but the Dutch fleet completely disappeared. P. 117.
The second: For 31 days from June 23 to July 24, 1646 seven Dutch ships blockaded the two Spanish galleons, 'Encarnacón', and 'Rosario', stationed at Ticao Island awaiting the return of the galleon 'San Luis' from Mexico. On July 29 the Spanish fleet attacked the Dutch fleet and one ship of the Dutch sunk drowning all its crew except one. P. 118-119.
The third 'La Naval' battle took place between Mindoro and Maestr
o de Campo on July 31, 1646. Another fire ship of the Dutch was destroyed and sunk. P. 120.
The fourth battle took place between Cape Calavite and Ambil Island on September 15, 1646. The two galleons 'Encarnación' and 'Rosario' were again re-equipped and together with the 'San Diego' engaged the three Dutch ships. P. 121.
The fifth battle was engaged near Mariveles in October 4, 1646 against the same three
Dutch ships. The almiranta was driven off by the wind and could not help the flagship, the 'Encarnación', which was guarding the 'San Diego'. Due to the prudent manoeuvre of General Sebastián Lopez the lonely flag-ship prevailed. One Dutch ship was almost sunk by a Spanish galley with oars when the wind stopped. Fortunately for the Dutch, the wind returned en helped them in their escape. P. 63, 122.

Again the victorious armada returned to Manila and repeated their act of thanksgiving, barefooted, to the image of our Lady of the Rosary enshrined at Santo Domingo Church in Manila. P. 63

On April 9, 1652 the Dean Dr. Juan de Uclés,  and Chapter of the archdiocese of Manila declared that "the five battles expressed in the testimonies, which said that  two galleons under catholic arms won against the Dutch ennemies, were and should be upheld as miraculous, and that they have been granted by the sovereign majesty of God by means of and through the intercession of the most holy Virgin Our Lady and her devotion, the Holy Rosary." P.109-110. Therefore the people of Manila celebrate every second Sunday of Oktober the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary of La Naval de Manila.

The last massive Dutch invasion happned in June 1646 by 12 galleons invading Manila and Cavita. With only three galleons the invasion was again repulsed. The Dutch concentrated their efforts in Abucay, on the western side of Manila Bay, where was a Dominican church and convent. Due to the military in experience of the alcalde the church was taken and about 200 Kapampangan defenders were massacred. The two Dominicans were taken prisoner and brought to Indonesia. P. 124.

Source: Regino O. Cortes, O.P.: The Story of La Naval.
Santo Domingo Convent. 737, Quezon Ave., Quezon City.

400th Anniversary of the (Spanish) Dominicans
in the Philippines.
On this stamp the new church of the Dominican priory in Quezon City;
where the statue of Our Lady of the Rosary is preserved in a shrine,
and a Dutch ship, wrecked in one of the battles of La Naval (1646).

Philippines 1987, Mi 1817, Sc 1892.




400th Anniversary of the Our Lady of the Rosary of La Naval
the request of Gomez Perez Desmarinas, Spanish governor
on the Philippines, a Chinese christian of Bidondo cutted a statue
of the Virgin Mary of ivory and wood for the church of the
Dominican priory in Manila in 1593.
On the right a galleon of the
Dutch fleet.

Philippines 1993, Mi 2335, Sc 2263.

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