mfanimated 2

Article Index

3.a. From idea to reality

Francisca de Fuentes donned the habit of St. Dominic in 1682 and was joined by Antonia Esguerra, Sebastiana Salcedo, and Maria Ana de la Vega. They were known as Beatas. They requested the Dominican Fathers through the Prior, Fr. Juan de Sta.Maria and Fr. Barolome Marron, the ex-Prior of Santo Domingo that they be allowed to live together in a community. Their request was granted in 1686 with the confirmation of the Acts of the Province and Master General of the Order approved it on January 11, 1688.

In 1690, the Beatas pressed the new Prior, Fr. Juan de Santo Domingo about the building of a Beaterio but the latter did not approve of the idea because of the difficulty of sustaining a community. The Beatas, especially Mother Francisca persistently brought up the topic to no avail. This led her to courageously tell the Prior that “P. Prior, el Beaterio se ha de hacer y Vuestra Paternidad lo ha de ver.”
Due to the determination and persistence and tears and prayers of Mother Francisca for many years, the Prior Provincial relented and the Beaterio became a reality on July 26, 1696 thus the first Philippine religious community.
In 1706, the Beaterio became the first institiution in the Philipppines for the Christian education mainly of young native girls which include the teaching of the three Rs: Religion, Arithmetic, Writing and eventually Music, Arts, Flower-making, etc.