Domingo de Salazar

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Domingo de Salazar

Bishop of Manila from 1581 to 1594.
Born 1512
Rioja, Spain
Died December 4, 1594
Colegio de Santo Tomas in Madrid

Domingo de Salazar, O.P. was the 1st bishop of Manila from 1581 to 1594.



Domingo Salazar was born in Rioja, Spain in 1512. He entered the Dominican Order at the San Esteban Convent in Salamanca. He was a missionary in Nueva España (Mexico) for 40 years. During his stay, he defended the Native Americans from being harassed and exploited by the Spaniards in Nueva España. He was assigned to be the head of the Dominican Order upon his return to Spain.

Bishop of Manila

In 1578, he was appointed as the bishop of Manila and was sanctified the next year in Madrid. He arrived to the Philippines in 1581, together with 8 Franciscan friars, 2 Jesuits and 1 Dominican. He later erected the 1st Manila Cathedral by the virtue of Pope Gregory VIII's papal bull as a suffragan of the the Archbishop of Mexico. He also established a hospital for the native Filipinos. As bishop, he failed to enforce the episcopal visitation due to the strong objection of the friars. This will be the start of a long conflict with the succeeding archbishops and the religious orders.

Hard-working yet hot-tempered, he defended the native Filipinos against the cruelties and exploitations of the encomenderos. Due to his frequent intervention with the political affairs, he came in to conflict with Gomez Perez Dasmariñas, the Governor-General of the Philippines at that time. He reported the abuses of Dasmariñas and other Spanish officials to King Philip II. This led to the establishment of the Real Audencia despite the protests of Dasmariñas and the Augustinian friars.

King Philip II then ordered the establishment of the Archdiocese of Manila that is independent from Nueva España. Domingo de Salazar was appointed as the 1st archbishop but he died in December 4, 1594 at Colegio de Santo Tomas in Madrid.

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