The martyrdom of Fr. Agustin Consunji, S.J. in Mindanao during the Japanese Occupation
January 13, 2010 3 Comments
Father Agustin came from my hometown Samal, Bataan. He entered the religious group, the Society of Jesus, in July 1911. Both his juniorate and philosophical studies were accomplished in Spain in 1916 and 1917.
When he was back in the Philippines in 1918, he attended Regency at Vigan Seminary. Soon he was in the United States, where, this time, he took up theological studies at Woodstock College, Baltimore, Maryland. At length he was ordained as priest in Georgetown, Washington, D.C., in June 1925 and proceeded to spend his Tertianship at St. Andrew-on-Hudson, Poughkeepsie, New York.
Returning as priest to the home country in 1927, he was initially assigned to the College of St. Joseph as professor. After spending some three years there as an academic, he was finally assigned as missionary to various places in Mindanao. These places included Dipolog in Zamboanga, Cagayan in Misamis Oriental, Butuan and Cabadbaran in Agusan, Jolo in Sulu, Plaridel in Misamis Occidental, Gingoog in Misamis Oriental, Iligan and Dansalan (Marawi) in Lanao.
When the war broke out in 1941, Father Agustin was in Iligan, where he quickly found ways to work with the guerrillas operating in the place. He secretly provided them with food, clothing, medicines and information about the whereabouts of Japanese patrols, all for which he was later to be called by the Japanese as a “very bad, very bad person.”
Death came to Father Agustin on October 12, 1943. After having been handed down a guilty sentence by a Japanese military court, he was shot, along with some other prisoners, the following day. He refused to turn his back on the firing squad. Instead he knelt down to pray, which made his would-be executioners hesitate, as they did not want to kill him in that position of supplication to the Almighty. When the volley rang out, he fell into the grave he himself was earlier made to dig.
Source: Ma. Merceditas N. Gutierrez / The Essential Thing (Business Mirror)