Father Jacinto Zamora

Father Jacinto Zamora
Father Jacinto Zamora | @nhcpofficial

Among the three martyr priests, the least is known about Father Jacinto Zamora. His memory is even maligned by allegations that he enjoyed gambling and that it was supposedly why he became implicated in the Cavite Mutiny.

However, he is remembered by his descendants as being loyal to his duties. On one occasion, according to a biography by Sancho Inocencio, he took over the celebration of a high mass for the fiesta of Pandacan, Manila when the Franciscan priests who were supposed to lead it stayed in the plaza to watch a musical performance.

The injustice of Zamora’s death made his nephew Paulino rethink his faith. He received a copy of the Bible in Spanish from Manrique Alonso Lallave, a former Dominican friar who left his order in 1871 and returned to Manila as a Protestant pastor in 1889. It was said that he conducted Bible studies secretly until his exile during the Revolution.

His son Nicolas had been preaching when Protestant missionaries came with the Americans in 1898. He served as a translator to Methodist missionaries, became the first Filipino ordained as a Protestant minister in 1900, and established a separate church, the Iglesia Evangelica Metodista en las Islas Filipinas, in 1909.

Thus, Father Zamora—and his fellow martyr priests—became a symbol of the long struggle for Filipino leadership in churches and the freedom of religion in our country. GOMBURZA even became the name of an organization that championed human rights up to the present.

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