Noted historian

Fray Francisco Resano del Sagrado Corazon de Jesus (1851 – 1914), a member of the Order of the Augustinian Recollects, spent several years in the Mariana Islands and was known for his judicious and pacifist manner during times of trial.

When the Spanish missionaries first began arriving in the Marianas in the 16th century, they began the written history of the islands. Fray Francisco documented his 31 years in the Marianas entitled Cronica, or Chronicle. When the Americans first occupied Guam in 1898, Fray Francisco was one of only three Augustinian Recollects left on the island.

Fray Francisco was born in Andosilla (Navarra), Spain, on 4 October 1851, and was believed to have been ordained as a priest between the ages of 20-25, shortly before he left to the Philippines. He came to the Marianas in 1876 and spent the following years as a priest in Guam, Saipan (San Isidro de Garapan), and Rota. He took the role of vicar provincial and forane of the Hagåtña parish following the death of Father Fray Aniceto Ibanez del Carmen in 1892 and was also responsible for many architectural improvements to parish establishments in Guam.

Fray Francisco was present during the American take-over of the Marianas. The US Navy ousted the Spanish priests and as a result he was forced to carry his mission on to Saipan, while leaving Padre Jose Palomo, the first priest of Chamorro/CHamoru descent, in charge of the ministries.

After 31 years of serving in the Marianas, Fray Francisco finally returned to his home of Spain in 1909. His stay was short in Spain as he returned to Manila and retired to the infirmary of the Convento de Intramuros in 1912 where he died two years later.

By Audreya JP Taitano, MA

For further reading

Cabanillas, Ildefonso, and Crisogono Ortin. “Memoria: A description of the events that have taken place on this Island of Guajan, Mariana Islands, since 20 June 1898.” In The Augustinian Recollect Friars in the Mariana Islands, 1769-1908. Mangilao: Micronesian Area Research Center, University of Guam, 2000.

Ibañez del Carmen, Aniceto, OAR, and Francisco Resano del Corazón de Jesús, OAR. Chronicle of the Mariana Islands: Recorded in the Agaña Parish Church 1846-1899. Translated, annotated, and edited by Marjorie G. Driver and Omaira Brunal-Perry. Mangilao: Micronesian Area Research Center, University of Guam, 1998.