Noted historian

Fray Francisco Resano del Sagrado Corazon de Jesus, 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 arrived in 1596 they began the written history of the islands. Fray Francisco is known to be one of the most notable historians of this time in his entries of 1851-1914, which have been titled as the 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, right 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 on 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 descent, in charge of the ministries of which he was head.

After thirty-one 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

Driver, Marjorie G. The Augustinian Recollect Friars in the Mariana Islands 1769 – 1908. Mangilao, GU: University of Guam Richard F. Taitaino Micronesian Area Research Center, 2000.

Driver, Marjorie G. and Omaira Brunal-Perry. Chronicle of the Mariana Islands. Mangilao, GU: University of Guam Richard F. Taitaino Micronesian Area Research Center, 1998.