The Brown Scapular and the AR Sisters: A Story of Fate and Faith

AR Sisters with Prior General

During his brief lecture on the history of the Carmelite devotion among the Augustinian Recollect friars in the Philippines at the Quirino Grandstand last May 4, historian Fr. Emil Quilatan, OAR mentioned in passing an interesting figure: Felipe Sonson.

Sonson, a native of Macabebe, Pampanga, would have gone down in history as another obscure missionary companion of Fr. Diego Luis de San Vitores, SJ (1611–1684) and the Visayan catechist Pedro Calungsod had it not been for the Brown Scapular.

A Filipino Jesuit brother, Sonson suffered the tragic fate of not dying a martyr’s death — at least a kind of martyrdom written in the Church canons, though he was likewise mortally wounded by the same angry Chamorros of Guam.

A reason for this could be that he was still alive when he was being transported by his surviving companions aboard a Galleon heading back to the Philippines. However, he died along the way, and that was where his tragedy primarily lies.

But God, who sees everything and rewards everyone for his obscure sacrifices, seemed to favor him — clearly through the intercession of the Our Lady of Mount Carmel — with a little pat on the back with what happened next.

As his Jesuit brothers were preparing his body, they found underneath his Jesuit habit the Brown Scapular.

As history would have it, this seemingly trivial incident proved critical for the resurgence of his name. This time, it is mentioned side by side neither with St. Pedro Calugsod nor Blessed Diego Luis de San Vitores, but alongside Dionisia (March 12, 1691 – Oct 12, 1732) and Cecilia Rosa Talangpaz (July 16, 1693 – July 31, 1732) of Calumpit, Bulacan.

Sonson was the great grand uncle of the Talangpaz Sisters — the foundresses of the Congregation of the Augustinian Recollects, also called AR Sisters, whose beatification process is ongoing.

History credits him as the one who introduced the Carmelite devotion to the Talangpaz family in Calumpit— a thing so closely connected to the birth of the AR Congregation as we know them today.

A member of the congregation, Sr. Maria Lirio Guillermo,  AR, also gave a talk on the same stage for the quadricentennial anniversary of the arrival of the first image of the Our Lady of Mount Carmel in the Philippines.

 

Recoletos and Carmelite Devotion

She said their congregation is the “fruit of the missionary zeal of the Augustinian Recollect Fathers from Spain and the devotion of the Talangpaz Sisters to the Our Lady of Mount Carmel” — a devotion they received decidedly from their Jesuit great grand uncle.

In 1719, the Talangpas Sisters left family, possession and prestige “to give in to the desires of the restless hearts,” Sr. Guillermo said.

Unable to gain approval of their local parish priest to don the habit of mantelatas or lay tertiaries of the Augustinian Order, they sailed through the Calumpit River, with organized help from their father who was the gobernadorcillo.

Decidedly influenced by the piety and devotion of their uncle Filepe Sonson, the Talangpaz Sisters went in search for the image of the Our Lady of Mount Carmel and were told that it was enshrined at the San Sebastian Church in Calumpang (present-day Quiapo).

They arrived just in time for the feast of the Our Lady of Mount Carmel on July 16, 1719, and settled in a rented cottage proximate to San Sebastian Church.

Soon two other native beatas joined them, and they practiced an austere way of life devoted to prayer and hard work in the Church.

“Their day began and ended by staying close to God and the Blessed Mother,” Sr. Guillermo said. They then petitioned the Recollect Fathers to allow them to don the habit of mantelatas of the Third Order of Saint Augustine, a request which was granted in 1725.

It didn’t take long for Fr. Benito de San Pablo of San Sebastian to take notice and prophesied that their group would soon grow and that many would come and wear the humble habit of the group.

True enough, they began to grow in number, and it was thus that the San Sebastian Church became the cradle of the Congregation of the Augustinian Recollect Sisters.

The sisters began erecting schools in different places, with St. Rita College Manila located in front of San Sebastian having the distinction of being their first school.

On August 19, 1929, Manila Archbishop Michael O’ Doherty signed the decree of the canonical erection of the institute as a Diocesan Congregation.

On November 20, 1970, days before Pope Paul VI came to the Philippines, the AR Sisters received their Decretum Laudis, or their Decree of Praise as a Pontifical Institute.

From being a Beaterio de Terciarias Agustinas Recoletas, the AR Sisters have become a congregation of pontifical rights, a congregation with special devotion to Our Lady of Mount Carmel — an indelible influence wielded undoubtedly by Felipe Sonson on the spirituality of the Talangpaz Sisters.

Until today, the AR Sisters have kept alive the legacy of Mother Dionisia and Mother Cecilia Rosa these past 273 years, living with one mind and heart on the way to God.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Bro. Ioannes Arong

Bro. Ioannes Arong

Postulant/Correspondent of the Order of Augustinian Recollects in the Province of St. Ezekiel Moreno

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< 2021 >
May
SMTuWThFS
      1
  • All day
    May 1, 2021

    ST. JOSEPH THE WORKER / LABOR DAY

    * DAY OF THE RELIGIOUS BROTHERS

    ANNIVERSARY OF SIMPLE PROFESSION

    (2010-2021)
    Fray Mark Ryan Prado

2
  • All day
    May 2, 2021

    ANNIVERSARY OF SIMPLE PROFESSION

    (2009-2021)

    Fray Jose Prudencio Castillo
    Fray Hector Gonzales
    Fray Giovanni Gil Magbojos
    Fray Alexus Mansueto
    Fray Joseph Cyprian Panaligan
    Fray Jess Marco Sanchez

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Margarita Ponce, AR

3
  • All day
    May 3, 2021

    USJ-R: MOVING-UP CEREMONY (GRADE SCHOOL)

    BIRTHDAY

    Fray Roland Cepe
    Fray Invenzor Melgazo
    Sr. Myrna Gimena, AR
    Sis. Alejandra Arnaiz, SAR (Cebu Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Ma. Felicitas Lucinario, AR

4
  • All day
    May 4, 2021

    PRAYER INTENTION: FOR VOCATIONS (cf. LAMP 5c)

    USJ-R: RECOGNITION DAY & MOVING-UP CEREMONY (KINDER) BIRTHDAY

    Sis. Elvira Ignacio, SAR (Provincialate Chapter) Sis. Lydia Rivera, SAR (Tondo Chapter)

    ANNIVERSARY OF SIMPLE PROFESSION

    (1991-2021)

    Fray Sixto Bitangjol
    Fray Reynaldo Jaranilla
    Fray Antonio Zabala, Jr.

    (2008-2021)

    Fray Jose Teodulfo Jadulco
    Fray Ken Oliver Lao

5
  • All day
    May 5, 2021

    400TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE INAGURATION OF THE FIRST SAN SEBASTIAN CHUCH & THAT OF THE ENTHRONEMENT OF THE IMAGE OF N.S. DEL CARMEN DE SAN SEBASTIAN

    USJ-R: RECOGNITION DAY (GRADE SCHOOL)

    BIRTHDAY

    Sr. Araceli de Vera, AR
    Bro. Danielito Davis Diesta, SAR (Manila Chapter)
    Sis. Dalia Santos, SAR (Tondo Chapter)
    Ronald Capulong (RAY-Urbiztondo)

6
  • All day
    May 6, 2021

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Angustias del Divino Amor, AR

7
  • All day
    May 7, 2021

    BIRTHDAY

    Fray Leopoldo Estioko
    Bro. Patrocinio Ergina, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    Bro. Elmar Malvar, SAR (Manila Chapter)
    Sis. Gloria Arroyo, SAR (Manila Chapter)
    Nathaniel Jade Riego (RAY-Cavite)
    Lourdes Isabella Corpuz (RAY-Cebu)

8
  • All day
    May 8, 2021

    BIRTHDAY

    Most Rev. Reynaldo Evangelista, D.D. (Diocese of Imus)
    Fray Dionisio Cachero
    Sr. Honey Mae Boquila, AR
    Bro. Wilson Sy, SAR (Baguio Chapter)
    Sis. Victoria Baluran, SAR (Miranila Chapter)
    Sis. Erlinda Reyes, SAR (Tondo Chapter)
    Sis. Agatha Quillope, SAR (Brooke’s Point Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Bro. Norberto Vingson, SAR (Talisay Chapter)

9
  • All day
    May 9, 2021

    BIRTHDAY

    Sis. Teresita Caballero, SAR (Baguio Chapter)
    Sis. Elvira Birondo, SAR (Talisay Chapter)
    Sis. Gina Fernandez, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    Kenneleen Slam Alvarado (RAY-Talisay)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Bro. Fortunato dela Rosa, SAR (Miranila Chapter)
    +Bro. Alfredo Panelo, SAR (Baguio Chapter)
    +Sis. Isabel Ursal, SAR (Cebu Chapter)

10
  • All day
    May 10, 2021

    BIRTHDAY

    Sr. Ma. Elisa Cañete, AR

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Bro. Rodolfo Dayag, SAR (Manila Chapter)

11
  • All day
    May 11, 2021

    BIRTHDAY

    Sis. Antonia Silang, SAR (Manila Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Ma. Restituta Torres, AR
    +Sis. Esmerencia Espeña, SAR (Manila Chapter)
    +Sis. Letecia Alemania, SAR (Manila Chapter)
    +Sis. Luz Kilayko, SAR (Talisay Chapter)

12
  • All day
    May 12, 2021

    BIRTHDAY

    Fray Joseph Granada
    Sis. Lilibeth Layumas, SAR (San Carlos Chapter)
    Sis. Josefina Lanase, SAR (Talisay Chapter)
    Sis. Erlinda Blancia, SAR (Talisay Chapter)
    Lido Cerna (RAY-Miranila)

    ANNIVERSARY OF SIMPLE PROFESSION

    (2007-2021)

    Fray James Castelo
    Fray Ralph Laureen Ciceron
    Fray Invenzor Melgazo
    Fray Nestor Raras
    Fray Rellyric Delos Santos

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Eduviges de la Virgen del Carmen, AR
    +Sr. Amanda de la Virgen del Carmen, AR
    +Sr. Paz Reandelar, AR

13
  • All day
    May 13, 2021

    BIRTHDAY

    Archbp. Peter Liu Cheng-chung, D.D. (Archdiocese of Kaohsiung)
    Fray Jayferson Baldelovar
    Sr. Ma. Gracelda Bendoval, AR
    Sr. Loraine Lechago, OAR (Bacolod Monastery)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Bro. Manuel Magalona, SAR (Manila Chapter)

14
  • All day
    May 14, 2021

    ST. MATTHIAS

    BIRTHDAY

    Sis. Lina Guevara, SAR (Antipolo Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Nicolasa del Espiritu Santo, AR
    +Sr. Escolastica Calsado, AR
    +Sr. Natalia Paunil, AR
    +Mo. Ma. Bibiana Vendiola, AR

15
  • All day
    May 15, 2021

    PATRONAL FIESTA – SAN ISIDRO LABRADOR PARISH, CASIAN ISLAND, TAYTAY, PALAWAN

    BIRTHDAY

    Bro. Vince Adolfo, SAR (Bacolod Chapter)
    Sis. Nydia Cruz, SAR (Cavite Chapter)
    Sis. Mildred Mutia, SAR (Brooke’s Point Chapter)
    Sis. Corazon Treyes, SAR (Talisay Chapter)
    Ma. Señora Agbuya (RAY-Urbiztondo)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Gertrudes del Espiritu Santo, AR
    +Sis. Remedios Querubin, SAR (Manila Chapter)
    +Sis. Belen Rigonan, SAR (Manila Chapter)

16
  • All day
    May 16, 2021

    ASCENSION OF THE LORD

    55th WORLD COMMUNICATIONS DAY Theme: “Come and See” (Jn 1:46). Communicating by Encountering People Where and as They Are

    12th FOUNDING ANNIVERARY OF RECOLETOS DE CASIAN COMMUNITY & SAN ISIDRO LABRADOR PARISH, CASIAN ISLAND, TAYTAY, PALAWAN (2009-2021)

    FIESTA OF THE OUR LADY OF PEACE AND GOOD VOYAGE PARISH, TONDO

    Fiesta Mass: 9:00 AM
    Presider & Homilist: Most Rev. Nolly Buco, D.D.

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Ma. Gracia Pil, AR
    +Sis. Ma. Aurora Hong, SAR (Provincialate Chapter)

17
  • All day
    May 17, 2021

    BIRTHDAY

    Sis. Glenda Arañez, SAR (San Carlos Chapter)
    Mark Lorenzo Negre (RAY-Talisay)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Lucina Cabili, AR

18
  • All day
    May 18, 2021

    BIRTHDAY

    Sis. Ma. Belma Agrava, SAR (Manila Chapter)
    Sis. Precilla Loor, SAR (Cavite Chapter)
    Sis. Erlinda Mababangloob, SAR (Tondo Chapter)
    Sis. Mildred Carlos, SAR (Inagawan Chapter)
    Ella Jabagat (RAY-Talisay)
    Rose Ann Dag-um (RAY-Provincialate)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Prudencia Martinez, AR

19
  • All day
    May 19, 2021

    PRAYER INTENTION: FOR THE SICK (cf. LAMP 5c)

    BIRTHDAY

    Sr. Ma. Cecilia Bongcawel, AR
    Bro. Sergio Javillo, SAR (Miranila Chapter)
    Sis. Lolita Caabay, SAR (Brooke’s Point Chapter)
    En Sueno (RAY-Miranila)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Paula de la Purisima Concepcion, AR
    +Sis. Juliet Tano, SAR (Valencia Chapter)

20
  • All day
    May 20, 2021

    BIRTHDAY

    Fray Don Besana
    Sis. Evelyn Abutin, SAR (Miranila Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Dolores Cañeda, AR

21
  • All day
    May 21, 2021

    20TH ANNIVERSARY OF “BLAZING IN DISGUISE”
    (when the east wing of the seminary building of CARES in Baguio was gutted by fire.)

    BIRTHDAY

    Sr. Victoria Sandiego, AR
    Sr. Sulpicia Geronimo, AR
    Sr. Cynthia Camuta, AR
    Sr. Maria Flor Mejarito, AR
    Sis. Virginia Cosca, SAR (Manila Chapter)
    Sis. Evelyn Leongas, SAR (Antipolo Chapter)
    Mary Ann Cayabyab (RAY-Urbiztondo)

22
  • All day
    May 22, 2021

    FEAST OF ST. RITA OF CASCIA

    INSTITUTION OF THE MINISTRY OF LECTORATE AND ACOLYTHATE
    RFC Miranila, Quezon City

    USJ-R: COMMENCEMENT EXERCISES (COLLEGE, LAW SCHOOL & GRADUATE STUDIES)

    CSNT-R: THANKSGVING MASS, COMMENCEMENT EXERCISES & MOVING-UP CEREMONY (ALL LEVELS)

    BIRTHDAY

    Sr. Ma. Emy Catalonia, OAR
    Sr. Ma. Quiteria Ragundiaz, OAR
    Sis. Carmen Esnaldo, SAR (San Carlos Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sis. Potenciana Gomez, SAR (Cebu Chapter)

23
  • All day
    May 23, 2021

    PENTECOST SUNDAY

    BIRTHDAY

    Bro. Antonio Diesta, SAR (Manila Chapter)
    Sis. Dering Quinto, SAR (Cavite Chapter)
    Sis. Epitecia Tonggoy, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    Sis. Alita Garcia, SAR (Miranila Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Caridad de la Virgen del Rosario, AR
    +Sis. Virginia Auman, SAR (San Carlos Chapter)

24
  • All day
    May 24, 2021

    DAY OF PRAYER FOR THE CHURCH IN CHINA

    SSCR, MANILA: RECOGNITION DAY (SHS)

    BIRTHDAY

    Sr. Justina de Leon, AR
    Sr. Vicenta Climacosa, AR
    Bro. Jose Ely Honrado, SAR (Provincialate Chapter)
    Christine Salabsab (RAY-Laray)

    ANNIVERSARY OF SIMPLE PROFESSION

    (1986-2021)
    Fray Eduardo Celiz, Jr. Fray Joel Naranja
    Fray Emilio Edgardo Quilatan

25
  • All day
    May 25, 2021

    75TH FOUNDING ANNIVERSARY (1946-2021) OF THE VICARIATE OF THE PHILIPPINES AND CHINA

    FOUNDING ANNIVERSARY OF THE RECOLETOS DE BACOLOD COMMUNITY (1962-2021)

    FOUNDING ANNIVERSARY OF THE RECOLETOS DE MIRANILA COMMUNITY (1985-2021)

    BIRTHDAY

    Sr. Ma. Nicholasa Sabado, AR
    Ella Aiza Jabagat (RAY-Talisay)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Ma. Auxiliadora Somosot, AR

26
  • All day
    May 26, 2021

    BIRTHDAY

    Sr. Avelina Tatel, AR
    Sis. Leah Espacio, SAR (Talisay Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Angustias Librea, AR
    +Sis. Dolores Nipales, SAR (Talisay Chapter)

27
  • All day
    May 27, 2021

    AR SISTERS – SOLEMN PROFESSION OF VOWS
    10:00 A.M.

    BIRTHDAY

    Sr. Alfreda Lobitaña, AR
    Sis. Menchie Bautista, SAR (Manila Chapter)
    Sis. Corazon Miranda, SAR (Cavite Chapter)
    Sis. Erlinda de Guzman, SAR (Tondo Chapter)
    Sis. Milagros Comahig, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    Sis. Jocelyn Nengasca, SAR (Manila Chapter)

28
  • All day
    May 28, 2021

    DAY OF PRAYER FOR THE SANCTIFICATION OF PRIESTS

    WORLD DAY OF HUNGER (cf. LAMP 52)

    PRAYER INTENTION: FOR THE MISSIONS (cf. LAMP 5c) SSCR, MANILA: GRADUATION DAY (GRADE 12)

    BIRTHDAY

    Most Rev. Emilio Marquez, D.D. (Diocese of Lucena)
    Sr. Emilia Buenaseda, AR
    Sis. Delia Española, SAR (Provincialate Chapter)
    Sis. Jean Blanco, SAR (San Carlos Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    Sr. Ma. Carmen Bolaños, AR

29
  • All day
    May 29, 2021

    BIRTHDAY

    Sr. Ma. Salome Paderogo, AR
    Sis. Elsa Claver, SAR (Talisay Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Ma. Leontina Mira, AR

30
  • All day
    May 30, 2021

    TRINITY SUNDAY

    BIRTHDAY

    Fray Cristituto Rey Tepace [deacon]

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Teresita Salada, AR

31
  • All day
    May 31, 2021

    FEAST OF THE VISITATION

    PATRONAL FIESTA OF OUR LADY OF THE VISITATION  PARISH
    (Pasibi East, Urbiztondo, Pangasinan) Fiesta Mass: 4:00 P.M.

    Presider & Homilist: Most Rev. Socrates Villegas, D.D.

    SPA-R: COMMENCEMENT EXERCISES

    BIRTHDAY

    Sis. Priscilla Salazar, SAR (Provincialate Chapter)
    Sis. Fe Violeta Taring, SAR (Valencia Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Bro. Almario de la Cerna, SAR (Cebu Chapter)

     

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