Apolinario De La Cruz

Hermano Pule) (1815-1841. Filipino religious leader. Born in Quezon Province, he went to Manila to join a monastic order, but was rejected because he was a native. He worked instead in a religious hospital and studied theology in his free time. In 1840 he returned to Quezon and founded a religious brotherhood for Filipinos called La Confradia de San Jose. The movement grew widely among the masses, but was refused recognition by both ecclesiastical and colonial authorities. Although the movement was banned, meetings continued in secret. De la Cruz went into hiding after government troops were used to break up his meetings. In 1841 he proclaimed war in the name of religious freedom, and took the title “King of the Tagalogs.” During a skirmish, a provincial government official was killed. De la Cruz was later captured, executed, and quartered-and the brotherhood was disbanded. He is now honored as “the first martyr to the cause of religious liberty and Filipino priestly equality.”