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Rizal's Retraction

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  • September 18, 2013
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Jose Rizal’s Retraction Controversy
The debate still continues if Dr. Jose Rizal, our national hero, really retracted? This has been the greatest controversy which is most talked about Rizal. He is recognized for the novels he had written during the Spanish period. Because of these courageous acts of rebellion against the said colonizers, he became our National Hero. But what if our national hero, at the last moments of his life retracted everything he had ever said and written? In 1935, a letter was found by Father Manuel Garcia. The said letter contains that Jose Rizal declared himself as a Catholic and that he retracts everything he had said, written, published and did against the Catholic Church. Opinions regarding this issue would not be the same because some may agree and some may not. There so many questions speculating his retraction if in the first place, all of this is what he really fought for. From Fr. Balaguer’s version, Rizal, on the 29th day of December 1896, wrote and signed the retraction papers in front of him and with the other Jesuit priest present at the death cell. Rizal asked for a confession twice and for a rosary from the priest between the two confessions. In Balaguer’s memorandum-record, Rizal asked for a mass and a request for Holy Communion, this was readily approved by the Jesuits and assigned Fr. Villaclara as the officiating priest of the mass inside the cell. He also mentioned that Rizal asked for the image of the Sagrado Corazon de Jesus which he carved when he was just 14. Balaguer described the scene as heart-warming because Rizal kissed the image that he had requested from the Jesuits. While kneeling and surrounded by the religious authorities in the death cell, Rizal read the retraction document. Balaguer also claimed that there was a servant-messenger for Josephine Bracken to prepare for the marriage at the San Ignacio Church where Fr. Simo will conduct the confession and other things needed for the ceremonies, which will...