Friday, June 9, 2017


Pablo Pérez was the Spanish Governor of the Marianas for a little less than seven years, from 1848 till 1855. He was a controversial figure, often at odds with the Spanish missionary priests in the Marianas.

In 1854, for example, Pérez took issue with Father Vicente Acosta. Acosta has erected a chapel at the beach in Tomhom (Tumon) where tradition says Father Sanvitores was martyred in 1672. The location was pointed out by some very old people who kept the memory of the site as they had learned from their parents.

The shrine had an altar, a large cross and a painting of Sanvitores.

Acosta then sang Mass at the chapel on May 3, 1854. Two principal ladies involved in this Mass were Matilde de Campos and her sister Luisa. Matilde had a strong devotion to Sanvitores and Father Acosta asked her to take care of decorating the altar. Her sister Luisa assisted her.

The Governor was very displeased with the priest's actions. Pérez maintained that Acosta needed the Governor's permission to build a chapel. He also took issue with the priest's omission of not even informing the Governor of the chapel nor of the Mass.

Pérez started official proceedings against Acosta, gathering oral testimony from witnesses. He sent all of these to the higher authority in Manila, which received these reports in early 1855.

The reports went nowhere as Manila had decided it was time for Pérez to be replaced as Governor of the Marianas. In May of 1855, a new Governor arrived on Guam and Pérez was put on board to leave island.

Acosta and Pérez
No love lost between them

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