Seminario de San Vicente Ferrer


The Facade of the St. Vincent Ferrer Seminary
The Saint Vincent Ferrer Seminary was founded in 1869. It is the fifth oldest and the last seminary that was established during the Spanish colonial period. On May 27, 1865, Pope Pius IX in the Bull of Erection, “QUI AB INITIO”, of the Diocese of Jaro, insisted that the new bishop should found and organize a seminary as soon as possible. The Archbishop of Manila, Most Rev. Gregorio Meliton Martinez on October 10, 1867, carried the decree into effect. Most Rev. Mariano Cuartero, O.P., at the time of his appointment as first Bishop of Jaro, was in Spain acting as General Procurator of the Order. He was ordained Bishop at the Dominican Seminary of Ocania, Spain, on November 1867. He took possession of his Diocese on April 25, 1868. The new Bishop founded the Diocesan Seminary where he could train good pastors for the different parishes, which at that time were almost entirely under the spiritual administration of the Augustinians Friars, who were then regarded as the Fathers of Faith in Panay.

"The Saint Vincent Ferrer Seminary was founded by deocesan clergies in 1869. Formerly housed in the Bishop's Palace under the administration of the Order of Saint Vincent de Paul. The first building was built in 1871; Established and college classes of the seminary was opened in 1872. It was made as the American headquarters in 1899 and later was turned over to the Vincentians. Destroyed by fire, in 1906, it was reconstructed in 1912. It was damaged during the second world war, and classes was reopened in 1946. The present building was finished on June 19, 1954, and was enaguarated on August 15, 1954. Some its prominent alumni are Graciano Lopez Jaena, Martin Delgado, Quintin Salas, Ramon Avanceña, Delfin Jaranilla and His Eminence Jaime cardinal Sin and many others."

The Seminary, as completed in 1847, was of quadrilateral shape with dimensions 54 x 52 meters. In the center was the interior garden measuring 23 square meters. The first floor was made of stone and bricks while the second floor was made of hard wood. At that time it was undoubtedly the best seminary in the Philippines.

A closer look to architectural designs of the seminary
The new seminary soon became the most popular and first center of secondary education in the island. The number of students who requested to be allowed to take secondary education in the seminary but without any intention of pursuing priesthood was so many. Fr. Ildefonso Moral, who was reappointed rector in 1875, decided to open the seminary doors to lay students as had already been done in other diocesan seminaries.

On June 19, 1946, the Archdiocese of Jaro (Elevated; 1951) had again a modern and excellent Seminary for the proper training of its future priests. The Seminary had known a good number of changes of great importance. In 1957, the Seminary became “de facto” a regional major Seminary when the Bishops of the suffragan Dioceses of Bacolod (1946), Capiz (1957), Antique (1963) and even the Prelature of Palawan enrolled their major Seminarians in this Seminary. The number of Seminarians had broken all the previous records, introducing new subjects and adding new courses and had updated the plan of studies. The department of Latin and Philosophy had come under government recognition. In 1958, the St. Vincent Ferrer Seminary obtained government recognition of tits studies of Philosophy and power to grant the Bachelor of Arts degree.

The Historical Marker mounted at the entrance of the seminary, by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines
The St. Vincent Ferrer Seminary was the first of the seminaries to be run by the Vincentian fathers to become a first class college, being fully incorporated in the University of Santo Tomas in 1891. Sometime in 1890, Bishop Arrue from Governor General Valeriano Weyler for the authorization to offer baccalaureate studies for those students who, having finished secondary education here, couldn’t afford to pursue college studies in Manila. The request was granted without delay since the institution had complied with all the requirements of Art. 13 del Reglamento 1867. From then on and until 1897 when the first signs of Filipino-Spanish conflict started, the seminary enjoyed a flourishing life.

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