- About SMC
- Student Queries
From the humble beginnings of Tagum Catholic High School in 1948 to Holy Cross College along Rizal St. where the wonders structures had been the seat of Christian foundation to hundreds of graduates, today, St. Mary’s majestically graces the national highway with concrete and modern edifice symbolizing the steady growth of knowledge, Christian leadership and service.
On her golden year (1948-1998), SMC with her own satellite disk and IT Laboratory gets into the super information highway integrating information technology into the instructional program at the same time serving the community through the SMC Net (Information Center).
THE SMC SEAL
“AM” stand for “Ave Maria” in praise of our Blessed Mother, patroness of the RVM Congregation.
The Rays signify the light and wisdom which emanate from the Virgin, the Mother of Christ ,light the of the World. The sampaguita beneath the book, being the national flower, is symbolic of the RVM being a Filipino Congregation. The stars represent our Lady’s Mary virtues.
At the center of the seal is an open book bearing the Latin Inscription “Initium Sapientiae Timor Domini” (the fear of the Lord is the Beginning of Wisdom). The SMC motto signifies filial fear, love and profound reverence for the Divine Source of wisdom, grace and life.
A GLIMPSE INTO THE LIFE OF MOTHER IGNACIA DEL ESPIRITU SANTO – RVM FOUNDRESS
Ignacia del Espiritu Santo was born of a Chinese Father, Jusepe Iuco, who was from Amoy, China, and a Filipino Mother Maria Jeronima of Binondo, Manila. She was born when the Philippines was almost a century old as Spanish colony. It was an age when Christianity had hardly begun to take root in the hearts and lives of the people and when the social climate was characterized by racial prejudice and discrimination.
Ignacia was baptized on March 4, 1663 at the Church of the Holy Kings of Parian by the Dominican missionary, Fr. Alberto Collares. OP. It was customary among pious parents of the time to give their children devotional names at baptism, so “del Espiritu Santo” truly became real in her life, she was filled by the Holy Spirit. Every action and decision she did in her lifetime was a fruit of prayer and constant seeking of God’s will.
She was reared by loving and affluent parents. As a child, she could have everything she had wanted especially education, but women during her time were not given equal opportunity as persons to improve their social standing. But this did not hinder her from obtaining an education which gave her lifetime learning. Her home became her school and her parents were her teachers. She was taught by them through examples. She had her share of work both in their house and in their business. There was no idle moment for her. She imbibed her father’s hardwork, humility, patience and endurance along with her mother’s strong faith in God, courage and simplicity. Ignacia grew up as a young lady imbued by the values of her parents. Her love of God was nurtured through prayers, receiving the sacraments and devotion to the Blessed Mother and the Saints.
She was living a comfortable life and when she reached the age of twenty one, her parents wanted her to marry a good young man of their choice. At this stage of her life, she prayed to God invoking the Holy Spirit to guide her to the path she should tread. Her decision was not done in haste. In prayer and solitude she went on a retreat with the guidance of Father Paul Klein, a Jesuit priest. From these she resolved to live by the sweat of her face, despite the fact that she still had parents who could support her. She courageously told her parents of her decision to live a life of service to the Lord. She broke the custom observed by the women of her time to get married and stay at home.
In 1684 she started to live a solitary life, which attracted other young women. This was the start of the foundation of a group of women, known as beatas.
They lived an exemplary life of prayer and penance and devoted themselves to the service of God as a community of religious women. Mother Ignacia led the beatas to be involved in the education of children and women. They did not confine themselves to prayer; they were aware of what was happening outside. The social climate during time was characterized by racial prejudice and discrimination. Living under such a climate Mother Ignacia together with her beatas started to seek the Lord’s will in the situations confronting them, she dreamt of a generation that is free, living the truth, and not enslaved in their very own native land. This was also a radical move, because religious life then, was in many ways monastic, protected by convent walls and cloister grills. Mother Ignacia and her beatas did not conform their ways to what was expected of religious women at that time. Mother Ignacia listened to the spirit, who directed her every action.
While doing her work outside, Mother Ignacia and the beatas continued living a frugal life. They existed almost only on rice and a little salt, eating under the moonlight to save oil for their lamps. With deep humility and full trust in God’s loving Providence, coupled with their ingenuity and the resourcefulness of God’s poor, they survived the challenges of life. In all these difficulties Mother Ignacia exhorted her companions to bear with constancy and make penance to move God to have mercy on them. Complete trust in God made them bear everything; in joy and in sorrow they praised God.
Hardships did not diminish the love and courage of the beatas to go on serving God through their service of the people. Their community even became bigger, as more young women wished to live the exemplary life of prayer and penance. Mother Ignacia herself bore heavy cross on her shoulders. Sometimes she frustrated on the ground for others to step on her. She extended her arms in the form of a cross under the heat of the noonday sun. Her examples moved others to follow her. Every night they used the discipline slept very little and spent most of the night in prayer. But she advised them to be moderate in their discipline upon seeing that the rigors of their penance weakened them. Indeed, Mother Ignacia’s concern for them was felt and seen. She was also a model of humble servanthood. She relinquished to Mother Dominga del Rosario the leadership of the foundation, and she took her place among the ranks several years before she died.
Mother Ignacia died on September 10, 1748 at the age of eighty-five. At the time of her death she received the honor and recognition which was denied her during her lifetime.
Today, Mother Ignacia lives in the Spirit and heart of the RELIGIOUS OF THE VIRGIN MARY (RVM), a Religious Congregation of Women which started from her humble foundation. The sisters are actively participating in God’s mission of proclaiming the Good News through various apostolates: education, pastoral and social ministry, retreat movements, seminary and dormitory apostolates in the Philippines and foreign mission. Cardinal Pironio, on December 8, 1983 wrote the Superior General… “The present fourishing state of the Congregation of the Religious of the Virgin Mary not only testifies to God’s blessings on your Institute are giving witness of a truly religious life, as well as fulfilling the service to the Church intended by Mother Ignacia.”
Now her life is a source of inspiration to all people who have shared and continue to share in her charism, the Religious of the Virgin Mary, and the people whose lives they touch. She is truly the light that illumines our way – the way which leads to God.