HomeGAWI: Journal on Culture Studiesvol. 2 no. 2 (2017)

Credo Ut Intelligam vs. Intelligo Ut Credam: Re-Examining Rizal’s Religious Tendencies

Marlon Patrick P. Lofredo



The Philippines is the only predominantly Christian country in Asia, and yet, its national hero is doubted in his religious piety and loyalty to the Roman Catholic Church. Debates are still on whether Dr. José Protacio Rizal Mercado y Alonso Realonda, the nation’s foremost nationalist and the “First Filipino” (Guererro, 1963), was or remained a faithful son of the Church or not. Rizal’s religious tendencies and beliefs are puzzling but at the same time revealing. It is an example of the battle between credo ut intelligam and intelligo ut credam, or cognitio fdei vs. scientia rationis.