Hopevale Martyrs

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The Hopevale Martyrs were Christian martyrs who died during the World War II in the present day Hopevale, Aglinab, Tapaz, Capiz, Philippines. The martyrs were Jeanie Clare Adams, Prof. James Howard Covell, Charma Moore Covell, Dorothy Antoinette Dowell, Signe Amelia Erikson, Dr. Frederick Willer-Meyer, Ruth Schatch Meyer, Dr. Francis Howard Rose, Gertrude Coombs Rose, Rev. Erle Frederich Rounds, Louise Cummings Rounds, and Erle Douglas. Despite the order that these Americans should go home because of the war, they refused to leave their mission and eventually offered their lives when they were caught by the enemies.

During the Japanese invasion of the Philippines, the eleven American Baptist missionaries refused to surrender to the Japanese troops. The martyrs took refuge in the mountains of Barrio Katipunan, Tapaz, Capiz. They hid in the forest they call "Hopevale" with the help of their Filipino friends.

On December 19, 1943, Hopevale fell into Japanese hands. The martyrs begged to free the Filipino captives and instead offered themselves as ransom. At the dawn of December 20, 1943, the missionaries asked to be allowed to pray and, an hour later, they told their Japanese captors they were ready to die. The adults were beheaded and the children were bayoneted.[1]

Memorial[edit]

Plaque to the Hopevale Martyrs located at Central Philippine University, Iloilo, the Philippines.

There is a cross marker on top of the common grave of these martyrs in Hopevale near the place where they were bayoneted to death. A replica of this marker also stands at Central Philippine University. There is also a plaque on the campus of CPU as well.

Legacy[edit]

The complete Hopevale story is chronicled in The Edge of Terror, by Baptist minister Scott Walker.

A two-act musical drama titled Hopevale: Memories of Missions and Martyrs was staged in honor of the martyrs during the centennial celebrations of the founding of Central Philippine University in 2005. The musical was written by Rodolfo Cabado, an alumnus of the university.

Hopevale Church in Saginaw, Michigan takes its name from the Hopevale Martyrs.

Parchment Valley, the West Virginia Baptist Conference Center in Ripley, West Virginia hosts a replica of the Hopevale Chapel. It is built at the end of a trail with wind chimes honoring each of the Hopevale Martyrs.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Labiste, Ma. Louisa (2005). "One Hundred Years of Lighting up the City and the World." Philippine Daily Inquirer.