Juan de Arechederra

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Juan de Arechederra
Bishop of Nueva Segovia
Mitre (plain).svg
Church Saint Paul Metropolitan Cathedral
Province Ilocos
Diocese Diocese of Nueva Segovia
Appointed 1750
Installed 1750
Term ended 1751
Predecessor Luciano Santiago, O.P.
Successor Manuel del Río Flores, O.P.
Consecration January 19, 1750
by Unknown
Personal details
Birth name Juan de Arrechederra
Born September 20, 1681
Caracas, Venezuela
Died November 12, 1751(1751-11-12) (aged 70)
Lal-lo, Cagayan, Captaincy General of the Philippines
Nationality Spain/Venezuela Spanish (later Venezuelan)
Denomination Roman Catholicism
Juan de Arechederra
42nd Governor and Captain-General of the Philippines
In office
September 21, 1745 – July 20, 1750
Monarch Philip V of Spain
Ferdinand VI of Spain
Preceded by Gaspar de la Torre
Succeeded by Marquis of Brindisi and Ovando

Juan de Arechederra, O. P. (Caracas, Venezuela, September 20, 1681—Nueva Segovia, November 12, 1751) was a Venezuelan (originally Spanish Criollo) friar and member of the Dominican Order who served as the Rector of the University of Santo Tomas from 1735 to 1737 and from 1743 to 1745 and Bishop-elect of Nueva Segovia from 1745 and in turn, the Bishop from 1750 until his death in 1751. In Philippine history, he is best remembered as being the Governor-General from 1745 to 1750 who baptized Alimuddin I, the only Catholic Sultan of Sulu.

Early life and activities[edit]

Little was known about Arechederra's early life. He was born to Spanish immigrant parents but was later sent to a convent in San Jacinto de Caracas, a city-colony at the Spanish colonial provinces of New Kingdom of Granada. In 1701, he joined the Dominican Order for the province of Santa Cruz, his hometown.

He went to Mexico to pursue a degree of doctor of theology at the Royal and Pontifical University of Mexico, aftwerwards a master's degree on theology.[1] By 1713, he joined a Dominican missionary to the Philippines. In the Philippines he held several posts such as being the vicar of a parish in Cavite, a professor of theology at the Colegio de San Juan de Letran and twice served as the Rector of University of Santo Tomas.

Inquisition and governor-general[edit]

When Arechederra came to the Philippines one of his initial position was to become one of the four superintendent-commissaries appointed by the Holy Office of the Inquisition to assist Inquisition in the islands. During his time, Filipino natives or Indios are exempted from the Inquisition, for example, when a Spanish mestizo named Jacinta de Jesús was to be charged, she was acquitted by Arechederra by proposing herself as an Indio.[2] In 1724, he accelerated the Inquisition charges filed against Antoine Guigue, a French missionary based in Guangdong convicted of Jansenism. He was later sentenced to be suspended from priestly actions and perform spiritual exercises until he please the Pope.[3]

In 1745, the Bishop of Nueva Segovia Manuel del Río died from office and Arechederra was elected to occupy this position. By July 1745, he assumed the diocese in full capacity while waiting for the Papal Bull proclaiming him as the new bishop. However, Governor-General Gaspar de la Torre died in office on September 21. By virtue of a royal decree issued earlier in August 15, 1734, in case of death of the governor-general, the highest governing person in the Islands shall take the responsibility of running the government. The same day, he assumed the position of being the governor-general and president ad interim of the Real Audiencia.[4]

Having heard of his acceptance as the bishop-elect of Nueva Segovia and his inauguration as the new governor-general, a letter coming from Madrid presented Arechederra to the King of Spain in 1750. In return the King ordered bulls recognizing Arechederra as the new Bishop of Nueva Segovia and affirming his position as the governor-general. However, on November 12, 1751, he died at office without having reached the bulls consecrated.[5]

During his short reign as the governor-general, he alternatively ruled in his diocese in Nueva Segovia and the government in Manila.

Baptismal of Alimuddin I[edit]

On January 2, 1749, Arechederra welcomed the Sultan of Sulu Azim ud-Din (alternatively spelled as Alimuddin) who sought refuge to the Spanish colonial authorities. Alimuddin I was previously ousted from his position as the sultan in a coup staged by his younger brother, Bantilan who seized the throne. Instead of publicizing his own intention of his refuge, which is to seek help in restoring him to power, Alimuddin I asked Arechederra to baptize him and embrace Christianity. After the examination of two Jesuit priests, he was recommended to be baptized.[6]

On April 29, 1750, baptisms took place at Paniqui, Tarlac.[7] He was renamed as Don Fernando de Alimuddin. His children were educated in Spanish and Catholic education. Before fully pushing his ideals to restore him to power, Arechederra was replaced as a governor-general by the Marquis of Brindisi.[5][8]


  1. ^ Blair and Robertson 1905, p.112
  2. ^ Storch 2006, p.136
  3. ^ Lea 2010, pp.317-318
  4. ^ Barquilla 1990, p.624
  5. ^ a b Barquilla 1990, p.625
  6. ^ Irving 2010
  7. ^ Fernandez 1996, p.57
  8. ^ National Historical Commission, Muhammad Alimuddin[permanent dead link]

Episcopal lineage
Consecrated by: Unknown
Political offices
Preceded by
Gaspar de la Torre
Governor and Captain-General of the Philippines
Succeeded by
Marquis of Brindisi and Ovando
Religious titles
Preceded by
Luciano Santiago, O.P.
Bishop of Nueva Segovia
Succeeded by
Manuel del Río Flores, O.P.
Academic offices
Preceded by
Fr. Vicente de Salazar, O.P.
Rector Magnificus of the University of Santo Tomas
Succeeded by
Fr. Antonio Lavarias, O.P.
Preceded by
Fr. Tomas Canduela, O.P.
Rector Magnificus of the University of Santo Tomas
Succeeded by
Fr. Diego Saénz, O.P.