Today in Catholic History – Battle of Mactan

On 27 April 1521, Spanish forces under the leadership of Ferdinand Magellan were defeated by the forces of Lapu-Lapu at Mactan Island. Ferdinand Magellan was killed.

Magellan had already achieved the conversion of the Philippino chieftain of Cebu to Catholicism and planned to bring Catholicism to the other peoples as well as placing the Philippines under the authority of the King of Spain. When Lapu-Lapu refused to recognize Magellan’s authority, Magellan decided to go to war against him.

Magellan’s numbers were around 49, those of Lapu-Lapu were more than 1,500 and in the battle Magellan was slain. His body was never recovered. The rest of Magellan’s crew would complete the first circumnavigation of the globe.

While Magellan is honored for bringing Catholicism to the Philipines, Lapu-Lapu is honored as a symbol against foreign occupation.

Battle of Mactan


One Comment

  1. Anna
    Posted April 28, 2010 at 4:53 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Hi Fr. Seraphim,
    Just letting you know you have a Filipino listener/Twitter follower. Also, it is the pride of our family to be descended from Lapu-Lapu, the fierce chieftain you describe in this entry. We may have attempted resistance against foreign rule but our family has also been converted to Catholicism for centuries now. Thank you for all you do and God bless you!

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