Three of San Agustin’s bells

bell1.jpg The bell El D. Nombre de Jesus (The Most Sweet Name of Jesus – a reference to the Augustinian province) (left) inscribed with the words FECIT BENITVS REGIBVS, the latinized name of its caster, Benito de los Reyes, used to hang from the now demolished belfry. This bell is dated 1829 during the incumbency of the prior Fray Manuel Grijalbo. Three other names of Augustinian friars can be discerned but quite faintly.

Also inscribed is the bell’s weight at 300 arrobas or 7500 lbs. It was only rung on very solemn occasions and in times of emergency. When the tower was demolished, it remained there until it was taken down and transferred to its present location in 1927. It now welcomes museum visitors at the antesala as one enters the museum.

The Nuestra Sra de Consolacion (right)was made in 1913 in the foundry of bell2.jpg the country’s prolific bellcaster that time, Hilario Sunico in Sampaloc during the priorship of Fray Anselmo Corcuera (this information is inscribed on the bell). What got my attention are the dents as well as a still embeded slug on its surface most likely during World War II. This bell no longer hangs from its perch but sits on the window.

bell3.jpg Another bell that suffered the ravages of war is the Sta. Rita de Casia (left) which was cast in 1896, just two years before the outbreak of the Philippine Revolution of 1898. Like the N. S. de Consolacion bell, it had many dents on its surface caused by bullets which is more than the latter. This is the bell directly facing the patio of the church.

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