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Rizal's Last Hours


Dec. 29, 1896. 6:00 – 7:00 a.m.
Sr. S. Mataix asks Rizal’s permission to interview him. Capt.

Dominguez reads death sentence to Rizal. Source of information: cablegram of Mataix to EL Heraldo

De Madrid, "Notes" of Capt. Dominguez and Testimony of Lt. Gallegos.

7:00 – 8:00 a.m.
Rizal is transferred to his death cell. Fr. Saderra talks briefly with Rizal. Fr. Viza

presents statue of the Sacred hearth of Jesus and medal of Mary. Rizal rejects the letter, saying , "Im little of a Marian, Father." Source: Fr. Viza.

8:00 – 9:00 a.m.
Rizal is shares his milk and coffee with Fr. Rosell. Lt. Andrade and chief of Artillery come to visit Rizal who thanks each of them. Rizal scribbles a note inviting his family it visit him. Sources: Fr. Rosell and letter of Invitation.

9:00 – 10:00 a.m.
Sr. Mataix, defying stringent regulation, enters death cell and interviews Rizal in the presence of Fr. Rosell. Later, Gov. Luengo drops in to join the conversation. Sources: Letter of Mataix ti Retana Testimony of Fr. Rosell.

10:00 – 11:00 a.m.
Fr. Faura persuades Rizal to put down his rancours and order to marry josephine canonically. a heated discussion on religion occurs between them ion the hearing of Fr. Rosell. Sources: El Imparcial and Fr. Rosell.

11:00 – 12:00 noon.
Rizal talks on "various topics" in a long conversation with Fr. Vilaclara who will later conclude (with Fr. Balaguer, who is not allowed to enter the death cell) that Rizal is either to Prostestant or rationalist who speaks in "a very cold and calculated manner" with a mixture of a "strange piety." No debate or discussion on religion is recorded to have taken place between the Fathers mentioned and Rizal. Sources: El Imarcial and Rizal y su Obra.

12:00 – 1:00 p.m.
Rizal reads Bible and Imitation of Christ by Kempis, then meditates. Fr. Balaguer reports to the Archbishop that only a little hope remains that Rizal is going to retract for Rizal was heard saying that he is going to appear tranquilly before God. Sources: Rizal’s habits and Rizal y su Obra.

1:00 – 2:00 p.m.
Rizal denies (probably, he is allowed to attend to his personal necessities). Source: "Notes" of Capt. Dominguez.

2:00 – 3:00 p.m.
Rizal confers with Fr. March and Fr. Vilaclara. Sources: "Notes" of Capt. Dominguez in conjunction with the testimonies of Fr. Pi and Fr. Balaguer.

3:00 – 4:00 p.m.
Rizal reads verses which he had underlined in Eggers german Reader, a book which he is going to hand over to his sisters to be sent to Dr. Blumentritt through F. Stahl. He "writes several letters . . . ,with his last dedications," then he "rest for a short." Sources: F. Stahl and F. Blumentritt, Cavana (1956) – Appendix 13, and the "Notes" of Capt. Dominguez.

4:00 – 5:30 p.m.
Capt. Dominguez is moved with compassion at the sight of Rizal’s kneeling before his mother and asking pardon. Fr. Rosell hears Rizal’s farewell to his sister and his address to those presents eulogizing the cleverness of his nephew. The other sisters come in one by one after the other and to each Rizal’s gives promises to give a book, an alcohol burner, his pair of shoes, an instruction, something to remember. Sources "notes" of Capt. Dominguez and Fr. Rosell, Diaro de Manila.

5:30 – 6:00 p.m.
The Dean of the Cathedral, admitted on account of his dignity, comes to exchange views with Rizal. Fr. Rosell hears an order given to certain "gentlemen" and "two friars" to leave the chapel at once. Fr. Balaguer leaves Fort Santiago. Sources: Rev. Silvino Lopez-Tuñon, Fr. Rosell, Fr. Serapio Tamayo, and Sworn Statement of Fr. Balaguer.

6:00 – 7:00 p.m.
Fr. Rosell leaves Fort Santiago and sees Josephine Bracken. Rizal calls for Josephine and then they speak to each for the last time. Sources: Fr. Rosell, El Imparcial, and Testimony of Josephine to R. Wildman in 1899.

7:00 – 8:00 p.m.
Fr. Faura returns to console Rizal and persuades him once more to trust him and the other professors at the Ateneo. Rizal is emotion-filled and, after remaining some moments in silence, confesses to Fr. Faura. Sources: El Imparcial.

8:00 – 9:00 p.m.
Rizal rakes supper (and, most probably, attends to his personal needs). Then, he receives Bro. Titllot with whom he had a very "tender" (Fr. Balaguer) or "useful" (Fr. Pi) interview. Sources: Separate testimonies of Fr. Balaguer and Fr. Pi on the report of Bro. Titllot; Fisal Castaño.

9:00 – 10:00 p.m.
Fiscal Castaño exchanges views with Rizal regarding their respective professors. Sources: Fiscal Castaño.

10:00 – 11:00 p.m.
Rizal manifests strange reaction, asks guards for paper and pen. From rough drafts and copies of his poem recovered in his shoes, the Spaniards come to know that Rizal is writing a poem. Sources: El Imparcial and Ultimo Adios; probably, Fiscal Castaño.

11:00 – 12:00 midnight
Rizal takes time to his hide his poem inside the alcohol burner. It has to be done during night rather than during daytime because he is watched very carefully. He then writes his last letter to brother Paciano. Sources: Testimonies and circumstantial evidence.

12:00 – 4:00 a.m.
Rizal sleeps restfully because his confidence in the goodness of God and the justness of his cause gives him astounding serenity and unusual calmness.

Dec. 30, 1986. 4:00 – 5:00 a.m.
Rizal picks up Imitation of Christ, reads, meditates and then writes in Kempis’ book a dectation to his wife Josephine and by this very act in itself he gives to her their only certificate of marriage.

5:00 – 6:15
Rizal washes up, takes breakfast, attends to his personal needs. Writes a letter to his parents. Reads Bible and meditates. Josephine is prohibited by the Spanish officers from seeing Rizal, according to Josephine’s testimony to R. Wildman in 1899.

6:15 – 7:00
Rizal walks to the place of execution between Fr. March and Fr. Vilaclara with whom he converses. Keeps looking around as if seeking or expecting to see someone. His last word, said in a loud voice: "It is finished"

7:00 – 7:03
Sounds of guns. Rizal vacillates, turns halfway around, falls down backwards and lies on the ground facing the sun. Silence. Shouts of vivas for Spain.

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