Philippine Culture
  El Filibusterismo
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Chapter 45: An Examination of Conscience

Padre Salvi heard the confession of Maria Clara. Doctor De Espadaña, on the other hand, continued giving Maria Clara marshmallow syrup and boiled lichen. After an hour, Maria Clara felt better. Doña Victorina attributed the healing process to her doctor husband's medication. After Padre Salvi heard Maria's confession (again), he left her room looking pale and sweaty. (It's not what you think, folks!)

Some Notes

  • Maria Clara never knew her mother; her mom died soon after Maria Clara was born.

  • De Espadaña thought his marshmallow and lichen cured Maria Clara. Padre Salvi believed it was (Catholic) confession that healed her. It's possible Capitan Tiago attributes her well-being to his contributions to saints and holy relics.

  • Maria Clara's fever left her because of the pills/medicines sent to her by Ibarra through the help of Sinang.

  • In this chapter, Rizal criticizes several Catholic practices.

  • The province then called Tayabas is now named Quezon.

  • Read how Tia Isabel prepares Maria Clara for confession -- utterly hilarious. She goes through the list of the Ten Commandments and notes how Maria Clara begins to weep.

Questions and Answers

  1. Why did Padre Salvi cast a sideways glance at Capitan Tiago when the latter said that it was the transfer of Padre Damaso to Tayabas that made Maria Clara ill because she loved Padre Damaso like or as if he were her father? Padre Salvi knew that Padre Damaso really IS the father of Maria Clara.

  2. What did Rizal note about Confession? (a) The friars made the people believe that Confession is more effective than medicine when it comes to healing sick people; (b) Perhaps Rizal criticized this through Linares': "But Father... might she not think she is in danger of death?" (The patient's health might deteriorate because she might think she was already being administered the Last Rites, or something.)

  3. What was Padre Salvi pale and all sweaty when he finished hearing Maria Clara's confession? To begin with, Padre Salvi is really a pale person. He must have appeared more nervous because it was during this confession that he revealed to Maria Clara the true identity of her father. (No, it wasn't Darth Vader; it was Padre Damaso). He stressed that this was a mortal sin.

    Tia Isabel, on the other hand, thought that Padre Salvi looked that way because of what Maria Clara confessed to him.

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