Felix Y. Manalo, “Last Messenger of God” and the first Executive Minister of the Iglesia Ni Cristo (INC), was born on May 10, 1886 in Barrio Calzada, Tipas, Taguig, Rizal. His parents were Mariano Ysagun and Bonifacia Manalo. He later opted to use his mother’s surname “Manalo” to highlight the message that INC shall be victorious in its quest for the true Church. The INC is one of the most influential religious organizations in the country today. It is also the “largest entirely indigenous Christian religious organization that originated in the Philippines and the largest independent church in Asia.”
While born to a Catholic family and baptized and catechized under the Roman Catholic faith, the young Felix, in his adolescence ventured on a search for “the true religion.” He became a follower of a “colorum” sect, and later joined five popular denominations, one after the other: the Iglesia Metodista Episcopal where he served as pastor, the Presbyterian Church, the Christian Missionary Alliance where he served as an evangelist, and the Seventh-Day Adventist Church where he was reputed as one of its most outstanding evangelists. In 1913, he joined a group of free thinkers, then went into seclusion for three days and three nights and engaged in intensive study and reflection. He was certain that God had commissioned him to carry out a mission. When he emerged from seclusion, he founded what he believed was the true church, the Iglesia Ni Cristo. On July 27, 1914, the INC was officially registered with the Philippine government and he became its first Executive Minister.
The months that followed saw the launching of the church’s work of propagation in Tondo, Manila, and in the towns of Pateros and Pasig. He conducted Bible classes for the ministry, and assigned trusted ministers to pioneer in the work of propagating the faith in the areas surrounding Manila. The INC branched out to the provinces in Central Luzon, and by 1937 it began propagating in the VIsayas. In 1939, the maiden issue of Pasugo was published. The Tagalog magazine which came out monthly, served as a medium for disseminating the doctrines of the INC. During the war years, publication was suspended but it resumed publication in the 1950s. Today, the INC continues to be one of the “highly respected and largest religious denominations in the Philippines.
To mark the Birth Anniversary of Felix Y. Manalo, the INC conducts a worship service on a theme that touches on his life and accomplishments as a religious leader, a “Grand Evangelical Mission,” and musical/stage play presentations, among several other activities.
We join the Filipino nation in remembering the life and achievements of the Founder and First Executive Minister of the Iglesia Ni Cristo, Felix Y. Manalo, on the occasion of his 127th Birth Anniversary. CONGRATULATIONS AND MABUHAY!
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