Rizalistas

A Filipino religious movement venerating José Rizal as a divine figure, blending elements of Catholicism with local spiritual beliefs.


The Rizalistas, refers to various religious groups in the Philippines that regard José Rizal, the national hero martyred by the Spanish in 1896, as a divine figure. These groups combine aspects of Folk Catholicism with the veneration of José Rizal.

Beliefs and Practices

Rizalistas believe in the divinity of José Rizal, whom they often refer to as Amahan (Father). They hold varying views about his divinity; some consider him to be God himself or the second son of God, akin to the reincarnation of Christ. Others see Rizal as a spiritual guide or the embodiment of pre-Spanish Malay deities.

Rizalist sects often participate in Rizal Day celebrations as an act of devotion, wearing specific attire and performing rituals that honor Rizal’s memory and teachings. Their beliefs are a unique blend of Christian elements and local Filipino spiritual practices, reflecting the syncretic nature of their faith.

Historical Context

The movement emerged from the socio-political context of the Philippines under Spanish colonial rule. José Rizal, a prominent figure in the fight for Filipino independence, wrote extensively against Spanish colonization. His execution in 1896 galvanized the national movement for independence and subsequently elevated him to a martyr-like status.

Rizalist Sects

The Rizalista religious movement includes various groups, such as the Iglesia Sagarada Familia, Lipi ni Rizal, Pilipinas Watawat, and the Iglesia ng Watawat ng Lahi. These groups, while united in their veneration of Rizal, may have differing interpretations of his teachings and significance.

Religious Syncretism

The Rizalista movements are an example of religious syncretism in the Philippines, where indigenous beliefs and practices are intertwined with Catholicism and the reverence for a national hero. This syncretism reflects the complex history and cultural diversity of the Philippines.