Finding Their Roots: Josephine Bracken, Rizal's Irish Rose

Jose Rizal's exile in Dapitan was one of the most lonesome and sorrowful periods of his life. He missed the company of his friends and family, and the death of Leonor Rivera on August 28, 1893 left a gaping void in his heart.


Jose Rizal's exile in Dapitan was one of the most lonesome and sorrowful periods of his life.  He missed the company of his friends and family, and the death of Leonor Rivera on August 28, 1893 left a gaping void in his heart.

Josephine Bracken arrived at the shores of Dapitan accompanying her blind adoptive father, Mr. George Taufer.  No ophthalmologist in Hong Kong, their home country, could cure the man's blindness and so they sought the services of the famous Dr. Jose Rizal.

Overcoming Barriers

Rizal and Josephine fell in love at first sight.  Their romantic interlude went on for about a month, after which they decided to marry.   The priest of Dapitan, however, refused to conduct the ceremony without consent from the Bishop of Cebu.  

When Mr. Taufer heard of his daughter's plan to marry he became so enraged at the thought of losing Josephine that he attempted to kill himself with a razor to his throat.  Rizal prevented this tragedy by holding the man's wrists back.  Josephine left with her father on the first available steamer to Manila in order to avoid more trouble.  Since Mr. Taufer's blindness was venereal in nature, it was incurable.

Exchanging Vows

Mr. Taufer went back to Hong Kong alone, and Josephine stayed in Manila with Rizal's family.  At length, she returned to Dapitan.  Since no priest would marry them, Rizal and Josephine held hands, exchanged vows, and married themselves before God.  

The Loss of a Child

Rizal and Josephine lived together in Dapitan as husband and wife, and in early 1896 they were expecting a baby.  Unfortunately, Josephine had to go into premature labor after Rizal played a prank and frightened her.  A little boy of eight months was born, who lived for only three hours.  Rizal named him Francisco in honor of his father, and buried the child in Dapitan.


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HER FAMILY TREE

1 Marie Josephine Leopoldine Bracken b: 09 Aug 1876 in Hong Kong, China, d: 15 Mar 1902 in Hong Kong, China

+ Jose Rizal b: 19 Jun 1861 in Calamba, Laguna, Philippines, m: 1896 in Dapitan, Zamboanga del Sur, Philippines, d: 30 Dec 1896 in Manila, Philippines 

- Francisco Rizal b: 1896 in Dapitan, Zamboanga del Sur, Philippines, d: 1896 in Dapitan, Zamboanga del Sur, Philippines; Stillborn 

+ Vicente Abad b: Cebu City, Cebu, Philippines, m: 1900 in Hong Kong, China, d: 1903 

- Dolores Abad b: 1900 in Cebu City, Cebu, Philippines, d: 09 Dec 1987 in Ilocos Norte, Philippines 

...2 George Taufer + x 
- Marie Josephine Leopoldine Bracken b: 09 Aug 1876 in Hong Kong, China, d: 15 Mar 1902 in Hong Kong, China 

+ Francesca Spencer 

...2 x 

+ George Taufer 

- Marie Josephine Leopoldine Bracken b: 09 Aug 1876 in Hong Kong, China, d: 15 Mar 1902 in Hong Kong, China 

...2 James Bracken b: 1836 in Ballycommon, Offaly, Ireland, d: 1880 in Australia; Killed by robbers.

+ Elizabeth Jane McBride b: 1840 in Belfast, Antrim, Northern Ireland, m: 03 May 1868 in Belfast, Antrim, Northern Ireland, d: 15 Aug 1876 in Hong Kong, China 

- Marie Josephine Leopoldine Bracken b: 09 Aug 1876 in Hong Kong, China, d: 15 Mar 1902 in Hong Kong, China 

...2 Elizabeth Jane McBride b: 1840 in Belfast, Antrim, Northern Ireland, d: 15 Aug 1876 in Hong Kong, China

+ James Bracken b: 1836 in Ballycommon, Offaly, Ireland, m: 03 May 1868 in Belfast, Antrim, Northern Ireland, d: 1880 in Australia; Killed by robbers. 

- Marie Josephine Leopoldine Bracken b: 09 Aug 1876 in Hong Kong, China, d: 15 Mar 1902 in Hong Kong, China 

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Istoryadista | History Blog | Cebu Blogger: Finding Their Roots: Josephine Bracken, Rizal's Irish Rose
Finding Their Roots: Josephine Bracken, Rizal's Irish Rose
Jose Rizal's exile in Dapitan was one of the most lonesome and sorrowful periods of his life. He missed the company of his friends and family, and the death of Leonor Rivera on August 28, 1893 left a gaping void in his heart.
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