Rizal and his brother
Paciano, were extremely close. In the last months of Rizalís life in
September, 1896, Paciano was cruelly tortured in an unsuccessful endeavor to
get him to sign a statement that his brother was a leader of the rebelling.
Fortunately, Rizal was never aware of the torture as he met his end before a
military firing squad.
Among Rizalís last
letters was this one, written in the Fort Santiago death-cell. Rizal tells
his elder brother how much he owed him.
Royal Fort of Santiago, 29 (?) December 1896
Mr. P. R.
My dear brother,
It has been four years and a half that we have not seen each other or have
we addressed one another in writing or orally. I do not believe this is due
to lack of affection either on my part or yours but because knowing each
other so well, we had not need of words to understand each other.
Now that I am going to die, it is to you I dedicate my last words to tell
you how much I regret to leave you alone in life bearing all the weight of
the family and of our old parents!
I think of how you have worked to enable me to have a career. I believe that
I have not tried to waste my time. My brother: if the fruit has been bitter,
it is not my fault; it is the fault of circumstances. I know that you have
suffered much because of me: I am sorry.
I assure you, brother, that I die innocent of this crime of rebellion. If my
former writings had been able to contribute towards it, I should not
absolutely deny it, but then I believe I expiated my past with my exile.
Tell our father that I remember him, but how? I remember my whole childhood,
his tenderness and his love. Ask him to forgive me for the pain I have
unwillingly caused him.