Amidst the gathering storm of anti-clerical and native uprisings against Spain, the first group of Benedictine fathers and brothers came to the Philippines in 1895 from the Benedictine Abbey of Our Lady of Montserrat in the Cataluña region of Spain primarily to undertake agricultural and missionary work in Surigao in Mindanao. They were the latest of the European Catholic orders to come to the Philippines and the first Benedictines to do their mission work more than halfway around the world. Undaunted by the brewing Philippine revolt, the Abbot of Montserrat, Rev. Fr. Jose Deas y Villar, OSB sailed to Manila with 13 young monks from the Colegio de Misioneros de Ultramar and founded the Benedictine community in Mindanao from which grew the roots of Benedictine tradition and influence in the Philippines. They did their work quietly but meaningfully in the Mindanao hinterlands where aside from their pastoral work, they ran schools given to them by the Jesuits and taught the natives the mysteries of the Faith as well as music, arithmetic, Spanish grammar, ethics, geography, history and elementary science.
Notwithstanding the crumbling Spanish political order and the growing hatred for the Spanish friars in the islands, the Benedictines kept to their vows. Paradoxically, they considered this critical period as a propitious time to be in the Philippines where they were winning adherents and their work was warmly appreciated. Hence, in the middle of the Katipunan revolution, on the 14th of August 1897, Rev. Fr. Juan Sabater, who was appointed superior of the Philippine Benedictine community, opened the Chapel of Our Lady of Montserrat in Manila.
Anticipating the potential influence of public schools established by the American government and the American Protestant missionaries, then Superior Fr. Juan Sabater, OSB, with the support of the Benedictine community, decided to open up a school and appropriately named it after the great English Benedictine scholar and saint, the Venerable Bede.