“St. Ezekiel Moreno is still very much loved in the Philippines”

The Nuncio of His Holiness in Spain, Bernardito Auza, presided the solemn Eucharist on the feast of St. Ezekiel Moreno in Monteagudo (Navarra).

The feast of St. Ezekiel Moreno was experienced in a special way in Monteagudo, where the remains of the Augustinian Recollect saint rest. The Nuncio of His Holiness in Spain, Bernardito Auza, presided the solemn Eucharist on August 19 in the Convent-novitiate of the Augustinian Recollects. There, on August 19, 1906, the bishop of Pasto and Augustinian Recollect missionary died.

The nuncio recalled the figure of St. Ezekiel Moreno, who he assured that he is “very much loved in my country, the Philippines”. Of the saint, he highlighted especially his missionary zeal and his great initiatives in the evangelizing mission, both in the Philippines and in Colombia, “as big as his heart”. He also highlighted his dedication to the neediest Church, more specifically during his time as bishop in Colombia. According to him, this has always been recognized. Finally, he recalled how he decided to return to Monteagudo when he was ill, “to die under the mantle of the Virgin of the Way”, who is venerated in the convent and to whom St. Ezekiel had an enormous devotion. Bishop Auza also had a word of thanks to the Augustinian Recollects for their enormous missionary work in his country and in others.

At the beginning of the Mass, Bishop Hernandez Sola, Augustinian Recollect bishop of Tarazona, explained the importance that the Philippines had for St. Ezekiel, whom he described as a “true and great missionary” in the Asian country. “His pastoral zeal in Mindoro, Paragua, Manila – he said – was overflowing during the 16 years he spent in those islands”, and recalled that “this year we celebrate the 500th anniversary of the evangelization of that dear and beloved country, where the Augustinian Recollects wrote the most beautiful history of the Recollection” so it is “opportune to remember the figure of this distinguished missionary”.

For his part, the Prior General of the Augustinian Recollects, Miguel Miro, thanked the Nuncio for his visit on this special day for the Order and highlighted the close and ancient relationship of the Augustinian Recollect religious with the Philippines and the mission.

“May St. Ezekiel Moreno bless us all!”

At the conclusion of the celebration, the nuncio visited the room in which St. Ezekiel lived his last days, which retains its original furnishings. At the table in the room, Bishop Auza signed the guest book of the community:

Also in the name of the Holy Father, Pope Francis, I affectionately greet and give the apostolic blessing to the community of the Augustinian Recollects of Monteagudo. May St. Ezekiel Moreno bless us all and may he always help the Recollect missions!