Tuesday, March 23, 2010

A Saint Was Here

I found a picture I took of a plaque at the St. Ezekiel Moreno Spirituality and Development Center where I had my recollection early this month.

"in honor of St. Ezekiel Moreno, who spent the springtime of his missionary work in this island."

St. Ezekiel was born in Spain and became an Augustinian Recollect when he was 20 years old. He finished his theological formation in Intramuros, Manila. 

Early 1872, he headed a missionary expedition to set up a military stronghold and penal colony at Puerto Princesa, Palawan. He laid the foundation of the towns of Aborlan and Inagawan. Having been to the Iwahig Penal Colony here in Puerto, and to Aborlan with Rene and the kids sort of makes us feel close to this saint.

In 1905, he was diagnosed with cancer of the palate. He passed in 1906.  He is also the patron saint of cancer patients.

St. Ezekiel was beatified in 1975 by Pope Paul VI and canonized on October 11, 1992 by Pope John Paul II.  During the canonization rites, Pope John Paul II said of him in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic: "He is a model evangelist whose ardent desire to proclaim Christ guided all the steps of his life. His unshakable faith in God, which was at all times nourished by an intense interior life, was the great force which sustained him in his dedication to the service of all, especially the poor and the abandoned."

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