Soon another Filipino Saint
The Philippines would once again be proudly rejoicing and celebrating as another Philippine-born Catholic martyr named Jose Maria de Manila is scheduled to be beatified on October 13, 2013 in a ceremony which will be held in Tarragona, Spain. The said ceremony will be headed by Cardinal Angelo Amato, prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints.
Jose Maria de Manila, whose real name is Eugenio Sanz-Orozco Mortera, is a Franciscan Capuchin priest. Following his beatification, Mortera will be known as Blessed Jose Maria de Manila. He was born in Manila to Don Eugenio Sanz-Orozco, the last Spanish mayor of Manila, and Doña Feliza Mortera. On August 17, 1936, Mortera was executed during the Spanish civil war at the gardens of the Cuartel de la Montaña, a military barrack in Madrid, Spain.
While living in Manila, Mortera spent his early years of education at the Ateneo de Manila, San Juan de Letran, and University of Santo Tomas. He was 16 when he moved to Spain to pursue further studies. He then later fulfilled his desire of becoming a Capuchin priest, despite his parents’ objections.
He hadhis simple profession in Lecaroz (Navarra, Spain) on October 4, 1905. After three years, he attained his solemn profession, and was ordained priest on November 30, 1910.
Mortera is truly a pinoy pride. According to Fr. Eugenio Lopez, Provincial Minister of the Capuchin Philippine Province, Mortera “remained a Filipino at heart” while in Spain. He wanted to go back to the Philippines to serve the local church.
“But circumstances prevented him from fulfilling his dream to come back to the land of his birth. Yet, he still offered his life for the gospel he zealously preached in Spain and longed to proclaim in his native land,” added Lopez.
On July 20, 1936, due to the violent acts by Anarchist and Marxist troops against the Christian religious and their ministers, Mortera was one of the several religious who were compelled to abandon their convents in Madrid and later on executed because of their faith.
Canonization is not yet clear for Mortera. According to Lopez, in cases of martyrdom, the miracle required for beatification can be waived.
“For beatification of a martyr who died in ‘odium fidei’ (out of hatred of the faith), a miracle is no longer needed,” he added.
Meanwhile, Lopez said the Capuchins in the Philippines will soon start introducing and promoting the devotion to Mortera in parishes nationwide.