Saint Ezekiel Moreno already has his street in Puerto Princesa, the city of which he was co-founder.
On August 24 and 25, the IV Centennial closed in Puerto Princesa (Palawan, Philippines) of the Evangelization of the Island of Palawan, a great ecclesial event that has had a important impact on local society and on the two apostolic vicariates in which it is today divided this Philippine region, with headquarters in Taytay and Puerto Princesa.
The Apostolic Nuncio to the Philippines, Charles Brown, was in charge of celebrating the Eucharist on August 24 after a massive procession through the streets of Puerto Princesa. The Next day, the closing celebrations of the IV Centenary continued with a meeting of youth in the sports complex and a series of conferences as cultural content.
Among the speakers were the president of the Philippine Episcopal Conference, Pablo Virgilio David, who spoke about the current challenges of the Church in the country; a marriage influencer who spoke about his experience of faith; and the Augustinian Recollect René Paglinawan, who spoke on The History of the Augustinian Recollects in the Philippines.
The 25th day ended with a great Eucharist in the sports complex presided over by the archbishop of Manila, José Advíncula. Almost 10,000 people participated in this liturgical closing of the centenary.
The conference on the Augustinian Recollects in the Philippines had a special reason: it was the Religious order that participated directly in the evangelization of Palawan for many centuries; and the capital city itself, Puerto Princesa, had an Augustinian Recollect as co-founder who is also a saint: Saint Ezekiel Moreno.
A statue of the saint, considered a special protector of cancer patients, has been standing since long ago next to the cathedral of Puerto Princesa, built by an Augustinian recollect in the exact place where the saint celebrated the first Eucharist in the newly founded in 1872.
On January 4, 2023, the process began for Saint Ezekiel Moreno to have his own street in Puerto Princesa. That day, Bishop Socrates Mesiona sent a letter to the mayor of Puerto Princesa, Lucilo R. Bayron, and the rest of the councilors of the City Council formally requesting that one of the streets surrounding the cathedral and Eulalia Park (in reference to the princess daughter of the Spanish queen Isabel II), Taft Street, was renamed Saint Ezekiel Moreno Street.
On March 22, the bishop sent a second letter to the Legal Affairs Committee of the Town Hall including historical documentation. A few days before and within celebrations of the IV Centenary of Evangelization, he had received Bernard Amparado, prior provincial of the Province of San Ezekiel Moreno of the Order of Augustinian Recollects.
Both left flowers in front of the statue of the saint, located next to the street that was requested rename and next to the Cathedral. Finally, on June 13, the Puerto Princesa City Council approved the name change.
“Naming a street in honor of Saint Ezekiel Moreno will surely help perpetuate his important contributions to the history of the city. The City Council's decision is very timely, especially as we celebrate 400 years of Christianity in Palawan,” said Bishop Mesiona.
In the renaming document (municipal ordinance 1213), it is indicated: “The street previously called Taft Street in Puerto Princesa will now be known as Saint Ezekiel Moreno, in honor of the great saint for his service and contribution as the first missionary in Puerto Princesa. This ordinance will take full effect fifteen days after its publication. Published on July 1, 2023.”
It should be noted that the National Historical Commission of the Philippines itself advised against formally the name change, given that the previous one refers to the governor General William Howard Taft, who was during the United States protectorate on the Philippines, “which gives it a high degree of historical significance as one of the oldest street names in Puerto Princesa,” according to this Commission.
This indicates the importance given to the Augustinian Recollect saint, co-founder of the city, given that he has finally been given a street that he already had an important historical significance and which has responded to the ancient name of him for many decades. This change is not yet visible in GoogleMaps: