A Catholic bishop is asking the city of Puerto Princesa in Palawan to rename one of its streets after a Spanish saint and the first missionary priest to the area.
Bishop Socrates Mesiona of Puerto Princesa particularly asked the city to consider renaming Taft Street to Saint Ezekiel Moreno Street.
The stretch runs past Immaculate Conception Cathedral and a park dedicated to Princess Eulalia of Spain, where the city was named after.
“This will be in perfect accord to the history of the city,” Bishop Mesiona in his letter dated Jan. 4 to the city government.
Moreno was an Augustinian Recollect missionary first assigned in the Philippines.
In 1871, after being ordained a priest in Manila, he was initially assigned in Calapan, Mindoro, and was later on sent to Puerto Princesa in the island province of Palawan as chief missionary and chaplain of the penal colony.
Moreno celebrated the first Mass ever in the area on March 10, 1872 or nearly 151 years ago.
After a year, he was forced to leave the Palawan mission due to malaria.
After his work in the Philippines, Moreno was sent to Colombia, where he became the apostolic vicar of Casanare and later the bishop of Pasto.
Struck by cancer, he returned to Spain to receive treatment, and died there on Aug. 19, 1906 at the age of 58.
He was beatified in 1975 by St. Paul VI and canonized in the Dominican Republic by St. John Paul II in 1992 at the close of the 5th Century Celebration of the Evangelization of Latin America.
St. Ezekiel Moreno is popularly invoked as the patron of cancer patients.