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Filipino martyr to be beatified

October ceremony for Eugenio Sanz-Orozco

  • ucanews.com reporter, Manila
  • Philippines
  • July 19, 2013
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The Vatican has announced that Franciscan Capuchin priest Eugenio Sanz-Orozco, also known as Jose Maria de Manila, will be beatified this year.

The beatification ceremony, which will be led by Cardinal Angelo Amato, prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints, will take place in Tarragona, Spain, on Oct 13.

Orozco was born in Manila of Spanish parents on Sept 5, 1880. He was the son of Don Eugenio Sanz-Orozco, the last Spanish mayor of Manila, and Doña Feliza Mortera y Camacho.

Fr Eugenio Lopez, provincial minister of the Capuchin Order in the Philippines, said Orozco's baptismal certificate could not be produced because it was burned during the liberation of Manila during World War II.

"But his school records from the University of Santo Tomas showed he is 'natural de Manila.' All his biographies from Spain also showed he was born in Manila," Lopez said when asked about Orozco's nationality.

Father Jose was among the 500 martyrs, including 20 Capuchin priests and 12 lay religious brothers, who died in religious persecution in Spain in the 1930s.

Orozco spent his initial years of education at Ateneo de Manila University, San Juan de Letran and later the University of Santo Tomas. Despite the objections of his parents, Orozco pursued his priestly vocation.

Records show that he had his first profession to the congregation in Lecaroz (Navarra, Spain) on Oct 4, 1905, his solemn profession on Oct 18, 1908, and he was ordained a priest on Nov 30, 1910.

Lopez said Orozco "remained a Filipino at heart" throughout his years in Spain, always desiring to return to the Philippines to serve the local Church.

"Circumstances, however, prevented him to fulfill his dream of coming 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," Lopez said.

On July 20, 1936, during the persecution perpetuated by anarchists and Marxists against Christians, priests and members of religious orders were forced to abandon their convents in Madrid.

On Aug 17, 1936, Orozco was executed at the gardens of the Cuartel de la Montaña in Madrid.

Lopez said there is no need for miracles for Orozco to be beatified because of martyrdom. "But for canonization, a miracle is needed," he said.

The Philippines has currently two saints, San Lorenzo Ruiz and San Pedro Calungsod.

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