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I found a very heartening post from Catanduanes.Net by a certain Mr. Langob. The post is dated October 11, 2004. The post contains an introduction to the work of Fray Diego de Herrera (one of the first five missionaries who came to the Philippines with Legaspi in 1565) in Catanduanes and a plea to the Augustinians to open the cause for the beatification of Fray Diego. Mr. Langob writes that Fray Diego de Herrera was a martyr and therefore should be considered as a candidate for canonization.
Looking down the posts, I also noticed that there was an attempt to contact me through AgustinongPinoy. Well, since the Assistant General will be visiting our community on December 24 (in just a few hours), I might as well bring up the matter to him.
Read more about this by cliking "more below...
THE CAUSE OF FRAY DIEGO de HERRERA?S BEATIFICATION
Little we know about FRAY DIEGO de HERRERA?s life, but there are sources that we can use in order to know him. When I was still young my Father was invited as speaker in Bato, it was the late Dr. Antonio, Zantua who if I was not mistaken was the chairman of Fr. Diego de Herrera?s fourth centennial celebration of his martyrdom. The purpose of the celebration is to invigorate the faith of Catanduganon; He died propagating the Catholic faith to the native of Batalay, Bato, Catanduanes. Goyena Del Prado in his book IBALON testified this.
On April 25, 1576 the Galleon Espirito Santo was grounded in Nagnangang Buaya point in Batalay, Bato, Catanduanes. This Galleon was heading to Cebu, City coming from Acapulco, one of the passengers of the galleon was Fray Diego de Herrera, an Augustinian Priest, this account by Joaquin Martinez de Zuniega was quoted by Francisco Mallari S.J. in his book ?Ibalon Under Storm and Siege? Page 16. They were carrying a cargo of merchandize and passengers while foundering in the east coast of Catanduanes they were grounded at Batalay a Barangay of Bato, Catanduanes, all of the passengers were killed except to a certain Spaniard name Geronimo Alvis who knew the local tongue of Visayans.
On April 21, 1973 on the occasion of the fourth centennial celebration of the death of Fray Diego de Herrera, a decree was Promulgated by Bishop Teotimo Pacis Bishop of Legazpi declaring the Holy Cross of Batalay become a Diocesan Shrine. The people in Bato believed that Fray Diego de Herrera was buried under that shrine of Holy Cross. (As I understand the Holy Cross was brought by Fray Herrera from Spain to Batalay, Bato) This was the first step in honoring the martyrdom of a priest in Catanduanes, but until then there was no same honor given to him.
Again another legend says that the death of Fray Diego de Herrera brought punishment to the people of Bato who were punished in the way of the appearance of schools of swordfish that attacked them. (Source Bato history Published in Philippines: A History of Bikol Region by Maglanyaon.)
Another legend was if a certain locality killed a priest there would be no one in the locality would become a priest. Many Batonhon studied for priesthood but none became successful. This was the testimony of Monsignor Alfonso Molina the first Bato ordained priest in his sermons, which I heard from Him. Knowing this cursed from God He prayed so hard to Fray Diego de Herrera asking him to intercede from God to removed the cursed. After praying Mamo Molina lit a candle to look for the sign from the martyr priest, if truly the cursed was removed. Truly the sign were given, while there was a strong wind because Batalay was facing the Pacific he ask that the lighted candle be consumed if truly he will become a priest. That candle was consumed, The good Monsignor served there until his death even if he was already retired as a token gratitude to the martyr priest. After that bishop, first Filipino Dominican was accepted by the Lord as his priest. (The 1st Dominican priest is Fr Vargas, the Bishop is Jose Sorra)
If Fray Diego de Herrera will be beatified, I am sure this will bring so many blessings in Catanduanes because once there was one Saint who lives in the place, therefore God will look much favor from them because of the honor they have given to his martyr Son. His life and works will be emulated by the Catholics who are looking for father image, especially today that the people of Catanduanes distrusted many of the priests in Diocese of Virac. While the cause of beatification of Fr Peyton and Bishop Sheen is widely seen in the Television FRAY DIEGO DE HERRERA WILL BE LONELY SEEN IN CATANDUANES.NET. I hope that it will appear permanently in this site. Please STR!
We invite Agustinian priests to help us process the beatification of your brother Fray Diego de Herrera. I am sure he is a Saint because He is a martyr of his faith as testified by Goyena Del Prado in His book Ibalon. Also we invite Fr Catalino Arevalo S.J. (he is one of the in-charge of the beatification of Beato Calungsod of Cebu City) to help us process the beatification of Fray Herrera. We hope that the historian from Catanduanes, Fr. Jose Arcilla S.J. of San Andres, Catanduanes will also share his expertise in the field of history.
Those Catandunganons who have a surplus of money may contribute for the Beatification of Fray Diego de Herrera. The process of beatification is very expensive that it needs the wholehearted support of every Catandunganons. The blessing from God is more than enough than any material riches that we can get from this temporary World. By, Langob of Marimar Village II, Pque City, Oct 23 1966.
References: Ibalon by Goyena del Prado, Ibalon Under Storm and Siege by Mallary Francisco S.J., A
PHILIPPINES History of Bicol Region by Jaime T Manlanyaon
(the link to the original post is here)