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PLEA FOR 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, Philippines. 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, Philippines 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 blessings from God
are 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.
PHILIPPINES History of Bicol Region by Jaime T Manlanyaon
References: Ibalon by Goyena del Prado, Ibalon Under Storm and Siege by Mallary Francisco S.J., A