By CBCP News
November 22, 2021
Pope Francis met the new Philippine ambassador to the Holy See, Ms. Myla Grace Ragenia Macahilig, who presented her credential letters at the Vatican on Saturday.
The Vatican News tweeted the photos of the pope’s meeting with Macahilig as she “officially” began her new diplomatic role.
The 55-year-old replaced Ambassador Grace Relucio-Princesa, who served the post from September 2018 until her retirement in January 2021.
Macahilig is a former Department of Foreign Affairs Assistant Secretary in its financial management services.
While she previously served in the Philippine embassies in New Zealand and in the United Kingdom, her assignment to the Vatican was her first posting as ambassador with concurrent jurisdiction over the Sovereign Order of Malta.
The Philippines and the Vatican signed an agreement establishing formal relations on April 8, 1951.
The treaty raised the Holy See’s Apostolic Delegation to the Philippines to the status of Apostolic Nunciature. Archbishop Egidio Vagnozzi became the first Apostolic Nuncio, having been appointed the following day, April 9, 1951.
The first Philippine ambassador was Manuel Moran, who presented his credentials to Pope Pius XII on June 4, 1951.
During the past 70 years, there have been four papal visits to the Philippines: the 1970 visit by Pope Paul VI, the visits of 1981 and 1995 by Pope John Paul II, and Pope Francis’ visit in 2015.
The 70th anniversary takes place as the Church celebrates 500 years of Christianity in the Philippines.