A product of the Benedictines, a long time envoy nominated as ambassador to the Vatican understood and had embraced the spirit St. Benedict, whose motto was “ora et labora,” – “prayer and work”.
For 31 years of serving in the diplomatic service, Ambassador Grace Relucio-Princesa said the two are inseparable, adding that prayer acts as the core of all her work.
“I always pray, discern, and contemplate to seek what God and country wants me to do,” said Princesa, who is currently the assistant secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs’ Legislative Liaison Unit.
The envoy made her first public appearance after her nomination as the Philippine ambassador to the Holy See at the Manila Cathedral during Mass for the World Day of Consecrated Persons on February 2.
Princesa said she was humbled by her appointment although she has yet to face the powerful Commission on Appointments in a bid to secure congressional approval on her appointment.
“We pray for a smooth confirmation and, God-willing, approval of the Vatican,” said Princesa, who had served as the first female Philippine ambassador to the United Arab Emirates.
She also had previous postings in Iraq, USA, Egypt and Switzerland.
Princesa is an alumna of the St. Agnes Academy, a Benedictine-run school in Legazpi City, Albay.
Unknown to many, she is also a member of the Regina Rosarii Contemplative Association, the Catholic Women’s League, the Handmaid of the Lord and the Light of Jesus Family.
If confirmed, Princesa vowed to help improve the Philippine-Vatican relations “since we have some commonalities on the issues on migration, climate change, and interfaith” and assist the Filipino religious community in Rome.