The Diocese of Laoag has received a blessing on September 15, the first class relics of two Augustinian saints St. Augustine of Hippo and St. Nicholas of Tolentino.
Laoag Bishop Renato Mayugba requested the relics of the two saints from the Order of St. Augustine in Rome through the Augustinian Province of the Santo Niño de Cebu as the Church will celebrate the 5th centenary of the country’s Christianization next year.
“We have received the faith through the many zealous and holy Augustinians who planted the faith in this land some 500 years ago,” he said in a CBCP News post.
The relics, Mayugba said, shows a “revival of the great mission of the Augustinians in the province”.
“These sacred relics will certainly remind us of our ‘Augustinian Roots,’” he said.
The Augustinian Friars from the older “Provincia del Santísimo Nombre de Jesús,” now based in Spain were responsible for the evangelization of the Ilocos in the 1570s.
The Augustinians are credited to be the founders of the old Ilocos towns including the construction of now world-renowned churches of Paoay and Santa María.
One of the churches they also built is already a minor basilica, the church in Badoc town.
According to CBCP, the relics were extracted “ex ossibus (from the bones)” of the Augustinian saints.
The relic of St Augustine will be enshrined in a parish church dedicated to him in Paoay town while the relic of St. Nicholas will be placed at a newly declared diocesan shrine.
The bones of St. Augustine are reposed in a sarcophagus at Pavia, Italy, while the bones of St. Nicholas rest in his basilica in Tolentino, also in Italy.