Petition to Open the Diocesan Process on the Cause for Beatification and Canonization of Aurora Aragon-Quezon
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Mrs. Aurora Aragon-Quezon, former First Lady of the Philippines, lived an exemplary life worthy of being counted among the saints of the Roman Catholic Church. Her love for God took flesh in her love for her neighbor as evidenced by her fidelity and dedication as a wife, mother, and public figure.
She epitomized the people Jesus was alluding to in the Beatitudes (Matthew 5:3-10):
1. She was "poor in spirit" (verse 3). She relied more on God's power than her own by fostering a prayerful life and willingly accepted the pain of poverty in the many chapters of her life. First when her father died leaving his survivors in extreme poverty and then later when she and her family lived in difficult conditions in Corregidor during the Japanese Occupation in 1941.
2. She was humble (verse 4). During her husband's political career, she stayed in the background engaging with charitable acts and women organizations. Instead of residing at the Presidential Palace, she preferred to stay in a "nipa house" within the vicinity of the palace or at their farm in Arayat, Pampanga. When offered to run for a seat in the Philippine Senate, she declined and simply supported those she deemed worthy to be elected.
3. She mourned over the suffering of her people (verse 5) and offered them consolation in many humanitarian endeavors such as the Philippine National Red Cross, Girl Scouts of the Philippines, Associación de Damas Filipinas, White Cross, and Philippine Tuberculosis Society.
4. She hungered and thirsted after justice (verse 6) and was one of the leading women who campaigned for Filipino women to have the right to vote; a right that was achieved in 1937. Through her invitation, the American Carmelites established the Mt. Carmel High School of Baler (now Mt. Carmel College of Baler in 1948 to satisfy the need for an evangelical mission in that part of the country.
5. She was merciful (verse 7) and came to the aid of those in need, be it in the Philippines or in the United States of America where she and her daughters volunteered as nurses for the Red Cross while waiting for their return home in the late 1940s. While at exile in the States during World War II, she devoted her time looking after her ailing husband until his death in 1944.
6. She had a clean heart (verse 8). When Philippine Congress voted a pension of PhP 1,000 a month to be given to her, she rejected the offer with the explanation: "I feel that on account of ... countless war widows and orphans ... I should waive collection of a pension . . . I cannot, in good conscience, receive ... government assistance when so many of my less fortunate sisters and their children are not yet taken care of. . . I know [if I accepted] I would not be keeping faith with the memory of my beloved husband. . . ."
7. She was a peacemaker (verse 9). Through her many efforts in the fields of education, health, social justice, community service, etc. she promoted peace and friendship and restored the dignity of people. The Aurora Aragon Quezon Peace Awards conferred by the Concerned Women of the Philippines attests to this attribute.
8. She suffered persecution for justice’s sake (verse 10). In spite of her love and service to others, Mrs Quezon and her companions were ambushed and killed by insurgents while on their way to inaugurate a hospital named after her late husband on April 28, 1949.
Mrs. Quezon is not only an icon in Philippine history, but also in the life of God’s People, the Church. As a witness to the compassion of Jesus towards the least, the lost, and the last, she stands as a heavenly model and intercessor for wives, mothers, politicians and their spouses, community servants, and the like. Raising her to the altars in recognition of her holy life would give glory to God whom she served without any reservation.
In view of the above, we implore that the Roman Catholic Church’s hierarchy, through the Most Rev. Honesto Ongtioco, Bishop of the Diocese of Cubao (Quezon City, Philippines), open her cause for sainthood through a diocesan inquiry into her life.
Subject to satisfying the requirements of the Church, we ask Pope Francis to proclaim her a saint.
References: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aurora_Quezon http://www.quezon.ph/familyinfo/aurora-a-quezon/ http://www.quezon.ph/familyinfo/aurora-a-quezon/mrs-quezon-by-leon-ma-guerrero/ http://www.quezon.ph/2005/04/30/fr-reuter-on-mrs-quezon/
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