Filipinos are called global citizens for a reason—we are everywhere! If you’re in a foreign country, chances are you’ll meet a kababayan or two. In fact, there already are various films and documentaries that show the lives of Overseas Filipino Workers in the US, Asia, and Europe.
In Italy, studies show that there are 108,000 Filipinos living there either as temporary workers or permanent residents. And just recently, news of the first Swiss-Filipino Swiss Guard who joined the ranks of those who will be serving Pope Francis has sent social media abuzz. For the first time in 500 years, the Vatican has sworn in a Swiss with Filipino parentage to the elite corps of soldiers who protect the Pope. (Read: Six Facts You Need To Know About Pope Francis’ Swiss Guards)
So to honor the Filipinos who are working closely with Pope Francis in the Vatican, My Pope looks into their stories and shares with you what we know so far about them!
Swiss Guard Vincent Lüthi
Vincent Lüthi was among the 38 new recruits who swore allegiance to Pope Francis early this month. (Read: Pope Francis Welcomes New Swiss Guards to the Vatican) Lüthi, 22 years old, grew up in Cugy, Switzerland. He is the only child of a Swiss father and a Filipino mother from Cebu.
Cardinal-Bishop Luis Antonio Tagle
Who would not know Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, or Padre Chito, as he is called in the Philippines? Pope Francis called on the former Manila Archbishop to take up his new mission as Prefect of the Vatican Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples last year. In July this year, Cardinal Tagle was appointed as a new member of the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue—the central office of the Church to promote inter-religious dialogue in accordance with the guidance of the Second Vatican Council. (Read: What exactly will Cardinal Tagle be doing as new cardinal-bishop?)
Ambassador to the Holy See Grace Relucio Princesa
Ambassador of the Philippines to the Holy See Grace Relucio Princesa was appointed by President Rodrigo Duterte and was welcomed by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP). Pope Francis welcomed the 62-year-old diplomat when she presented her credentials. Ambassador Relucio has been a diplomat for nearly three decades. She was selected as Asian representative among other ambassadors to the Holy See. (Read: Pope Francis Appoints New Apostolic Nuncio to the Philippines)