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HAU to mark Zaragoza birth centenary

Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Most Rev. Socrates B. Villegas, D.D. will celebrate the Mass marking the birth centenary of eminent Filipino architect Jose Maria V. Zaragoza on Thursday December 6 at Holy Angel University Angeles City.

Archbishop Villegas, who is also Vice President of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), will also join the family of the late Archt. Zaragoza in the short program-exhibit which the University’s Center for Kapampangan Studies organized for the Guagua-born architect, whose designs helped define the skyline of Metro-Manila.

The Mass will be held at the University’s Chapel of the Holy Guardian Angel at 3 P.M., to be followed by the unveiling of the 40-foot Lorenzo Ruiz beatification mural which Archt. Zaragoza designed and which the Zaragoza family has donated to Holy Angel University for repair and safekeeping.

The restored mural, which served as backdrop during the beatification rites for Lorenzo Ruiz in 1981 led by Pope John Paul II, was first presented to the HAU community last October on the 25th anniversary of the canonization of Lorenzo Ruiz.

Archt. Zaragoza, whose children include noted book author Archt. Ramon Zaragoza, TV host and rosary crusader Lourdes “Loudette” Z. Banson, and 1968 Binibing Pilipinas-Universe Rosario “Charina” Zaragoza, was born 100 years ago to a Kapampangan mother, Rosario Velez of Guagua and a Spanish mestizo father, Elias Zaragoza y Rojas, who descended from the same Cepeda clan of Spain to which St. Teresa of Avila belonged.

He designed such iconic landmarks as the Meralco Building, the Santo Domingo Church, San Miguel Corporation Building, Philippine Airlines Building, National Power Corporation Building, National Library, San Beda College, the first SM Department Store, and Villa San Miguel, the official residence of the Archbishop of Manila.

The deeply religious Zaragoza designed many churches and structures for the Catholic Church, including the renovated Quiapo Church, Benedictine Abbey, the renovated Metropolitan Cathedral of Cebu, Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal National Shrine, St. Joseph’s Church, Chapel of the Apostolic Nunciature and Pius XII Catholic Center.

He designed the Pontificio Colegio Filipino in Rome and helped the Vatican do appraisals on damaged and destroyed buildings after World War II. For this he was decorated by Pope Pius XII, Pope John XXIII, Pope Paul VI and Pope John Paul II.

Date Posted: 12-03-2012