Philippines Has New Ambassador to Holy See

Myla Grace Ragenia Macahilig

New Ambassador Holy See
Philippine Ambassador to the Holy See Myla Grace Ragenia Macahilig speaks during the Commission on Appointments (CA) hearing at the Senate on June 2, 2021. SCREENSHOT/SENATE

The bicameral Commission on Appointments confirmed on Wednesday the nomination of the new Philippine Ambassador to the Holy See Myla Grace Ragenia Macahilig.

Macahilig replaces Ambassador Grace Relucio-Princesa, who served the post from September 2018 until her retirement in January 2021.

The diplomat has been with the Department of Foreign Affairs for 23 years. She is currently the assistant secretary of the agency’s financial management services.

Under her leadership, the office earned the Global Implementer Award for executing and utilizing an electronic budgeting system to its foreign service posts, the first for the DFA.

While she previously served in the Philippine embassies in New Zealand from 2002 to 2008 and in the United Kingdom from 2012 to 2018, this will be her first posting as ambassador.

She is also the second career diplomat to hold the position after Relucio-Princesa.

As envoy to the Holy See, Macahilig will also have concurrent jurisdiction over the Sovereign Order of Malta.

During the hearing, she assured to further strengthen the country’s bilateral relations with the Holy See.

According to her, one of the things that the country shares with the Holy See is the “appreciation, value and advocacy on interfaith dialogue and migration”.

She added that the work of the embassy will continue in harnessing the wide diaspora of Filipinos.

The Philippines and the Holy See on Thursday, April 8, 2021,  marked the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two states, reported CBCP News.

Due to the prevailing pandemic, the celebration was held virtually with some top diplomats and church officials in attendance.

Pope Francis in April issued a video message to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the first Mass in the Philippines.

“Keep moving forward; the Pope is always at your side. May Jesus bless you and bless all the Filipino people,” the Holy Father said in his message. “May the Holy Virgin watch over you and the Santo Niño be always with you.”