MANILA, July 25, 2016 – Dipolog Bishop Severo C. Caermare received the needed nihil obstat from the Congregation of the Causes of Saints for the Cause of Beatification for Martyrdom in favor of Jesuit Francesco Palliola.
In a statement sent to CBCPNews, Fr. Patrick C. Dalangin, Bishop Caermare’s spokesman, said the nihil obstat which means there is no objection on the part of the Holy See to continue the beautification process of the martyred Jesuit.
Last January 6 this year, Bishop Caermare presided over the formal opening of the Canonical Investigation on the Life, Virtues and Martyrdom of Fr. Francesco Palliola.
The Jesuit missionary was killed in the seaside village of Ponot on January 29,1648. The Italian Jesuit was born on May 10, 1612 and entered the Society in 1637. He arrived in Manila on July 1643 and was assigned to Dapitan in 1644.
He mastered Visayan and preached using the widely-spoken dialect. He saw the Lumad community of the Subanen could hardly understand Visayan, he studied and learned Subanen dialect.
Fr. Palliola is credited as being the first European and Jesuit to learn the dialects.
While in Dapitan, Fr. Dalangin said the Jesuit missionary established settlements in Dipolog, Dicayo and another town.
It was learned when Josef Zanzini who was also known as Jose Sanchez was assigned as Fr. Palliola’s assistant, the would-be martyr left him in-charge of the Visayan communities while he devoted himself to the Liumads.
He also established visitas or chapels as far south as the boundaries of Zamboanga del Norte and Zamboanga del Sur.
“While visiting Ponot to reconcile a Subanon named Tampilo, who earlier turned away from the Christian faith, he was killed by Tampilo and his companions during the early morning of January 29,” Fr. Dalangin said in his statement.
Accounts revealed that while the missionary was dying, he forgave his enemies, commended himself to Jesus and Mary and died clutching the rosary and the crucifix he brought from Europe.
While he died some 368 years ago, he is still remembered in Zamboanga del Norte and a street in Manukan town has been named in his honor. The Subanens, in their oral stories, remembered the missionary as a loving and protective father and the site of his martyrdom has been declared a pilgrimage site for years.
Dipolog Bishop Caermare called on the Catholic faithful to pray for the Beatification and Declaration of Martyrdom of Fr. Francesco Palliola, SJ. (Melo M. Acuna/CBCPNews)