H.E. Mercedes Arrastia-Tuason Philippine Ambassador to the Holy See
Philippine Embassy, Vatican City
(since 2009, the second longest since the start of Philippine Vatican diplomatic relations in 1951)
30 November 2015

Ambassador Mercedes A. Tuason is particularly known for her role in many civic and charitable organizations namely, Center for Peace Asia, Apostolate for Family Consecration, Bigay Puso Foundation, the Family Rosary Crusade, Mission Angels, Our Lady of Mercy Halfway House, Red Cross, Hero Foundation, Evelio Javier Foundation among others. She is a member of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, having been given the title of Dame of Magistral Grace since 2003.

Amb. Tuason was awarded and given recognition for her work and services by the following:

– St. Scholastica”s College the PAX AWARD of 2009, the highest award given to an alumnae for excellence in her field
– Pope Benedict XVI in 2012 the GRAND CROSS of MERIT of the ORDER OF PIUS IX for her “significant contributions in the advancement of bilateral relations between the Holy See and the Philippines”
– His Most Eminent Highness Fra Mathew Festing, Prince & Grandmaster, the GRAND CROSS PRO MELITENSE “for services in advancing diplomatic relations between the Sovereign Military Order of St. John of Jerusalem, of Rhodes and of Malta and the Philippines.”
She is responsible for the participation of the Philippines in the installation of the Vatican Precepe (Belen) at St. Peter’s Square in 2010, the first for a country to participate in a major way since the Vatican Precepe’s inception by St. John Paul II in 1968; the installation of the monument of Dr. Jose Rizal at Piazzale Manila in 2011 to celebrate the 150 years of birth of the hero; obtained the ecclesiastical license from the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints in 2013 for the pilgrimage of the relic of St. Claire of Assisi to the Philippines, (it was the first time the relic was allowed to travel out of Italy in 800 years); the installation of the mosaic image of San Pedro Calungsod in 2013 at the crypt of the Basilica of St. Peter at the Vatican; the installation of the mosaic image of Our Lady of Penafrancia at the Vatican Gardens 2015, (the Philippines is only one of the ten countries whose patroness is enshrined at the garden.)

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