MANILA, Jan. 14, 2013— A 62-year old businesswoman from the Diocese of Balanga in Bataan has been awarded the Holy Cross Pro-Ecclesia et Pontifice medal by Pope Benedict XVI.
Milagros Faith Aquende Banzon received the gold medal from Bishop Ruperto Santos during a Mass on Saturday, January 12, at the St. Joseph Cathedral in Balanga City.
Instituted by Pope Leo XIII in 1888, the medal is bestowed to lay people and clergy who have given zealous and outstanding service to the Church through the recommendation of the local bishop.
“This is the highest award given by the Pope to a member of the laity for their contribution to the Catholic Church,” Santos said.
Mrs. Banzon has been active in various activities organized by the Diocese of Balanga.
“All the achievements of our family came through God’s blessings,” the awardee said as she asked her children to follow what they are doing for the Church.
Mrs. Banzon became the first papal awardee in the diocese in 15 years after her husband, Oscar Banzon, received the same honor in 1997.
The couple owns different businesses like hotel, restaurants, resorts and subdivisions in the province. (CBCPNews)