The Roman Catholic

DIOCESE OF SAN PABLO

Established: November 28, 1966 (Apostolic Constitution Ecclesiarum Per Ampla)

Titular Patron: St. Paul the First Hermit

Feast Day: January 15

Local Ordinary: Most. Rev. Buenaventura M. Famadico, D.D.

Cathedral: Cathedral Parish of St. Paul the First Hermit



OUR STORY


The Diocese of San Pablo is a Roman Catholic diocese and a suffragan of the Archdiocese of Manila. Its patron saint is Saint Paul the Hermit. It was established on November 28, 1966 and its first Bishop is Most. Rev. Pedro Bantigue.

The Diocese of San Pablo comprises the whole province of Laguna. the province of Laguna remained an integral part of the Diocese of Lipa until Nov. 28, 1966 when Pope Paul VI through the Apostolic Constitution Ecclesiarum per Ampla dismembered it from Lipa and made it a new diocese. Since April 18, 1967 (its canonical erection) up to the present, it has become a suffragan diocese of the Archdiocese of Manila.



OUR COAT OF ARMS


On the Superior [Upper] Section of the Shield is a Crown with a piece of Bread in its Beak. It symbolizes the providential feeding of St. Paul the First Hermit during his long sojourn in the desert. Each day, the Crown brought a half piece of bread for his physical sustenance. When St. Anthony the Abbot discovered his presence and stayed for a while.The Crown brought a whole loaf of bread to signify that God takes care of the needs of his two faithful servants.


On the Inferior Section of the Shield is the Nine Blue and White Circles and a Blue Lake. The Nine Blue and White Circles represent the nine lakes that are found in the Province of Laguna and the City of San Pablo. In San Pablo, the city of the Seven Lakes, we encounter the lakes of Sampaloc, Bunot, Palakpakin, Kalibato, Mohicap, Pandin and Yambo. The Eighth Circle represents the man-made Lake Caliraya and The Ninth Circle represents the great fresh water lake, La Laguna de Bae, that gave the province its name. The Blue Lake is the actual shape of the Laguna de Bae, the principal natural geographical formation that gave the province its name and forms the natural boundary between the Province and the Province of Rizal and Metro Manila.

The Diocese chose the words of Psalm 92:12: “Iustus ut Palma Florebit,” (and the just will flourish like the Palm tree) as its motto.



OUR PATRON SAINT


St. Paul the First Hermit was regarded as the first hermit of the Church. He was known to live in the desert of Egypt alone from the age of fifteen to one hundred and twelve years old. His life was known to all Christendom through the book written by St. Jerome entitled The Life of St. Paul the First Hermit.

St. Paul was born in Egypt and was orphaned at the age of fifteen years old. In the year 250 A.D., the persecution of Emperor Decius began, and this forced St. Paul to hide in the house of his friend and later fled in a cave in a desert. He planned to return to Egypt when the persecution was over but God has His own plan. For the next 90 years, he lived in the cave and was only nourished by the spring for a drink and a palm tree for clothing and nourishment. It was also said that a crow was bringing a piece of bread to him each day. St. Paul on the other hand continued to pray in solitude and practiced asceticism as part of his devotion.

Patron Saint

St. Anthony of Egypt met St. Paul in the desert of Egypt when the former thought that he was the first to set in solitude in the desert. The two became friends. The crow began to bring a whole loaf of bread instead of the usual half. St. Anthony predicted that he would be burying his friend. St. Paul died in c. 341 and was buried by St. Anthony himself, wrapping the First Hermit in a cloak given by St. Athanasius. It was believed that St. Anthony was assisted by two lions when he was burying St. Paul.

St. Paul the First Hermit’s feast day is January 15. The Diocese of San Pablo is the only Diocese in the world dedicated to St. Paul the First Hermit.