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Apostolic Vicariate of Puerto Princesa

Apostolicus Vicariatus Portus Principis in Philippins

Bikaryato Apostoliko ng Puerto Princesa
Vicariato Apostólico de Puerto Princesa
Coat of arms
TerritoryCity of Puerto Princesa, Municipality of Cagayancillo and the Southern Palawan's Municipalities, namely: Aborlan, Narra, Palawan, Quezon, Palawan, Rizal, Palawan, Sofronio Española, Brooke's Point, Bataraza, Balabac and Kalayaan, Palawan.
Ecclesiastical provinceImmediately subject to the Holy See
HeadquartersPuerto Princesa
Coordinates9°44′24″N 118°43′50″E / 9.73993750°N 118.73062770°E / 9.73993750; 118.73062770
Area8,552 km2 (3,302 sq mi)
- Total
- Catholics
(as of 2021)
536,225[1] (64.1%)
DenominationRoman Catholic
Sui iuris churchLatin Church
RiteRoman Rite
EstablishedJuly 3, 1955 (1955-07-03)
CathedralImmaculate Conception Cathedral
Patron saintSaint Joseph
Secular priests60
Current leadership
Vicar ApostolicSocrates Calamba Mesiona
Vicar GeneralJesusinio Panganiban, Jr.
Bishops emeritusPedro D. Arigo
Jurisdiction of the Apostolic Vicariate of Puerto Princesa.
Jurisdiction of the Apostolic Vicariate of Puerto Princesa.
Source of statistics: Apostolic Vicariate of Puerto Princesa[2]

The Apostolic Vicariate of Puerto Princesa is a Latin Church missionary jurisdiction or apostolic vicariate of the Catholic Church located in the Province of Palawan, Philippines. Its cathedra is within Immaculate Conception Cathedral in the episcopal see of Puerto Princesa City, Palawan, Philippines. It is not a part of an ecclesiastical province as it is directly exempt to the Holy See, specifically the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, yet for the purpose of apostolic cooperation usually grouped with the Archdiocese of Manila, along with the Roman Catholic Apostolic Vicariate of Taytay. The current Vicar Apostolic is Bishop Socrates Calamba Mesiona.


The establishment as prefectura apostolica was announced and celebrated on April 10, 1910, a great day among the Recollect priests. In the bull of the founding of Pope Pius X entitled "Novas Erigere Diocese" (Newly established Dioceses) the Prefectura Apostolica de Palawan was mentioned along with the elevated levels of the Dioceses of Lipa, Tuguegarao, Zamboanga and Calbayog. The prefectura apostolica is administered by the Sacred Congregation of the Propagation of Faith to the Recollect priests as stated in Protocol No. 837/910 on May 13, 1910, sent by Girolamo Maria Cotti, the prefect, and Luigi Veccia, the secretary.

On July 3, 1955, Rome declared the elevation of the prefectura apostolica to the Apostolic Vicariate of Palawan (AVP) by a bull entitled "Ad Christi Regnum" (The Reign of Christ) signed by Pope Pius XII. Bishop Gregorio Espiga and Infante was the first Apostolic Vicar of Palawan. He became bishop on September 10, 1955, in the church of San Sebastian, Manila, as Titular Bishop of Afneo. He formally took office on September 18, 1955.

On March 27, 2002, it was renamed as the Roman Catholic Apostolic Vicariate of Puerto Princesa and lost part of its territory when the Roman Catholic Apostolic Vicariate of Taytay was established.

Coat of arms

The two lilies represent Saint Joseph, the patron saint whom the founding Augustinian Recollect fathers dedicated the local church of Palawan. The crescent represents the Immaculate Conception, the patroness of the cathedral. The fort actually represents the fort of Cuyo, where the first missionary arrived on August 1622, as well as the other ports in the province of Palawan built by the Augustinian Recollect fathers to protect their mission and their faithful from depredations of the Moros from the south.

List of ordinaries

The early ordinaries were missionary members of the Order of Augustinian Recollects (O.A.R.)

Apostolic prefects of Palawan (1911–1955)
Bishop Period in office Status
1. Fr. Vittoriano Romàn Zárate di S. Giuseppe, O.A.R. April 21, 1911 – 1938 Died in office
2. Fr. Leandro Nieto y Bolandier, O.A.R. November 25, 1938 – 1953 Died in office
3. Fr. Gregorio Espiga e Infante, O.A.R. 1953 – July 03, 1955 Appointed as the first apostolic vicar of Palawan
Apostolic vicars of Palawan (1955-2002)
Bishop Period in office Status
1. Bishop Gregorio Espiga e Infante, O.A.R. July 03, 1955 – December 18, 1987 Resigned
2. Bishop Francisco Capiral San Diego December 18, 1987 – July 12, 1995 Transferred to San Pablo
3. Bishop Pedro Arigo February 23, 1996 – March 27, 2002 Remained as Apostolic vicar
Apostolic vicars of Puerto Princesa
Bishop Period in office Coat of arms
1. Bishop Pedro Arigo March 27, 2002 – October 28, 2016
2. Bishop Socrates Mesiona October 28, 2016 – present

See also


  1. ^ "Apostolic Vicariate of Puerto Princesa Statistics".
  2. ^ "Apostolic Vicariate of Puerto Princesa". Diocesan Directory. UCANews. Retrieved November 28, 2011.