Latest Stories

There’s something special about Cardinal Tagle


WHAT IF Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle, a “papabile,” is pictured in what could have been the Inquirer’s front page in its March 14 issue, way before white smoke rose from the Sistine Chapel, electing a new Pope. The paper’s third edition was put to bed at around 3 a.m.

He may not have been elected Pope, but the people close to Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle have always felt he was destined for a greater mission.

Theologian Fr. Catalino Arevalo SJ, the cardinal’s friend, said his parents Milagros and Manuel Tagle kept his school papers and medals because they felt early on there “was something special” about their son, popularly known as “Chito.”

“Mrs. Tagle once said, ‘Looking back, we feel that God was acting in his life as if preparing him for whatever work God wanted him to do,” Arevalo said.

“He is not super special but there is a side of him, a certain goodness that is extraordinary and ordinary people see that in him,” he added.

Arevalo pointed out that Tagle could already pray the rosary when he was only 3 years old. Over the years, he always noted that the significant events in his ministry happened during the month of October, which Catholics believe to be the month of the Virgin Mary.

“Cardinal Chito has a very deep devotion to the Virgin Mary … which is very Filipino and our Lady of the Pillar (the patroness of the Diocese of Imus) has played a real part in his life,” Arevalo said.

During the canonical coronation of the image of the Our Lady of the Pillar in Imus last December, Tagle recalled that he was informed of his appointment as bishop of Imus, Cavite, on Oct. 17, 2001.

Ten years later, on Oct. 7, 2011, he learned that he was going to be the next Archbishop of Manila. And then on Oct. 23, 2012, while he was in Rome, he was informed that he was going to be made a cardinal.

‘Floral aroma’

“As I call it, the Octobers of my life,” Tagle tearfully recalled in his homily.

Tagle also recalled that, on the night before the feast of Our Lady of the Pillar on Oct. 12, 2001, he noticed a “floral aroma” filling the entire cathedral.

“I had gone down here to check if the church was ready for the Mass the following day. Oct. 11, 2001 … the whole church was filled with an aroma,” Tagle said.

“I looked around to search for flowers. It was impossible that it was caused by perfume because, in every nook and cranny, the scent was there,” he said.

Tagle said he came across some church workers and asked them about it but they replied: “Father, you also smell it? It’s scary. It has been going on for some time now.”

“I told them not to be scared … because God … and His Mother are with us,” Tagle said. “I never thought that it will be the beginning of the many Octobers in one’s life.”

Arevalo also remembered that after Tagle was ordained priest in 1982, he celebrated a Mass for seminarians.

“I remember this very clearly. One of the seminarians knelt in front of Fr. Chito and said, ‘Fr. Chito, next time I will kneel before you, you will be the Cardinal Archbishop of Manila,’” Arevalo said.


Holiness, humility

“That guy is not a priest and is now married in the US. I remember that very clearly. So even then, his classmates noted that he did not only have the brains, he also had a certain humility, a certain goodness. It was like God was guiding his life,” Arevalo added.

Tagle’s holiness and humility has attracted the faithful, with the number of “likes” in his official Facebook page growing from 118,000 three weeks ago to 136,057 as of yesterday afternoon.

“The sudden increase started when he left for Rome (for the conclave). We also noticed that the reviews of his fan page among bloggers around the world also increased because of his being papabile,” said Raymon Ritumban, production coordinator at Jesuit Communications (Jescom), which manages Tagle’s official Facebook page.

‘Likes’ from all over

Those who “like” his page come from various countries like Poland, Australia, Italy, Spain, the United States, Puerto Rico and other nations in Latin American, Africa and Asia.

“They have languages that we don’t understand anymore,” Ritumban said.

He said the number of visitors to the Jescom website, which hosts YouTube videos of Tagle’s TV show, also increased.

“Actually, we are doing troubleshooting because it seems access to the website has slowed down due to the traffic (hits) it is getting,” Ritumban said.

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Archbishop of Manila , Cardinal Tagle , Catholic Church , Fr. Catalino Arevalo , Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle , pope , Pope Francis , Roman Catholic

  • homer

    utang na loob. tantanan na ang issue na to. move on.

  • James McTangay

    this is blasphemy!

  • Drillon Recto

    Right Inquirer. You were preparing for the 1st and could only be pinoy pope and your headline starts with a very “holy” OMG? Tabloid stuff. What can one expect?

  • Eddie AAA Calderon

    The election of the Pope is the topic of my April, 2013 article in Somos Primos magazine. I mentioned before the election of the Pontiff from Argentina to my three Latin American friends who were parishioners on the noon Sunday mass in St. Olav in Minneapolis, Mn about the possiblity of a Hispanic Pope. This topic will be discussed in my 4/13 article on somosprimoscom under the heading international.

  • http://twitter.com/gfarishta gibreel farishta

    so when a cardinal is contender for being a pope, he’d be ‘papable’.. like, like.. :)

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
  1. Filipinos second-shortest in Southeast Asia
  2. Afghan hospital guard kills 3 US doctors, including Fil-Am pediatrician
  3. HK victims to get P115M; traders raised money
  4. Career diplomat is new PH consul general in Los Angeles
  5. Senator hopes PH will also get same vow
  6. Filipina, 51, shot dead by 24-year-old American boyfriend
  7. US4GG: Aquino should ask Obama for TPS approval, drone technology
  8. Obama to visit Filipino soldiers in Fort Bonifacio
  9. Believe it or not: Filipinos love US more than Yanks
  10. Abandoned in Malta,15 PH seamen return
  1. Filipina, 51, shot dead by 24-year-old American boyfriend
  2. Japan presents $57-B ‘dream plan’ to solve Metro congestion
  3. Hong Kong accepts PH apology; sanctions also lifted
  4. Japan says visa-free entry still a plan
  5. 85% of Filipinos love US – survey
  6. 10 US presidents who visited the PH (and what they said)
  7. WHO warns vs spread of MERS-Cov, urges vigilance in taking precautions
  8. 19 Ukrainians, Russians, Filipinas rescued in bar raid
  9. 150 Filipino teachers in Maryland to lose jobs, visas
  10. Japan mulls no visa rule for Filipinos
  1. US to China: We will protect Philippines
  2. Japan mulls no visa rule for Filipinos
  3. DFA grants visa-free privilege to 7 countries
  4. China warned: Don’t try to tow away BRP Sierra Madre
  5. Back home in Manila, and feeling out of place
  6. Filipina, 51, shot dead by 24-year-old American boyfriend
  7. Japan presents $57-B ‘dream plan’ to solve Metro congestion
  8. China: PH tarnishing Beijing’s international image
  9. What’s inside BRP Sierra Madre?
  10. Hong Kong accepts PH apology; sanctions also lifted


  • Seabed search for missing Malaysian jet to widen
  • Lacson rejects calls to name ‘pork’ execs
  • Obama due in Seoul as North Korea nuclear test fears grow
  • Hold departure order out vs Corona, Singson
  • Malaysia to release MH370 report–PM
  • Sports

  • Michael Phelps loses to Lochte in comeback meet
  • Sharapova advances to Stuttgart quarterfinals
  • Galedo caps ride of redemption
  • Beermen, Express dispute second semis slot today
  • Lady Agilas upset Lady Bulldogs in four sets
  • Lifestyle

  • ‘Recovered’ Banksy works on display ahead of sale
  • Marinduque: Visiting the ‘palm of the ocean’
  • First at Vatican in 60 years
  • How Jing Monis Salon gave Krissy the pixie
  • Want to be a supermodel? Work on your inner beauty, says Joey Espino
  • Entertainment

  • Paul McCartney to play at Candlestick concert
  • Kristoffer Martin: from thug to gay teen
  • Has Ai Ai fallen deeply with ‘sireno?’
  • California court won’t review Jackson doctor case
  • Cris Villonco on play adapted from different medium
  • Business

  • PAL hailed for ban on shark fin cargo
  • BSP to change tint of P100 bill
  • Nielsen sees car buying boom in the Philippines
  • How author of best-seller exposed ‘one percent’ economic elite
  • Bangko Sentral readies new bank lending rules
  • Technology

  • Cloud strength helps Microsoft earnings top Street
  • Vatican announces hashtag for April 27 canonizations
  • Enrile in Masters of the Universe, Lord of the Rings?
  • Top Traits of Digital Marketers
  • No truth to viral no-visa ‘chronicles’
  • Opinion

  • Corruption not invincible after all
  • Editorial Cartoon, April 25, 2014
  • No deal, Janet
  • Like making Al Capone a witness vs his gang
  • MERS-CoV and mothers
  • Global Nation

  • Filipinos second-shortest in Southeast Asia
  • China welcomes PH apology
  • Only 4 Etihad passengers not accounted for
  • Abandoned in Malta,15 PH seamen return
  • Senator hopes PH will also get same vow
  • Marketplace