Filipino Archbishop Bernardito Auza has formally assumed the Vatican’s top diplomatic post in Spain.
Archbishop Auza met with Filipe VI, King of Spain, to present his credentials at Royal Place in Madrid on Jan. 16.
Following the ceremony, the archbishop had a brief meeting with the Spanish monarch, who was dressed in royal military attire.
The ceremony dates back to the 18th century and maintains traditions that have remained the same to this day.
Credentials are documents that accredit a foreign ambassador as representative and maximum diplomatic authority of another country in Spain.
Born in Talibon, Bohol, Auza was ordained a priest for the Tagbilaran diocese in 1985. He was incardinated to the Diocese of Talibon in 1986.
In June 1990, he entered the diplomatic service of the Holy See and served in the apostolic nunciatures of Madagascar, Bulgaria, Albania.
He also served as a member of the Permanent Mission of the See to the United Nations before assuming his post as Apostolic Nuncio in Haiti in 2008.
In 2014, he was named permanent observer of the Holy See before the UN and before the Organization of American States (OAS).
Last Oct. 1, Pope Francis appointed Auza, who is fluent in Spanish language, as the Apostolic Nuncio to Spain and Andorra.
Auza assumed his new post around a year before the celebration of the 500th anniversary of the arrival of Christianity in the Philippines through the Spanish missionaries.