Socrates Villegas

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The Most Reverend
Socrates B. Villegas
Archbishop of Lingayen-Dagupan
Province Lingayen-Dagupan
See Lingayen-Dagupan
Installed November 4, 2009
Predecessor Oscar V. Cruz
Successor Incumbent
Other posts

Bishop of Balanga
President of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines

Auxiliary Bishop of Manila
Ordination October 5, 1985
Consecration August 31, 2001
Personal details
Birth name Socrates Villegas
Born (1960-09-28) September 28, 1960 (age 54)
Manila, Philippines
Nationality Filipino
Motto "PAX(Peace)"
Coat of arms {{{coat_of_arms_alt}}}

Socrates Buenaventura Villegas, D.D. (born September 28, 1960),[1] is a bishop of the Roman Catholic Church in the Philippines. He is the current Archbishop of Lingayen-Dagupan in Pangasinan, and from 2013, President of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines


Socrates B. Villegas is the youngest of the three children of Norma Jacinta Buenaventura and the late Emiliano Villegas. He attended primary education in Pateros, Metro Manila, his hometown, and finished secondary education at the Colegio de San Juan de Letran in Manila. He studied for the priesthood and received his degree of Master of Arts in Theological Studies at San Carlos Seminary in Guadalupe, Makati City. Ordained to the priesthood by Cardinal Jaime Sin on October 5, 1985 at the Immaculate Conception Cathedral in Manila, he served as personal secretary of the Archbishop from his ordination until 2004. While keeping this post, he also served as rector of the EDSA Shrine and Vicar general of the archdiocese.

Pope John Paul II appointed him auxiliary bishop of Manila on July 25, 2001. He was consecrated by Jaime Cardinal Sin on August 31, 2001.

He was installed as the third Bishop of Balanga[1] on July 3, 2004 and convoked the First Diocesan Synod in 2006. He also founded the St. Joseph's College of Balanga.

On September 8, 2009, Pope Benedict XVI appointed him Archbishop of Lingayen-Dagupan.[2]


Archbishop Villegas is currently the Chairman of the Episcopal Commission on Catechesis and Catholic Education of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines and President of the Asia-Oceania Mariological Society.

Pope Benedict XVI appointed him member of the Presidential Committee of the Pontifical Council for the Family on September 30, 2009.

He has written and published six books of homilies and spiritual reflections. He was awarded the 1994 Catholic Authors’ Award and the Ten Outstanding Young Men (TOYM) of the Philippines in the year 2000. The Bataan Peninsula State University bestowed on him the Degree of Doctor of Humanities honoris causa in recognition and appreciation of his work for the province of Bataan.

He is a member of the Secular Franciscan Order (OFS), the Sovereign Military Order of Malta and the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem. He was the Chief Executive Officer of the Tenth World Youth Day held in Manila in 1995 and the Fourth World Meeting of Families in 2002.

Coat of arms[edit]

Styles of
Socrates Villegas
Coat of Arms Archbishop Socrates Villlegas.svg
Reference style The Most Reverend
Spoken style Your Excellency
Religious style Archbishop
Posthumous style not applicable

The two sides of the coat of arms are divided by a TAU cross in the middle. The right side is the personal seal of the Archbishop. The left side is the seal of the Archdiocese of Lingayen-Dagupan.

The TAU cross is traditionally associated with Saint Francis of Assisi to whom Archbishop Soc is especially devoted. The TAU cross gained prominence as a symbol of renewal through Pope Innocent III at the opening of the Fourth Lateran Council using the words of Ezekiel 9:4, “ We are called to reform our lives; to stand in the presence of God as a holy people. God will know us by the sign of the TAU marked on our foreheads”. The TAU cross is a symbol of the lifelong fidelity of the archbishop to the passion of Christ.

On the upper right (blue) side is the letter M referring to the Blessed Virgin Mary. Mary at the foot of the Cross is a poignant picture of a mother’s love for her Son. The blue background refers to the abiding presence of Mary in his life. The diagonal line with barbed wire refers to the EDSA revolution of 1986 and 2001, historical events that have shaped the pastoral ministry of the Archbishop. It also refers to the heroic struggle of the Filipinos in Bataan during the Second World War. The white background represents his active involvement for the cause of peace.

On the lower right (red) stands the silhouette of San Carlos Borromeo, the patron of the Archdiocesan Seminary where he studied. Red is the Cardinal’s color referring to his love and esteem for the late Archbishop of Manila, His Eminence Jaime L. Cardinal Sin.

On the left side of the shield, the red wavy pile or the upper triangular position signifies the bloody Gulf of Lingayen. (The wavy lines in heraldry signify water). The gulf is bloody – Limahong and other pirates entered through it. Moro pirates made depredations in its coastal towns. The Japanese and the Americans during the Filipino- American war also entered through it.

This red portion of the shield has a star referring to the sign seen by the wise men who came to adore the Lord. (Mt. 2:2) The Church of Lingayen is dedicated to the Epiphany of the Lord.

Still on the red portion at the center is a white eagle with a halo which stands for St. John the Apostle and Evangelist. St. John is represented by an eagle because he is called the Eagle of the Patmos. In his book called Apocalypse or Revelation (written in Patmos), he soared up to the throne of God and wrote down what he saw there – who and what was around it. St. John is the patron of Dagupan.

The lower portion of the shield is a green field representing the fertile plain of Pangasinan. It is also decked with a gold rose on each corner. Rose is the symbol of Our Lady, the Mystical Rose. She is venerated in the archdiocese under three titles:

1. Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary; 2. Our Lady of Purification; and 3. Mary Help of Christians

A pallium, which is a piece of woolen cloth with crosses given by the Supreme Pontiff to Metropolitan Archbishops, wraps the shield on top and below to signify that Lingayen-Dagupan is a Metropolitan See.

The Archbishop’s motto is “PAX”, Latin for peace.

Peace is the fruit of the passion, death and resurrection of Christ (cf.John 20:19). Peace is also the gift that every disciple must offer to the world (cf. Luke 1.0:5). Those who make peace are assured of the heavenly inheritance for the children of God. (cf. Matthew 5:9)

Formed under a great man of peace, Cardinal Jaime Sin, and having worked at the EDSA Shrine dedicated to peace, and Bataan, the land of valor, the archbishop sets his energy, his life and his mission for the task of making peace. Christ is our peace (cf. Ephesians 2:14). To make peace is to proclaim Christ. Christ is peace.


  1. ^ a b "MOST REV. SOCRATES B. VILLEGAS, D.D.". CBCP Online. Retrieved 16 June 2010. 
  2. ^ "Archbishop Socrates B. Villegas installed as Archbishop of Lingayen-Dagupan". Archdiocese of Lingayen-Dagupan. 4 November 2009. Retrieved 16 June 2010. 

External links[edit]

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Honesto F. Ongtioco
Bishop of Balanga
Succeeded by
Ruperto Cruz Santos
Preceded by
Oscar V. Cruz
Archbishop of Lingayen-Dagupan
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Jose S. Palma
CBCP President
Succeeded by