Father Diego de Herrera O.S.A. was one of the first five Augustinians to work in the Philippines
He arrived there in 1564, and was killed there twelve years later by angry natives in 1576.
Diego de Herrera was the son of Miguel de Almeda Herrera and Juana Marinez, a noble family from the province of Toledo, Spain.
He entered the Order of Saint Augustine in Spain on 10th March 1545.
As a priest, he was dedicated to preaching, and to teaching in the Augustinian Monastery of Naro and Duenas.
Among his students there was Geronimo_Roman O.S.A., who became a famous historian.
Herrera then volunteered to join the mission of the Order of Saint Augustine in Mexico.
He learned the Mexican dialect very quickly. His work was so outstanding that in 1564 he was chosen to be one of five priests of the Order of Saint Augustine to accompany the expedition to the Philippines
for the king of Spain that was led by the conquistador
, Miguel Lopez de Legazpi.
The leader of the five was Andrés de Urdaneta, O.S.A., who already was famous as a navigator.
The other three Augustinians with them on the expedition were Martin de Rada,
Andrés Aguirre and Pedro Gamboa.
The expedition left Mexico in November 1564 and arrived at Cebu in the Philippines on 27th April 27 1565.
The church was first used by Urdaneta on 1st June 1565, when the image of the Santo Niño
was placed in it.
This was only six weeks after their arrival in the Philippines. A few days later, Andrés de Urdaneta began his historic voyage
back to Mexico.
When back in Mexico Andrés de Urdaneta
O.S.A. was convinced not to return to the Philippines because of his age (he was aged over seventy years), Diego de Herrera took over as the leader of the Order in the Philippines.
(Continued on the next page.)