Commemmorative Mass, Wreath-Laying Ceremony and Inauguration of the Miguel de Benavidez Library in Carrion de los Condes
27 February 2012 – The Philippine Embassy in Madrid reported that Ambassador Carlos C. Salinas, together with Mayor Francisco Javier Villafruela Fierro of Carrion de los Condes, inaugurated the newly-refurbished and renamed Fray Miguel de Benavidez Library in Carrion de los Condes, Palencia as part of the commemoration activities for the 400th anniversary of the founding of the University of Sto. Tomas (UST) yesterday.
During the short ceremony, Ambassador Salinas read a heartfelt letter of congratulations addressed to Mayor Villafruela from the Rector of the UST, Fr. Rolando V. Dela Rosa, O.P., and donated books on the UST and the Philippines on behalf of Fr. Dela Rosa and the Philippine Embassy.
A commemorative mass at the Iglesia de San Andres and a wreath laying ceremony at the statue of Miguel de Benavidez in the town were also held prior to the inauguration ceremonies.
Fray Miguel de Benavidez, who is a well-known son of Carrion de los Condes, was a former Archbishop of Manila and recognized as the founder of the UST which is considered as the oldest university in Asia. Two days before he died in 24 July 1605, he bequeathed all his books and his money amounting to 1,500 pesos to the establishment of a college-seminary which eventually became the UST six years after his death through the efforts of the Dominican order in the Philippines.
Carrion de los Condes, with a population of approximately 2,400, is located in the province of Palencia in the autonomous community of Castile and Leon. The town is known for its Romanesque and Gothic monuments and is part of the famous pilgrimage route, el Camino de Santiago or they Way of Saint James.