Last September 10, 2019 the late Madame Laureana San Pedro Rosales, ICC and LIF matriarch and founder received a posthumous Ozanam Award from the Ateneo de Manila University, held at the Hyundai Hall of Aretē, in Ateneo’s Loyola Heights campus in Quezon City.
The Ozanam Award, which was named after Blessed Frederick Ozanam, the great French Catholic leader who founded the St. Vincent de Paul Society for the relief of the poor is given annually to lay Filipino Christians “who have given their distinctive and continued services to their fellowmen in accordance with the principles of Justice and Charity”.
A total of 58 awardees received the Ozanam Award since 1937, including the late Francisco “Soc” Rodrigo (in 1984) a Filipino playwright, lawyer, broadcaster and a former Senator of the Republic of the Philippines and who was also a blood kin of two great heroes of his native province, (Marcelo del Pilar and Gregorio del Pilar) and the controversial Randolf S. David (in 2011), another Filipino journalist, sociologist, and public intellectual and who is a professor emeritus of sociology at the University of the Philippines, in Diliman.
For her part, Madame Rosales was posthumously honored for her “invaluable gift of education” having built seven schools (one in Luzon and six in Mindanao) including the famous Capitol University and its base hospital, the Capitol University Medical Center in Cagayan de Oro City which later came to be a Tertiary hospital that caters to all major operations. She was also noted for the scholarships she granted to poor but deserving students, her “unstinting generosity for men and women of faith (regardless of religion) and of a life which exemplified the best virtues of a deep, spiritual Catholic foundation”.
On the other hand, Madame Rosales was also known for her support to the church and the clergy which she considered “as special people who would be with us in times of joy, sorrow and trials”. In 2003, she was again recognized as one of the biggest contributors who helped in the establishment of the Divine Mercy in El Salvador.
But, in spite of all her accolades, Madam Rosales led her life as an educator that worked on three philosophies: Generosity, Compassion and Charity. Being generous, for instance, is not about giving away anything you don’t need anymore. It involves more than just an outward behavior. In other words, when we act “generously, we give something of value to us, something that we care about, even if only to a small degree”. The same holds for the two other virtues, Compassion and Charity.
But, why is it important for us to understand Madame Rosales’ Ozama Award? First and foremost, the award speaks of the kind of legacy that she left for us to emulate and by doing so, they define who we are. Second, her philosophies in life (which are Generosity, Compassion and Charity) play an important role in molding our behavior. Whatever we believe about ourselves is usually made manifest into our virtual world.
Most of all, the Ozama Award has once more relived the memory of the works and achievements of Madame Rosales who, years after her death, could have been forgotten or less understood by students of both Iligan Capitol College and Lyceum of Iligan Foundation.
Long live, Madame Laureana San Pedro-Rosales!