Philanthropist and businesswoman Grace Mercado-Ouano has been awarded the Order of St. Gregory the Great – the first Filipino-American to receive the pontifical order of knighthood in the Catholic Church.
Ouano was honored for her personal service to the Holy See and the Roman Catholic Church, as well as for setting a good example for others in her community and country.
Originally from the Philippines, Ouano has built an impressive record of business achievements, community building, philanthropy, and community service in California.
Currently, Ouano and her husband are the proprietors of four skilled nursing facilities in northern and southern California. She also established her own culinary brand, FoodTrients, a website and resource dedicated to the nutrients in foods that help prevent the diseases of aging.
Ouano has been given much recognition for her philanthropy and business achievements and has received awards from the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, the Vice President of the Philippines, the California State Senate, and the United States Congress.
The Filipino-American business leader was bestowed the knighthood by Monsignor Laurence J. Spiteri on behalf of Pope Francis at the Therese Roman Catholic Church in Alhambra, California, U.S.A.
The Facebook page of the Philippine Consulate General in Los Angeles shared photos of the investiture ceremony attended by Consul General Edgar Badajos and other special guests.
“The Philippine Consulate General in Los Angeles congratulates Ms. Grace Mercado-Ouano for being the first Filipino-American to receive the Order of St. Gregory the Great, which is one of the five orders of knighthood of the Holy See,” the Philippine Consulate General in Los Angeles wrote in a Facebook post on August 5, 2022.
The Order of St. Gregory the Great is bestowed upon Roman Catholic men and women in recognition of their personal service to the Holy See and to the Roman Catholic Church, through their unusual labors, and their excellent examples set forth in their communities and their countries.
Ouano shares the honor with great luminaries such as G.K. Chesterton, Bob and Dolores Hope, and Eunice Kennedy Shriver, among others.
Filipina scientist Dr. Mary Ann Sayoc was earlier awarded Knighthood in the Order of Orange-Nassau by the Netherlands while Filipina nurse Charito Romano received the British Empire Medal for pandemic work.
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