A FILIPINO archbishop was appointed by Pope Francis to carry out an important mission in the Holy Land, the birthplace of Christianity.
The Vatican announced that the new apostolic nuncio to Israel and Cyprus is Archbishop Adolfo Tito Yllana.
At the same time, the pope named the 73-year-old as apostolic delegate to Jerusalem and Palestine.
Prior to his appointment, Yllana has been serving as apostolic nuncio to Australia since 2015.
He succeeds Archbishop Leopoldo Girelli, who was appointed Apostolic Nuncio to India in March.
The prelate has represented the Holy See on four continents: Africa, Asia, Europe and Oceania.
Born in Naga City on Feb. 6, 1948, Yllana was ordained priest for the Archdiocese of Caceres on March 19, 1972.
He later earned a doctorate in civil and canon law, and entered the Ecclesiastical Academy, the Holy See’s school of diplomacy.
After his studies, Yllana entered the diplomatic service of the Holy See, serving successively at Pontifical Representations in Ghana, Sri Lanka, Turkey, Lebanon, Hungary and Taiwan.
In Dec. 2001, St. John Paul II appointed him as apostolic nuncio to Papua New Guinea and consecrated him bishop on January 6, 2002 in St. Peter’s Basilica.
Subsequently, the then Pope entrusted him with the leadership of the nunciature in the Solomon Islands.
In 2006, Pope Benedict XVI appointed the Filipino prelate as apostolic nuncio to Pakistan and apostolic nuncio to the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2010. In Feb. 2015, Pope Francis appointed him as apostolic nuncio to Australia.
Yllana is one of the three Filipino apostolic nuncios who are active in the service. The others are Archbishop Bernardito Auza, the nuncio to Spain, and Archbishop Francisco Padilla, the nuncio to Guatemala.