The tragic story of Mercy Arrastia Tuason, the most powerful aunt of Isabel Preysler and Tamara Falcó in the Philippines: ambassador, millionaire and close friend of Pope Francis

The
Marchioness of Griñon,
Tamara Falcohas given us via Instagram an Easter trip to her Filipino roots with her boyfriend
Inigo Onieva. The land where she gave birth to her mother, and where whole branches of her relatives still live.
Isabel Preyslerhas received her with open arms and although she has not mentioned which of all her relatives she has paid a visit to, we suspect that the first on the list was her great-aunt
Mercedes Arrastia Tuason.

The
Aunt Mercy (whose full name is
Maria Mercedes Reinares and Arrastia Tuason), is one of the great ladies of Philippine society and has been for a long time, in fact she is included in the list of most influential people in Asia according to the list made by the Asian version of Tatler magazine.

Thanks to his influence, for example,
Isabel Preysler and the Marquis of Griñón They were received after their wedding by Imelda Marcos at the Malacañang Palace in Manila. Sister of
Beatrice Arrastia (mother of Isabel Presyler), for a time in Spain Aunt Mercy was known as the «
Preysler of the Vatican» because she served as a diplomat for the Philippine government before the Holy See since 2009, a job that she inaugurated .

Born in Lubao in September 1930, Mercy’s life was turned upside down at the age of 39, when she was unexpectedly widowed and in charge of her seven children. Until then her life could have been portrayed as any other existence of a high society daughter married to a high society businessman. In her case, her husband was called
José Tuason, they nicknamed him “Boy” and owned a flourishing business empire. He died prematurely in a plane crash in 1969.

With a fortune supporting her existence and seven dependent children (Jay, Ramon, Iñaki, Jingy, Paolo, Rosanna and Karen) Mercy gave free rein to her charitable and religious work. “When my husband died, I found consolation in helping others and, in that process, I also found God,” she explained in an interview she gave to the newspaper La Razón.

In reality, Mercy’s devotion pointed ways long before the family tragedy that left her children orphaned. She herself recounted how she abandoned the contraceptive pill (despite her confessor warning her that it was not necessary) after the
Pope Juan Pablo II publish the encyclical “Humanae Vitae” in which any artificial birth control was declared illegal. A decision, by the way, of which she is especially proud. “My husband passed away when my little son, Paolo, was only 11 months old. Suffice it to say that if he had not been in the Church, he would not have had my little boy, who today has, in turn, five wonderful children».

Her faith and her work with Catholic charities and the Red Cross have helped Mercy get through the worst moments of her life, not only during mourning for her husband, but also after the untimely death of her son Iñaki and, step, they promoted her to the position of ambassador with an entourage in the Vatican that allowed her to “rebaptize” Pope Francis as
Lolo Kiko (“lolo” means grandfather in Filipino and “Kiko” for Francisco).

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Although Beatriz Arrastia, Isabel Presyler’s mother, was also a believer, her sister
Mercedes Arrastia She is known in her country precisely for her devotion to the Virgin, her attempts to get Filipinos to pray the rosary daily, and her pro-life speech, much to the liking of the Popes she has met during her years in the Vatican. A religious vocation that seems to be still present in some branches of the Presyler family and that in Spain has shown
Tamara Falco for years.

Mercy herself spoke with pride of the interest that Tamara Falcó showed in the religion of the daughter of
Isabel Preysler: «Tamara is very close to her grandmother, my sister Beatriz, who is a very devout and religious person. That must have left an impression on her. In addition, Isabel is a loving and caring daughter, also very close to her mother, and Tamara sees all this ».

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The tragic story of Mercy Arrastia Tuason, the most powerful aunt of Isabel Preysler and Tamara Falcó in the Philippines: ambassador, millionaire and close friend of Pope Francis