Filipina Teenager Honored with Official Portrait Amid Sainthood Consideration

Filipina Teenager Honored with Official Portrait Amid Sainthood Consideration

The Diocese of Laoag has taken a significant step in the canonization process of the Servant of God Niña Ruíz-Abad, unveiling her official portrait during a ceremony held at St. William Cathedral. The young Filipina, who passed away in 1993 at the tender age of 13, is being considered for sainthood, a move that could make her one of the youngest saints in the Catholic Church's history.

The ceremony, which took place on April 7, marked the beginning of the diocesan phase for Ruíz-Abad's canonization cause. Bishop Renato Mayugba of Laoag led the Mass, which was streamed on Facebook, attracting attention from both local and international audiences. The event featured a procession by members of the Diocese, a reading of Ruíz-Abad’s inspiring biography, and the presentation and approval of documents critical to the cause.

Officials of the diocesan tribunal, appointed by the bishop, received the documents, including testimonies of alleged miracles attributed to Ruíz-Abad's intercession. Among the reported miracles is the story of a student from the Holy Spirit Academy in Laoag, who claimed to have been miraculously cured of a serious illness after praying to Ruíz-Abad.

In a poignant moment, the ceremony also unveiled Ruíz-Abad’s first relic, a reliquary containing a piece of her clothing, symbolizing her enduring presence and impact. Despite her young age and struggles with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, an incurable heart condition diagnosed when she was just 10, Ruíz-Abad's legacy of devotion and charity continues to inspire.

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) had approved the formal request to investigate Ruíz-Abad's life and virtues in July 2023, recognizing her potential as a powerful role model for youth everywhere. As the process for her canonization progresses, Ruíz-Abad's story is a testament to the profound influence one young girl's faith and kindness can have on the world.

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