ASIA/PHILIPPINES - "Nihil obstat" into the sainthood cause of Filipino teenager Nina Ruiz-Abad

Saturday, 16 March 2024 holiness   children  

Laoag (Agenzia Fides) - The Holy See has granted the "nihil obstat" ("nothing stands in the way") to begin the process of beatification of a Filipino teenager, Niña Ruiz-Abad (1979-1993), who from now on will be called "Servant of God". The news was spread in a circular that was read in all churches in the Ilocos Norte region, generating great joy among the faithful. "Rejoice!", wrote the Bishop of Laoag, Renato Mayugba, who had already received the full support of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines during its July 2023 assembly. The diocese of Laoag, where the girl came from, will commence a local inquiry into the reputation and sanctity of Abad, reported the Bishop of Laoag, the competent authority in charge of launching the diocesan phase of the beatification cause. This process will officially open on April 7, Divine Mercy Sunday, in the Cathedral of Saint William of Laoag, with the first session of the specially convened diocesan tribunal.
Niña Ruiz-Abad was born on October 31, 1979 at Capitol Medical Center in Quezon City, the daughter of a couple of lawyers, but her father died when she was only three years old. She grew up in Quezon City, along with her sister Mary Anne. She studied at the Child Study Center of the University of the Philippines in Quezon City and later at the Holy Angels Montessori School in the same city. Her mother, a devotee of Divine Mercy, moved with her daughters to Sarrat in April 1988 due to her work at the Department of Justice.
Niña attends Mariano Marcos State University High School in Laoag. She was described as having a strong devotion to the Eucharist and devoted her life to distributing rosaries, bibles, prayer books, holy images and other religious items.
An unwavering faith encouraged her, even though she was beginning to feel the effects of heart disease. When Father Danny Pajarillaga, a Catholic priest, met Niña for the first time in 1993, he immediately realized that she was a unique, spiritually "special" girl. She stood out among her classmates for her fervent faith in the Eucharist and for the time she dedicated to praying. As a true missionary disciple, she "was a walking testimony of piety and religion, she was always dressed in white and with a rosary around her neck," remember those who knew her.
The little girl was diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy at the age of 10 and she lived three years of illness always with joy and deep faith. "Niña's life was a life of prayer, adoration and an intimate relationship with God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit and the Blessed Virgin Mary", said Bishop Mayugba.
She is buried in a public cemetery in Sarrat and her grave is a place of pilgrimage. "Today, children and young people are inspired by the life of Niña Ruiz-Abad to live a life rooted in prayer. Her story continues to reach the hearts of many people because it is an example of how with God obstacles can be overcome," wrote the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines. (PA) (Agenzia Fides, 16/3/2024)