ASIA/PHILIPPINES - Beatification process for the Filipino girl Niña Ruiz Abad begins: "God first of all"

Friday, 26 April 2024 children   holiness   beatification    

Laoag Diocese

Laoag (Agenzia Fides) - This is a figure that the Philippine Church presents to the world and that will be particularly highlighted on the occasion of World Children's Day, proclaimed by the Pope for 25 and 26 May: the diocese of Laoag, in the province of Ilocos Norte , in the northern archipelago of the Philippines, has officially opened the diocesan phase of the canonical process of beatification of Niña Ruiz Abad, a 13-year-old girl who is believed to have spent her time in this world in the name of prayer, devotion, sanctity of life. In the solemn celebration held in the Cathedral of St. William in Laoag - the city where the girl is buried - Bishop Renato Mayugba announced to an enthusiastic crowd of faithful: "We are beginning our investigation into Niña's life to see if we can really say that God has deigned to bless her with sanctity." In this phase, with the creation of a specific diocesan tribunal, the writings and testimonies of the faithful who knew the "Servant of God" Niña will be collected. "We will do our part, but everything is in God's hands", stressed Marlo Peralta, Archbishop of Nueva Segovia, in his opening homily for the cause. "But - he said - one thing is certain: Niña now offers herself to us and to the faithful around the world, especially children and young people, as a model of Christian life. In her life she chose the path of holiness, she wanted to be close to the heart of God, she accepted and was faithful to the will of God in her journey", said Msgr. Peralta. "At this time we continue to ask for her intercession and we continue to work for the cause, praying and hoping that one day, God willing, she will be presented to us by Mother Church as Saint Niña Ruiz-Abad," he added.
Abad, who was born in Quezon City (MetroManila) on October 31, 1979, but lived in Sarrat, Ilocos Norte province, fell ill at the age of 10 with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, an incurable disease that restricts blood flow to the heart. She spent the years of her illness with inner peace and joy, in the constant company of Christ Jesus. She always wore the Rosary around her neck, she venerated the Holy Trinity and felt a deep love for the Eucharist, which she received every day. In addition, she visited the chapel of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, in Laoag, before and after going to school. The girl was also known for announcing to everyone her motto: "God First." With these words - her former classmates remember - she "infected" the entire class and it soon became a common motto. She was also considered a model of charity, as she loved to share what she had, she listened to everyone and showed concern for everyone. She died on August 16, 1993 after suffering a heart attack while at school, a place where she liked to be and where she could share the love of God with classmates and friends. (PA) (Agenzia Fides, 26/4/2024)