Filipino Catholic Church presents official portrait of 13-year-old girl considered for sainthood — By: Catholic News Agency

The official portrait of Servant of God Niña Ruíz-Abad was presented to the public during the opening session of the diocesan phase of her cause for beatification and canonization at the Cathedral Church of St. William the Hermit in Laoag City on Sunday, April 7, 2024. / Credit: Portrait of Catholic Saints, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

ACI Prensa Staff, Apr 9, 2024 / 16:30 pm (CNA).

The official portrait of Servant of God Niña Ruíz-Abad was presented April 7 during the opening of the diocesan phase of her cause for canonization at St. William Cathedral in the town of Laoag located in the Ilocos Norte region of the Philippines.

If canonized, the young Filipina, who died in 1993 at age 13, could become one of the youngest saints in history.

The proceedings, including the Mass celebrated by Renato Mayugba, the bishop of Laoag, were posted on Facebook. The ceremony began with a procession of members of the Diocese of Laoag followed by the reading of Ruíz-Abad’s biography and the presentation of documents to the bishop, who approved them as legitimate.

Next, the documents were handed over to the officials of the diocesan tribunal, appointed by the local bishop, who will receive the testimonies of the people who knew the servant of God. This tribunal does not issue any ruling because it is reserved to the Vatican Dicastery for the Causes of Saints.

The documents also included testimonies of alleged miracles that may have occurred through the intercession of Ruíz-Abad before the opening of the canonization process. In one case, a student at Holy Spirit Academy in the city of Laoag had been seriously sick and said she was miraculously cured after praying to the Filipina teenager.

During the ceremony, Ruíz-Abad’s first relic was also unveiled, which consisted of a reliquary with a small piece of cloth that came from her clothing.

Ruíz-Abad, who died in August 1993, had a great impact through her devotion to God and her acts of charity despite suffering from hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, an incurable heart disease that was diagnosed with when she was 10 years old.

Thirty years after her death, in July 2023, the formal request to open an investigation into the life of the Filipina teenager was approved by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP).

The CBCP previously noted that Ruiz-Abad could serve as a “good model of piety and fortitude” for today’s youth.

This story was first published by ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish-language news partner. It has been translated and adapted by CNA.

Read More