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Inaugural diocesan celebration of the Filipino saints April 23

The Inaugural Diocesan Celebration of the Filipino Saints Pedro Calungsod and Lorenzo Ruiz will be Sunday, April 23, at 2 p.m., in the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Camden.

Lorenzo Ruiz is the first canonized Filipino martyr.

Saint Lorenzo was born around the year 1600 in Binondo, Manila. He was educated by Dominican priests and served as a parish clerk. In 1636, he sailed with missionaries to Japan, where Christians were persecuted.

The travelers reached Japan and were imprisoned and tortured. When told to renounce his faith or die, Ruiz declared, “I am a Christian, and I will remain a Christian even to the point of death. Only to God will I offer my life.”

He and 16 companions were martyred in 1637. The 17 martyrs were beatified in 1981 during Pope John Paul II’s first visit to the Philippines.

Saint Pedro Calungsod, a teen catechist, was killed in Guam in the 17th century.

Witness accounts in the records of Jesuit missionaries show Saint Pedro died trying to protect his mentor, Jesuit Father Diego Jose Luis San Vitores, a missionary who was also killed in the attack. Two Chamorro chiefs pursued the missionaries when they learned Father San Vitores had baptized a chief’s daughter without his consent.

 
Read in Catholic Star Herald