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September 23, 2009 > In honor of San Lorenzo Ruiz de Manila

In honor of San Lorenzo Ruiz de Manila

By Meenu Gupta

On September 26, St. Joseph Church celebrates the tenth anniversary of the enshrinement of the first Filipino saint, San Lorenzo Ruiz de Manila. The Filipino community of St. Joseph / Mission San Jose is hosting a mass in honor of the martyr. A reception will follow in the church hall. "All are welcome to take part in this celebration whether it be in helping us prepare for the event - for the liturgy, choir, and reception or simply join us to commemorate the life of this extraordinary Filipino saint. All talents are welcome here," said Marissa Mendoza, a member of the Filipino Community at St. Joseph.

San Lorenzo Ruiz is the first saint of the Philippines. He was born in a Binondo in the 1600s, a section of the city of Manila populated by people of Chinese and Filipino descent. Like all Filipinos of his time, he was brought up Catholic. Ruiz was martyred in 1637 when although tortured and facing agonizing death, he refused to renounce his Faith. On February 18, 1981, on his first trip to the Philippines, John Paul II beatified Lorenzo Ruiz at the Manila Cathedral, the first beatification done outside the Vatican. San Lorenzo Ruiz was elevated to sainthood on October 18, 1987 in the Vatican. His significance to Filipinos, especially those who live outside the Philippines cannot be overstated.

Just like San Lorenzo Ruiz, many Filipinos, take their faith wherever they find themselves in whatever circumstance their lives take them. Hence, the yearly community celebration of San Lorenzo Ruiz's life is a reminder of how closely Catholic faith and Filipino culture are intertwined. The event is open to the public. A free will offering will be taken. If you would like to sing in the choir, or participate in the preparations for this event, contact Marissa Mendoza at (510) 396-5560 or write to marissa_mendoza@yahoo.com.

Saturday, September 26
10 am.
St. Joseph Church
43148 Mission Blvd., Fremont
(510) 396-5560

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