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Annual Mass to Honor First Filipino Saint Set for Sept 23

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The annual Filipino Mass honoring the Feast of St. Lorenzo Ruiz will be held Sunday, September 23, 2012, at 3 p.m. at St. Eugene in Wendell. Msgr. David D. Brockman, Vicar General, will be Celebrant and Homilist.

As the first Filipino saint and the only person beatified outside the Vatican, St. Lorenzo Ruiz holds a unique place in the Church’s history. He lived during the 1600s, worked as a calligrapher and a married layman with a wife and three children.

He was born in Manila but, with the help of Dominican priests, fled to Japan as an adult to avoid persecution for a murder he did not commit. While in Japan he and 15 friends were captured and asked to reject their faith in order to save their lives. He refused and died a martyr, being hanged upside down, dying from loss of blood and suffocation.

“In the midst of torture...he repeated his ‘yes’ to the Lord. Nothing would deter him from being the person he promised,” said the Most Reverend Michael F. Burbidge in the 2011 homily celebrating the feast day.

St. Lorenzo Ruiz and his 15 companion martyrs were canonized by Blessed Pope John Paul II on October 18, 1987. In proclaiming September 28 as his feast day, Pope John Paul II called St. Lorenzo the Patron Saint of Immigrants

Following the Mass at St. Eugene Church, a Merienda Cena (traditional Filipino afternoon reception) and a cultural presentation will take place.