Shrine of San Lorenzo Ruiz



Facade of Shrine of San Lorenzo Ruiz

Even before the Holy Father, John Paul II, came to the Philippines to beatify Lorenzo Ruiz, Msgr. John B. Liu, the parish priest of the Queen of Peace Parish went to Manila and commissioned Maximo Vicente to make a statue of the first Filipino martyr of Chinese ancestry.

Interior of Shrine of San Lorenzo Ruiz

In 1981, the Holy Father arrived in the Philippines and had a short visit to Bacolod City. During that visit, Most Rev. Antonio Fortich, D.D., then Bishop of Bacolod, requested the Holy Father to bless the statue. On the 18th of September of the same year, a decree of the Bishop of Bacolod created the Queen of Peace Church as the Diocesan Shrine of the Blessed Lorenzo Ruiz. The said statue was installed therein. Thus started the devotion to Blessed Lorenzo Ruiz.

Six years later a delegation from the Diocese of Bacolod, headed by Bishop Antonio Y. Fortich, went to Rome. On September 28, 2987, Pope John Paul II canonized the first Filipino saint, San Lorenzo Ruiz. Hence, September 28 of every year is designated as the feast of the Filipino protomartyr.

Excerpt from Shrines, Incarnating Christ Today. St. Paul Philippines, 2004. Photos from weddingannouncer.com and flickr.com.

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