Niña Ruiz-Abad, a 13-year-old Filipino soon to be beatified

Niña Ruiz-Abad, a 13-year-old Filipino soon to be beatified

The beatification process, at the diocesan level, of Niña Ruiz-Abad has just opened this April 7, Divine Mercy Sunday, in Laoag, in the Philippines. Originally from the Illocos Norte region, this pious 13-year-old Servant of God could ultimately be a model of faith and holiness for young Filipinos and Catholics in general. And after Carlo Acutis and the shepherds of Fátima, she would become one of the youngest saints.

An unshakeable faith

We know very little about this teenager who died in 1993. All that is said is that she had a faith filled with hope and fervor. Niña Ruiz-Abad was born in Quezon City, northern Philippines, in 1979, on October 31, All Saints' Eve. Daughter of lawyer parents, both pious Catholics, the young girl was baptized in the local Saint-Dominique church. Fatherless, from the age of 3, she is described by everyone as a calm child with “a strong devotion to the Eucharist», according to Mgr. Renato Mayugba, bishop of the Diocese of Laoag, in a statement from the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP).

Niña holds, particularly from her mother, a great belief in Divine Mercy. So, very young and already dedicated to a life of prayer, she became known in Illocos Norte through her youth evangelization. “She spends her time distributing rosaries, Bibles, prayer books, holy pictures and other religious items.”, adds Mgr. Mayugba, still in press release. Renowned for her faith, she wears a rosary around her neck with immaculate white clothing and becomes the one “who likes to pray “.

But at the age of 10, the Filipina was diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, an incurable heart muscle disease. Faced with her mother’s sadness, she liked to say: “Don't worry mom; it's okay, God will heal me.”. Not losing hope in life, Niña uses her deep devotion to the Holy Trinity and the Virgin Mary to hold on. “She was a walking testimony of piety and religion.», Explain those who knew her at the Catholic News Agency. Living with the disease for three years, she suffered a cardiac arrest and died a few hours later, on August 16, 1993, at the age of 13.

His life is seen as an ideal of “perseverance» for young people and ardent love of God, notes the Bishop of Laoag. His tomb has thus become a great place of pilgrimage where Catholics come one after the other to ask for his intercession.

A beatification, soon?

An inspiration, an ideal in a life of faith. This is what the faithful and the Filipino clergy hope for. Like Carlo Acutis or the brothers Francisco and Jacinta Marto de Fátima, Niña Ruiz-Aba can be, through her humble and pious life, a beacon for all young people lacking direction. And this is the objective of the Church in the Philippines in requesting his beatification. A process which is still far from being completed, because it is very long. It can last years or even decades… The beatification process has just begun with a diocesan phase. Officially opened this April 7, in the Saint-Guillaume de Laoag cathedral, this trial will seek to bring together all the information and testimonies on the life of the young girl. Which could help shed light on his holiness and make it better known subsequently. An event in the Philippines, which even saw the presentation of a relic of Ruiz-Abad (a piece of clothing worn by the teenager), and remains closely followed by the Dicastery for the Causes of Saints. The Vatican authorized the trial by a “nihil obstat» (in French, nothing opposes), dated March 16, 2024.

Niña Ruiz-Abad is now a Servant of God. His current trial will therefore aim to collect all possible testimony about his life and his plausible holiness. Miracles have already taken place. In one case, a local student was reportedly healed after praying to the teenager. “Her story continues to touch the hearts of many because she is an example of how, with God, obstacles can be overcome.», concludes the CBCP.

Prayer for the beatification of Niña Ruiz-Abad

O Holy God, we thank you for having given to your Church your servant, Niña Ruiz-Abad, as a model of holiness. By Your grace, You blessed this 13-year-old girl to know You and love You above all else. Its motto “God first” reminds us of the words of Jesus: “seek first the kingdom”.

We ask that we be like her in devotion to the Most Blessed Sacrament, that we listen to Your Word and that we strive to love our Blessed Mother and the Saints.

Through his intercession, may we unite our sufferings to Jesus who stretched out his hands on the cross for our love. In particular, by his prayer, deign, O God, hear my humble request (mention your request).

May my request be in accordance with Your Holy Will and contribute to his elevation to holiness. Amen.

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