Vatican allows inquiry into Filipino teen’s sainthood cause

March 11, 2024 - 2:58 PM
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File photo of Niña Ruiz-Abad. (Diocese of Laoag via CBCP News)

The Vatican has given permission to open the sainthood cause of a Filipino teenage girl, a Catholic bishop said.

The Dicastery for the Causes of Saints granted the “nihil obstat” (nothing stands in the way), allowing the Diocese of Laoag to commence a local inquiry into the reputation and sanctity of Niña Ruiz-Abad.

This indicates that Bishop Renato Mayugba of Laoag, as the competent authority to initiate the diocesan process, could start the investigation.

Mayugba announced the news in a circular released last Sunday, which was read in all Ilocos Norte churches.

The prelate commenced his letter by proclaiming: “Lætare!” (Rejoice!) to the clergy, religious and lay faithful of the diocese, as the Vatican judged that nothing stands in the way of the diocesan inquiry into the life of sanctity and heroic virtues of the “Servant of God”.

After securing overwhelming support from the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines during the July assembly last year, Mayugba submitted a detailed biography of the candidate to the Vatican dicastery and petitioned for permission to begin his investigation.

The granting of the nihil obstat by the Dicastery for the Causes of Saints for the start of the diocesan inquiry is among the necessary stages in the preliminary phase of a cause.

The bishop also announced that on April 7, Divine Mercy Sunday, the Beatification and Canonization Cause of Abad will be officially opened with the first session of the tribunal specially convened for this purpose

The session, which will be held at the St. William’s Cathedral Church in Laoag, will be open for the public to witness.

While awaiting the designated day for the opening of the Cause, the bishop urged the faithful “to pray for God’s blessing as we embark on this process…”

Abad, the young girl from Sarrat, was described as having a strong devotion to the Eucharist and devoted her life to distributing rosaries, Bibles, prayer books, holy images, and other religious items.

Her unwavering Catholic faith made her an inspiration to numerous people in the Ilocos Norte province, as well as in her neighborhood and school in Quezon City.

Abad passed away at the age of 13 in 1993 from hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, an incurable cardiac disease.