Ilocos Norte girl Niña Ruiz Abad on path to sainthood 30 years after death
MANILA, Philippines — The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) is considering sainthood for Niña Ruiz Abad, noting that she could serve as a “good model of piety and fortitude” for today’s youth.
It comes 30 years after her death due to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy in August 1993. Abad was laid to rest at a public cemetery in Sarrat, Ilocos Norte.
Abad died at 13, but her faith in God and “acts of charity” made a “major impact on people,” according to the CBCP.
“She had a strong devotion to the Eucharist and devoted her life to distributing rosaries, Bibles, prayer books, holy images, and other religious items. She was also known for always wearing a rosary around her neck and white dresses,” it said in a statement.
Bishop Renato Mayugba of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Laoag noted that Abad showed “acts that are unusual for her age.”
“During her time, it is unusual that a young girl had already done acts to evangelize others. Niña’s life was a prayerful life full of reverence, worship, and intimate relationship with God, Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, and the Blessed Virgin Mary,” Mayugba said in the same CBCP statement.
Mayugba said these are the reasons that obliged him to open and file the petition for Abad’s sainthood. During a plenary assembly of the episcopal conference in the Diocese of Kalibo, the prelate presented this proposal before fellow bishops, who eventually approved. A formal investigation of Abad’s life is underway.
“It opened the door to the formal investigation of [Abad’s] life and witnessing, which may take years before a possible decision from Rome regarding her potential beatification and canonization. The initial stages include gathering information about the candidate and interviewing witnesses who knew the person,” the CBCP explained.
Mayugba strongly believed that the young girl’s life could inspire the youth.
“Knowing Niña’s character and traits and her strong faith in God will serve as a guide to the youth in handling their affairs towards a better Christian life,” Mayugba said.