13-year-old Filipino girl in the process of sainthood --- CBCP

A 13-year-old Filipino girl is in the process of possible sainthood after receiving approval from a bishop at an episcopal conference in the Diocese of Kalibo.

(Niña Ruiz-Abad Photo from CBCP)

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) on Wednesday, July 19, said that a northern Philippine diocese is making a teenage girl named Niña Ruiz-Abad, one of the youngest saints in history.

When Abad was 10 years old, she was diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy– a fatal heart disease– and died at the age of 13 in 1993.

Bishop Renato Mayugba of Laoag, Ilocos Norte said that at a very young age, Abad showed behaviors and acts that were “unusual” for her age.

“During her time, it is unusual that a young girl had already done acts to evangelize others,” said Mayugba, the one who urged the bishops to open the sainthood cause of Abad. 

CBCP added that Abad devoted her life to “distributing rosaries, Bibles, prayer books, holy images, and other religious items.”And was also known for always wearing a “rosary around her neck and white dresses.”

The bishop said that the young girl could serve as a "good example of piety and perseverance" for the youth of today due to her sincere faith in God and acts of charity that had a profound effect on those who lived during her brief life existence.

Abad’s life 

The aspiring saint was born and raised in Quezon City. In April 1988, her family moved to Sarrat, Ilocos Norte along with her only sibling, Mary Anne Abad.

She was the best in her grade school class and went to the Mariano Marcos State University (MMSU) Laboratory School for her first year of high school.

In June 1993, she was transferred to the College of the Holy Spirit in Quezon City during her second year due to her mother's work assignment.

On August 16 of the same year, she had a heart attack while at school and was immediately rushed to the hospital but passed away.

As the unfortunate early passing of the little angel happened,  Abad's family decided to lay her in a public cemetery in her hometown in the City of Sarrat, Ilocos Norte.

Before her 30th death anniversary in August, with the approval of the bishops, the formal investigation of her life and witness will begin which may take years before Rome decides on her beatification and canonization. (Rhowen Del Rosario)