Filipino residents flock to honour patron saint
FILIPINO residents of the county flocked to St Peter's Church in Gloucester to honour the patron saint of migrant workers.
Members of the local Filipino community gathered to celebrate the feast of Saint Lorenzo Cruz with a special mass.
The Reverend Father Rudy Montadas, the Filipino chaplain in the South West, blessed a 3ft image of the first Filipino saint, shown holding Rosary beads and in simple Filipino clothes – a plain white shirt and trousers. Canonised a saint by Pope John Paul II in 1987, Ruiz was born in Manila, Philippines in the 17th Century and served as a Dominican altar boy and eventually as a catechist and lay worker.
He later joined a Dominican mission to Japan where they were all tortured to death for refusing to renounce their Christian faith. The Chairman of the Filipino Association of Gloucestershire Raymond Padilla said: "More than just being a martyr, St Lorenzo resembles the ordinary Filipino who would cling to God as he faces the difficulties of his daily life."
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Other Filipino leaders present during the mass on Saturday, September 25, included Helen Grace Valdez of the Filipino Family Rosary Crusade, Jerome Ibarra of the Filipino Health Workers of Gloucester, and Judith Canete of the El Shaddai Catholic Charismatic Community.