St. Joseph parish to honor San Lorenzo Ruiz with masses for the elderly, victims of injustice

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Image of San Lorenzo Ruiz. Photo by Troi Santos

Image of San Lorenzo Ruiz. Photo by Troi Santos

To celebrate the feast of San Lorenzo Ruiz de Manila, the first Filipino saint, the parish community of Saint Joseph will host a series of novena masses from September 20 to 28 at St. Joseph Church located at Pavonia Avenue corner Baldwin Avenue. The event is open to the public.

Various priests led by the Rev. James V. Pagnotta, pastor, will officiate the novena masses honoring San Lorenzo Ruiz and seeking his intervention to pray for various sectors of society including the youth, the elderly, and victims of injustice.

The celebration will begin on Sept. 20 at noon with special prayers for priestly and religious vocations.

The rest of the schedule is as follows:

• Sept. 21 (Monday) at 7:30 p.m. – Special prayers for life

• Sept. 22 (Tuesday) at 7:30 p.m. – Special prayers for victims of injustice

• Sept. 23 (Wednesday) at 7:30 p.m. – Special blessings for parents. The Wednesday Novena Mass will be preceded by the recitation of the Holy Rosary and novena prayers to the Mother of Perpetual Help at 6:45 p.m.

• Sept. 24 (Thursday) at 7:30 p.m. – Special prayers for peace

• Sept. 25 (Friday) at 7:30 p.m. – Special prayers for the youth and children

• Sept. 26 (Saturday) at 9 a.m. – Special prayers for our earth

• Sept. 27 (Sunday) at noon – Solemn blessings for the elderly

The festivities will conclude on Sept. 28 (Monday) starting at 7:30 p.m., with a joint Eucharistic Celebration in honor of San Lorenzo Ruiz and San Pedro Calungsod, the second Filipino saint. A fellowship in the social hall of the parish will follow immediately after the celebration.

San Lorenzo Ruiz, a lay witness to the faith from Binondo, Manila, was canonized by Pope John Paul II on Oct. 18, 1987. He professed his faith by martyrdom in Nagasaki, Japan on Sept. 29, 1637.

According to accounts, the Japanese promised Lorenzo that they would release him if he denounced Christianity. Refusing to renounce his faith he told his executioners that he was ready to die for God and give to God many thousands of lives if he had them. He was tortured and hanged upside down submerged in water until he died. His martyrdom and a miracle attributed to his intervention led to his elevation to sainthood. San Lorenzo Ruiz is the patron saint of the Philippines, as well as of overseas Filipino workers and immigrants, the Filipino youth and the Chinese Filipinos.

If you wish to volunteer and take part in the preparations for the novena and/or Joint Eucharistic Celebration on Sept. 28, call any of the following: (all 201 area code): Cora dela Cruz 798-8953, Aurea Diansen 653-5598, Lulu Ducusin 714-9506, Gee Fontanilla 653-5897, Tess Gumtang 792-5684, Chitra Herath 604-3763, Liza Jablonski 653-2736, Herminio/Florita Magno 653-7780, Crispina Mirasol 320-0911, Roland/Zeny Padilla 795-4596/779-7935 or Tina Zarejko 216-0140. – Edmund Silvestre

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