Philippines is the only Christian country in Asia. Although there are also Christians in other Asian countries, only the Philippines has the largest percentage of Christians based on its population.
In order to become a saint, a person must be recognized first by the church authorities as a "servant of God" then as a "venerable" to be followed by "blessed" and finally to be beatified as "saint".
1.) Lorenzo Ruiz
The most famous religious Filipino ever is Saint Lorenzo Ruiz. He was born in 1600 CE in Binondo, Manila and served as an altar boy at the convent of Binondo church. He is also known as San Lorenzo de Manila. Ruiz is the first Filipino saint venerated in the Roman Catholic Church. He was martyred during persecution of Japanese Christians under the Tokugawa Shogunate in the 17th century on September 29, 1637.
2.) Pedro Calungsod
Blessed Pedro Calungsod is a Filipino Catholic martyr and is currently considered blessed. He was born in Ginatilan, Cebu Island in 1654. He was killed while doing missionary work in Guam on April 2, 1672. Calungsod was beatified on March 5, 2000, by Pope John Paul II.
An image of Blessed Pedro Calungsod in the Monument to the history of Cebu, Philippines in Plaza Colon
3.) Isabel Larrañaga Ramirez
One of the only venerable Filipinos is Isabel Larrañaga Ramirez. She is also known as "Isabel of the Heart of Jesus". She was born on November 19, 1600 in Manila, Philippines and her cause for beatification is currently underway with saint protocol number: 994. She is the founder of The Sisters of Charity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
4.) Mother Ignatia del Espíritu Santo
One of the only two Filipinos considered venerable is Mother Ignacia del Espíritu Santo. Mother Ignatia led a religious life in 1684 and the founder of Beaterio de la Compañía de Jesús, now known as Congregation of the Sisters of the Religious of the Virgin Mary (RVM), the first Filipino congregation for religious women in the Philippines. She was born on February 1, 1663. In July 6, 2007, Pope Benedict XVI accepted the findings of the prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints and declared that “the Servant of God, Ignacia, foundress of the Religious of the Blessed Virgin Mary, is found to possess to a heroic degree the theological virtues of Faith, Hope and Charity toward God and neighbor, as well as the cardinal virtues of Prudence, Justice, Temperance and Fortitude.”
Servants of God
5.) Dionisia Talangpaz
One of the Servants of God is Dionisia Talangpaz, a Filipino Roman Catholic figure. She is one of the founders of the "Beaterio de San Sebastian de Calumpang" in 1719. Talangpaz was born on March 12, 1691, in Calumpit, Bulacan.
On 10 September 1999, she was given the title "Servant of God" together with her sister Cecilia.
6.) Cecilia Talangpaz
Another famous religious Filipino figure is Cecilia Talangpaz,s a Kapampangan Catholic. She was born on July 16, 1693 in Calumpit, Bulacan. Talangpaz is one of the founders of the "Beaterio de San Sebastian de Calumpang" in 1719. It is now known as the "Congregation of the Augustinian Recollect Sisters". Her beatification process is underway with protocol number: 2303. On 10 September 1999, she and her sister Dionisia, had their causes for beatification opened, bestowed with the go-signal Nulla Osta” and thereby giving them the titles "Servants of God."
7.) Francisca del Espíritu Santo de Fuentes
Francisca del Espíritu Santo de Fuentes is a Servant of God. She is a Spanish-Filipina Roman Catholic religious figure. De Fuentes was born in 1647. Francisca is the first Prioress of the Congragation of the Dominican Sisters of St. Catherine of Siena in the Philippines. She died on August 24, 1711 and was buried at the gospel side of the chapel of Colegio de San Juan de Letran. She was elevated to be a Servant of God after giving upon the go-signal “Nulla osta” on March 11, 2003, with protocol number 2533.
8.) Maria Beatriz del Rosario Arroyo
Maria Beatriz del Rosario Arroyo was a Filipino nun. She is the founder of the Dominican Sisters of the Most Holy Rosary of the Philippines. Maria Beatriz was born on February 17, 1884 in Molo, Iloilo. She died on June 14, 1957.
9.) Alfredo Maria Obviar
Alfredo Maria Obviar was born on August 29, 1889 in Mataas na Lupa, Lipa City in Batangas. He died on October 1, 1978. This Filipino Servant of God is venerated in the Roman Catholic Church. His cause for beatification is currently underway; He was declared Servant of God on 6 March 2001 with saint protocol number: 2398 . He is the founder of Missionary Catechists of Saint Therese of the Child Jesus. He was the Bishop of Lucena City until his death.
10.) Carlo Braga
Carlo Braga was born on May 23, 1889 in Tirano, Sondrio, Italy. He was a professed priest of the Salesians of don Bosco. He died on January 3, 1971 in Makati, Philippines.
The cause for his beatification is already in the preliminary stages of the diocesan investigation but has not yet received the decree “nihil obstat” from the Congregation for the causes of Saints.
11.) Teofilo Camomot
Teofilo Camomot was born in March 03 1914 in Carcar, Cebu, Philippines. He was coadjutor archbishop of Cagayan de Oro; titular archbishop of Marcianopolis; and founder of Daughters of Saint Teresa. He died on September 27 1988 in San Fernando, Cebu, Philippines. He is currently in consideration for sainthood in the Roman Catholic Church granted the nihil obstat in September 2010 by the Congregation for the Causes of Saints.
12.) Fr. Rhoel Gallardo
Father Rhoel Gallardo was a Claretian missionary in Basilan, Philippines. He became a modern-day martyr on May 3, 2000 when he was murdered by Islamic rebels. Gallardo suffered 3 gunshot wounds in his head, shoulder and back, and the nails of his index finger and on his toes had been pulled out two or three days before he was shot at close range.
The cause for his beatification is already in the preliminary stages of the diocesan investigation but has not yet received the decree “nihil obstat” from the Congregation for the Causes of Saints.
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