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  • The Vatican Declares Filipino Teen 'Servant of God. He May Become a Catholic Saint

    by Kitty Elicay .
The Vatican Declares Filipino Teen 'Servant of God. He May Become a Catholic Saint
PHOTO BY Darwin Ramos: Cause of Canonization/Facebook
  • In the Philippines, we have two Filipino saints — Saint Lorenzo Ruiz and Saint Pedro Calungsod. And we may soon have a third saint in our lifetime as Darwin Ramos, a Filipino teenager, was recently declared a “Servant of God” by the Vatican.

    Cardinal Angelo Becciu, prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, made the declaration in Rome last March 29, 2019.

    The pronouncement now allows the local diocese of Cubao to start the beatification and canonization process, according to the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP).

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    “The Vatican has given us the go signal to go deeper [into] his life. How he lived his faith and how he gave witness to Jesus to whom he was very close,” said Bishop Honesto Ongtiongco of Cubao in a statement on the CBCP News website.

    The road to sainthood begins with church officials examining whether a candidate lived a devout Catholic life. Once he is found to be holy, the person will be beatified upon verification of a miracle attributed to that person, CNN Philippines reports. Then, the person will be canonized as a saint after a second miracle is verified.

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    Who is Darwin Ramos?


    Darwin Ramos was born on December 17, 1994, in Pasay City. He lived with his family in the slums and worked as a scavenger with his younger sister to help their family survive. He spent his days going through garbage and recovering plastic waste they could sell.

    Soon afterward, initial symptoms of his Duchenne muscular dystrophy appeared. The boy could no longer stand and his muscles weakened. His father would leave Darwin every morning at Libertad station so he could beg for change from passers-by.

    In 2006, Darwin discovered the Catholic faith after meeting a group of street educators from the Anak-Tulay ng Kabataan Foundation. He entered one of the centers run by the foundation and decided to help street children like him. On December 23, 2006, Darwin was baptized, and on December 22, 2007, the boy received the First Communion and the Sacrament of Confirmation.

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    But his illness progressed rapidly, and his body deteriorated. On the Facebook group, Darwin Ramos: Cause of Canonization, Darwin is described as someone who would uplift the staff and the children at the foundation. The words he repeated often were: “Thank you,” and “I love you.”

    He is said to have developed a deep and personal relationship with Christ, and never let a day pass without entrusting himself to Jesus. “He never complained and always smiled even during difficult times,” according to the Facebook page. “When he was speaking of his illness, he did not talk about his myopathy but [he called it] his ‘mission.’”

    On September 16, 2012, Darwin’s condition worsened suddenly. He was brought to the hospital where he eventually succumbed to his illness. Before he died, however, it was said that he thanked those who had cared for him and “expressed his joy in the hope of soon meeting the Lord.” He passed away on September 23, 2012, at the age of 17.

    “Darwin is an example of holiness,” said Bishop Ongtioco. “Being a street child, afflicted with myopathy, he is closely united with Christ in his suffering and joy.”

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