NEW YORK CITY – Fr. Erno Diaz, who has devoted himself to promoting the veneration of San Lorenzo Ruiz since 1982, witnessed the permanent enthronement of the beloved Saint in the hallowed St. Patrick’s Cathedral.
Fr. Erno Diaz had been deeply engaged in discussions with Father Enrique Salvo regarding the possibility of this grand enthronement. The prospect of having San Lorenzo’s statue permanently placed in St. Patrick’s Cathedral carries profound significance in promoting Filipino culture and heritage. With the Philippines being the only Catholic country in Asia, the permanent enthronement of San Lorenzo Ruiz in St. Patrick’s Cathedral further solidifies the image of Filipino Catholics as a people of unwavering faith. Through his permanent enthronement in St. Patrick’s Cathedral, which holds a prominent position as a revered Catholic edifice, Filipinos and the world are reminded of the remarkable journey of the first Filipino Saint.
The celebration commenced with a solemn and highly anticipated Pontifical Mass – specifically, the Votive Mass of San Lorenzo Ruiz de Manila. The Most Reverend Edmund Whalen, STD, D.D., an esteemed Auxiliary Bishop of New York, had the distinguished honor of serving as the primary Celebrant. He was not alone in this sacred duty; he was joined by several other esteemed prelates, including the Most Reverend Oscar Solis, D.D., the Bishop of the Diocese of Salt Lake City, Utah; the Most Reverend Anthony Celino, an Auxiliary Bishop hailing from El Paso, Texas; and the Most Reverend Larry Silva, who holds the position of Bishop in Honolulu.
The presence of approximately 320 dedicated clergy members from The National Association of Filipino Priests in America not only added to the spiritual significance of the occasion but also underscored the unity and devotion of Filipino priests across the nation.
Following the inspiring Mass, the congregation moved on to a symbolic and moving segment of the celebration. It was the moment that had been eagerly awaited – the blessing and formal enthronement of the statue of San Lorenzo Ruiz de Manila. This beautiful and evocative statue found its permanent home within the hallowed halls of St. Patrick’s Cathedral is positioned in a side chapel beside St. Rose of Lima that now radiates with the spiritual presence of the first Filipino Saint, San Lorenzo Ruiz de Manila.
The entire celebration was marked by a palpable sense of reverence, unity, and joy. As the faithful gathered in the magnificent surroundings of St. Patrick’s Cathedral, they bore witness to the enduring legacy of San Lorenzo Ruiz de Manila, a legacy that continues to inspire and guide the Filipino Catholic community and countless others around the world. This occasion will undoubtedly serve as a powerful reminder of the unwavering faith and spiritual strength that have come to define the Filipino people.
The 3-foot bronze statue was given to Fr. Erno Diaz by the late Jaime Cardinal Sin of the Archdiocese of Manila, a revered figure in the Philippine Catholic Church. The statue was a generous donation by the late Ambassador Antonio L. Cabangon-Chua who commissioned sculptor Florante “Boy” Caedo to create his representation of the beloved Saint.
“May God guide and bless us all in our continued devotion to San Lorenzo Ruiz,” said Fr. Erno Diaz after the historic rites.