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This week’s article is from our devoted parishioners, Gloria and Gerardo Biaquis. Here is a story about how the devotion and celebration of San Lorenzo Ruiz’s feast day began in OLPH parish in Tampa.
On October of 1987, Gloria was fortunate enough to attend the canonization of San Lorenzo Ruiz in Rome. After witnessing the event, she was deeply inspired and has since then been a devotee to the saint. She brought back a statue of San Lorenzo from one of her visits to the Philippines and have always housed the statue in their home in Tampa in hopes that one day the devotion to him at a parish church would come into fruition. It was not until some of their friends from the OLPH Pilipino prayer group asked Gerardo, or Jun, as he is fondly called, if they could promote the devotion to San Lorenzo in 2004.
The following year of 2005, they asked the late Fr. Thomas Stokes, who was then the pastor at Our Lady of Perpetual Help parish in Tampa, if they could enthrone the statue of San Lorenzo Ruiz, and kindly enough, he acceded. Since then, they have been blessed to celebrate the feast day every year on the last Sunday of September.