Aileen Almonte leads the parishioners in prayer. (Nate Whitchurch photo)
Aileen Almonte leads the parishioners in prayer. (Nate Whitchurch photo)
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FILIPINO CATHOLICS in the Albany Diocese gathered last weekend for a special liturgy at Christ Our Light Church in Loudonville to mark the feast day of St. Lorenzo Ruiz, a 17th-century saint who is the patron of the Philippines and its people.

Born to a Chinese father and a Filipino mother, St. Lorenzo was raised Catholic, married and had three children. In 1636, he was accused of murdering a Spaniard and fled to protect his family, boarding a ship bound for Japan, along with some Dominican priests.

When they arrived, he was arrested for being a Christian and told to recant his faith. Refusing, he was imprisoned for two years, then tortured to death. His last words were said to be, "I am a Catholic and wholeheartedly do accept death for God. Had I a thousand lives, all these to Him I shall offer. Do with me as you please." His feast day is Sept. 28.

(NATE WHITCHURCH PHOTOS)