On the path to sainthood: Wheelchair-bound teen Darwin Ramos joins Filipino roster

June 6, 2019 - 6:20 PM
Darwin Ramos joins other Filipinos on the road to sainthood (Artwork by Uela Altar-Badayos)

(Updated June 13, 5:02 p.m.) Darwin Ramos, who was recently declared as “Servant of God,” is among those who have the possibility to be hailed the next Filipino saint, according to church officials.

The Vatican gave the title to the late 17-year-old boy early this June for his charity work despite battling an illness that bound him in a wheelchair.

The first Filipino to become saint was Lorenzo Ruiz, who was canonized in 1987.

Then, in 2012, Pedro Calungsod was the second to be canonized as saint.

There are four basic steps to sainthood—be declared as a Servant of God, be venerated through proof of “heroic virtues,” be beatified or raised to the altar and then be canonized as saint.

Darwin Ramos

Cubao Bishop Honesto Ongtioco made this announcement on the website of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines.

“The Vatican has given us the go signal to go deeper in his life how he lived his faith and how he gave witness to Jesus to whom he was very close,” Ongtioco said.

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

Ramos’ group page on Facebook has over a thousand followers.

Ramos, born in the slums of Pasay City, was known for his volunteer work with street children through the foundation called Tulay ng Kabataan at a young age and with a genetic disorder called Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

Duchenne muscular dystrophy is characterized by progressive muscle weakness and degeneration.

Alfredo Maria Obviar

The Vatican venerated Alfredo Maria Obviar, the first bishop of Lucena in Quezon Province, in November 2018 due to his “heroic virtues” as a “servant of God.”

Obviar founded the Congregation of the Missionary Catechists of Saint Therese of the Infant Jesus.

He was born on Aug. 29, 1889 and died on Oct. 1, 1978.

Mother Ignacia del Espiritu Santo

Mother Ignacia del Espiritu Santo formed the first religious congregation for women in the Philippines called the Congregation of the Religious of the Virgin Mary during the Spanish era.

According to the congregation’s website, earliest records only mention the date of her baptism on March 4, 1663.

She also has a mixed ethnic background as her mother was a Filipino and her father was a Chinese.

She founded the community of women which is now the congregation when she was only 21 years old.

She was venerated in 2008 by former Pope Benedict XVI.

Archbishop Teofilo Camomot

Archbishop Teofilo Camomot is the founder of the Daughters of Saint Teresa, a congregation in Carcar City in the province of Cebu.

In 2010, Camomot was declared a “servant of God.”

As of press time, the documents and evidence gathered from the diocese were sent to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints in Rome. — Artwork by Uela Altar-Badayos


Editor’s Note: The latest update is to revise the first paragraph of the article removing the suggestion that Darwin Ramos is the fourth in line to become a saint. There is no such succession in the causes for saints in the Catholic Church.