Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Life Story of St. Lorenzo Ruiz The Most Improbable of Saints

The First Filipino Saint On September 29,1637, he professed his faith by martyrdom. Lorenzo Ruiz, the first Filipino saint, was the kind of man who could die for God and religion a thousand times if he had to. Lorenzo Ruiz was was a layman who worked as a calligrapher for the Dominican parish of Binondo, Manila. As an “escriba,” he was exceptionally gifted, and the Dominican friars relied on him to transcribe baptismal, confirmation and marriage documents into the church’s official books. He was also an active member of the Marian confraternity, a man the Dominicans described as someone “they could trust.” The son of a Chinese father and Tagala mother who lived in the Parian district outside the city walls of Manila, Lorenzo Ruiz married a Tagala like his mother and had three children -- two sons and a daughter -- whose descendants are currently residents of the same area where the original Ruiz family lived. In 1636, Ruiz was implicated in a murder. He sought help from his Dominican superiors who believed in his innocence. In order to escape what they believed would have been an unjust prosecution for their protege, the Spanish friars immediately sent Ruiz on a missionary expedition outside of the Philippines. Initially, Ruiz thought he was being sent to Taiwan, where he believed his Chinese roots would enable him to start a new life. Little did he know that he and the missionary expedition led by Fray Domingo Ibanez was actually headed for Nagasaki, Japan, where feudalism was fanning the flames of Christian persecution. Lorenzo Ruiz was headed straight into the arms of death. He was arrested almost immediately upon his arrival in Japan in 1636, and subjected to torture by his Japanese captors for more than a year. Tied upside down by his feet and dropped into a well where sharp stakes lined the bottom, his torturers would stop just before he would be impaled, and thereupon try to convince him to renounce his faith. “Deny your faith and we will spare your life,” his persecutors said. To which Lorenzo Ruiz answered, “I will never do it. I am a Catholic and happy to die for God. If I have a thousand lives to offer, I will offer them to God.” Existing documents attest that the Japanese promised him a safe trip back home where he could be reunited with his loved ones, but Ruiz staunchly chose to remain faithful to his religion. On September 22, 1637, Ruiz, Fray Domingo and their 14 companions were led up a hill overlooking the bay of Nagasaki. There they were hung upside down with their heads inside the well. Their temples were slit open to let blood drip slowly until they died either from loss of blood or asphyxiation. Many died after several days. Ruiz died last, on September 29,1637. Beatified by Pope John Paul II in Manila and later canonized on October 28,1987, San Lorenzo Ruiz holds the distinction of being the first person beatified outside of the Vatican. He also holds the honor of being the first Filipino saint, the “most improbable of saints,” as Pope John Paul II described him during the canonization ceremony. “The Lord gives us saints at the right time and God waited 350 years to give us this saint,” the Holy Father said. “It is the heroism which he demonstrated as a lay witness to the faith... which is very important in today’s world. The witness of San Lorenzo is the testimony we need of courage without measure to show us that it is possible. Faith and life for Lorenzo was synonymous and inseparable. Life without faith would have been without value...he proved that sanctity and heroism are there for anybody and the final victory is made to size for each one of us.”

Tuesday, February 21, 2006


Why the name Knights? Medieval Knighthood, in the
service of manor lords, calls forth such ideals as honor, loyalty,
justice, chivalry, and respect for all. In the use of this term,
the Altar Server is reminded of his duty to serve the Lord of
lords with fidelity and honor, to treat others with respect and
justice, and to live a good personal life, defending always the
rights of God and His Holy Church. In the names page and
squire, the server is reminded again of the years of patient
practice and study that went into the training of a knight and
should consider with what devotion and perseverance he should attend to his own training in the service of the Altar. The chevalier was a traveling knight, which
should remind the server that he should be ever traveling toward his
heavenly goal.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

knights of the altar

Holiness, or the fullness of Christian life, is given to us by God through grace, but requires a mature personality, a firm will and good habits. Our Christian life is not simply a life of do's and don't's, but rather a life of imitating Christ, our model, who is Perfect God and Perfect Man. Through grace and human effort we can acquire the virtues or good habits that make us better persons, by striving for that human perfection presented to us by Christ, not only when we reach heaven, but even here on earth.
Virtues are not something abstract, separated from one's everyday existence. It affects precisely his life, his outlook, his actions and his relationship with others, so much so that one not only "lives and acts in a virtuous way", but rather one "is a virtuous person."
Like most other things in life, the virtues have to be learned. God may give them to us as gifts, but we should also cooperate with His grace and do our part. When we know more about the virtues, we begin to love them more, and we realize the good that they bring about. Little by little, we discover that it becomes easier for us to fulfil our duty of being good examples to others - good examples of ordinary persons in the middle of the world, just like everybody else, who live their Christian vocation fully, in the most natural way, so that others could see that the Christian life is a life full of joy, inspite of all the difficulties that man encounters in this world.
For an Altar Server all these may seem a difficult task, but for those who trust in God's grace, nothing is impossible. When the Holy Spirit reminded us in the Second Vatican Council of our duty to seek holiness - a duty of all Christians - He was not presenting to us an unreachable ideal. Instead, He wants us to realize that we can live the fullness of our Christian vocation without looking for the impossible, and without even searching for extraordinary moments to live it.
Lastly, by living these virtues very well, the Altar Server prepares himself to receive many graces from God - and among these graces, for a great number of the Servers, is the gift of vocation to the priesthood. This is one of the greatest graces that he can ever receive, and aside from thanking God, he should also do his best to nurture it until the time comes for him to formally undergo the necessary formation to become a priest.

Friday, December 30, 2005


A prestigious group of young apostoles of God, serving the Eucharist in the altar. With the Cassock is their armor and the cross, candles, and turible as their weapons, they stand with honor along side the priests in delivering the mass.

To form a worthy guard of honor to our Divine Eucharistic King in whose service we willingly assume the dignity and honor of becoming Knights of the Altar:
To render faithful, reverent and edifying service to God by assisting His visible representatives, the Bishops and Priests, in offering the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and in all other liturgical and devotional functions;
To enkindle in the hearts of the faithful whom we represent at the altar, greater piety and devotion by reverently performing the duties of our holy office and by giving good example in our daily lives.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

knights of the altar

knights of the altar procession

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Knights of the Altar

You are about to witness the legacy of the Knights of the Altar. The KOA has long history & tradition of serving God and promoting Catholicism to the world. As the Knights of God, we are sworn to serve Him and defend the catholic religion, by showing

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Siesta time