July 30, 2005
MANILA, July 30 — On July 30, 2005, the Chapel of San Lorenzo Ruiz, the first in the United States and the second in the World, was officially designated as the "Church of the Filipinos."
Formerly known as the Most Holy Crucifix Church, it is located at 378 Broome Street (between Mulberry and Mott Streets), New York, within the vicinity of Chinatown and Little Italy in downtown Manhattan.
It has a capacity of 250 persons and is attached to the Philippine Pastoral Center of the Filipino Apostolate.
The Chapel of San Lorenzo Ruiz is the second church dedicated to Filipinos outside the Philippines. The first one — the Basilica of Sta. Pudenciana (1991) – is in Via Urbana 160, Rome.
It was originally donated by Manila Archbishop Jaime Cardinal Sin to the Filipinos in America in 1982, the year when the Filipino Apostolate started a movement to promote the blessed San Lorenzo Ruiz in the United States.
The bronze image of the Philippine saint was brought to the United States by Celso Al Carunungan, author of "To Die A Thousand Deaths," a book on the life and martyrdom of San Lorenzo Ruiz.
Since 1982, the statue of San Lorenzo Ruiz has been displayed every September at Saint Patrick's Cathedral during the mass for the Filipino saint's feast day.
It was originally displayed at the Holy Family Church at the United Nations until it was transferred to the Philippine Pastoral Center in Lower Manhattan in 1998.
The statue is considered miraculous by devotees.
President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo was the Filipino Apostolate's guest of honor during the statue's unveiling on September 15, 2005. (PNA)