The STATUES of San Lorenzo Ruiz and Dominican martyrs in front of the Central Library will no longer be around—for good.

To give way to the construction of the Student Center last August, University officials had the monuments taken down.

Vice-Rector for Finance Fr. Melchor Saria O.P., said the University permanently removed the statues because they were difficult to preserve.

“The statues were made up of steel frame patched up with cement,” he said. “It was not made to last for long.”

The University, however, will build new statues and allot a park in honor of the martyrs before the quadricentennial year, Saria said. The park will be built in place of the UST Health Service.

“If the Health Service will be relocated, we would have the park there so that the Main Building might be surrounded with greenery,” he said.

Before the Student Center Building’s construction began, University officials had the monuments documented and had their time capsule excavated, according to Arch. Clarissa Avendaño, UST Museum of Arts and Sciences assistant director.

Leonardo Hidalgo, a sculptor and a former professor, designed the statues, under the commission of former Rector Fr. Norberto Castillo, O.P.. Hidalgo, who is now in America, is one of the best watercolorists of the country.

The monuments were erected in honor of St. Lorenzo Ruiz, the first Filipino saint, and the nine martyrs from the Ecclesiastical Faculties during the Spanish era.

The nine Dominican martyrs were former students and professors of the University. They were martyred in Japan and Vietnam, and canonized in 1987 and 1988. San Lorenzo and the other martyrs had been beatified earlier in 1981 by the late Pope John Paul II in the first beatification outside of Rome.

Kultura, sandigan ng kaunlaran ng sarili at sambayanan

Among the Dominicans martyred in Japan with Lorenzo Ruiz were Rector Fr. Antonio Gonzalez, O.P. (1592-1637), Fr. Domingo de Erquicia, O.P. (1598-1633), and Fr. Lucas Del Espiritu Santo, O.P. (1598-1633) of Spain. With them were fellow Dominicans, Fr. Tomas Hioji de San Jacinto, O.P.(1591-1634) of Japan and Fr. Guillaume Courtet, O.P. (1594-1637) of France.

Meanwhile, Vietnamese priest St. Vicente Liem de la Paz (1731-1773) together with Bishop Domingo Henares, O.P., Bishop Jose Ma. Diaz Sanjurjo, O.P. and Fr. Pedro Almato, O.P. of Spain were martyred in Vietnam.


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