St. Lorenzo Ruiz
|Saint Lorenzo Ruiz|
Isa akong Katoliko at buong pusong tinatanggap ang kamatayan para sa Panginoon, kung ako man ay may sanlibong buhay, lahat ng iyon ay iaalay ko sa Kanya.
("I am a Catholic and wholeheartedly accept death for the Lord; if I have a thousand lives, all of them I will offer to Him.")
|Protomartyr of the Philippines|
|Born||c.1600-1610, Binondo, Manila, Philippine Islands|
|Died||29 September, 1637, Nagasaki, Japan|
|Venerated in||Roman Catholic Church|
|Beatified||18 February 1981, Manila, Philippines by Pope John Paul II|
|Canonized||18 October 1987, St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican City by Pope John Paul II|
|Major shrine||Binondo Church in Binondo, Manila, Philippines|
|Patronage||Filipino youth, Chinese-Filipinos, the Philippines, Overseas Filipino Workers, people living in poverty.|
Lorenzo Ruiz is the first Filipino to be canonized as a saint. He is also known as the first Filipino who was martyred for his Christian faith.
His feast day is celebrated every 28th of September.
Early Life and Biography
Ruiz was born to a Chinese father and Filipino mother between 1600 to 1610 in Binondo, Manila. At a young age, he began serving as a sacristan at a convent in his hometown. Educated by Dominicans, he also served as the order's 'escribano' because of his skilled hand penmanship. He was also a member of the Confraternity of the Rosary.
Ruiz primarily earned a living as a calligrapher for official and private individuals. He later got married and had two sons and a daughter.
However, he, along with Antonio Gonzales, Guillermo Courtet and Miguel de Aozaraza, was accused of committing a crime against the colonial government. Because of this, he fled the Philippines on 10 June 1636 and headed to Japan with the help of a Señor Domingo Gonzales and other Dominican priests.
Reaching Okinawa, they were quickly captured on on 10 July 1636 among Christians who were being persecuted in Japan. The Christians endured different forms of torture including being submerged in water until they almost drowned and forced to drink large amounts of water until it came out of their noses and ears. Needles were pricked beneath their nails and they were beaten severely until they lost consciousness.
These forms of torture were enough to cause Ruiz's companions to renounce their faith. However, whenever the tormentors would ask him if he was willing to do the same, he consistently rejected to recant his faith.
Finally, on 27 September 1637, Ruiz and his remaining companions were brought to the Mountain of Martyrs. There, their feet were bound; their bodies hung upside down. Stones were used to add to their weight, eventually resulting to their death due to suffocation and excessive bleeding.
Ruiz died two days after they were first brought to the Mountain of Martyrs. His body was cremated and his ashes were dumped in the sea.
Ruiz, along with 15 other companions, were beatified on 18 February 1981 by Pope John Paul II during one of his Papal visits to the Philippines. The beatification that took place in Manila was then elevated to a canonized status in Rome on 18 October 1987.
- "His Life." Diaz Foundation.  (Accessed on 21 July 2010).
- "How Many Pinoys Do You Know?" On the Wings of my Dream.  (Accessed on 21 July 2010).
- "Life Story of St. Lorenzo Ruiz." Fortune City.  (Accessed on 21 July 2010).
- "Saint Lorenzo Ruiz." Catholic Online.  (Accessed on 21 July 2010).