Friday, September 28, 2012

A Holy Life

Saint Lorenzo Ruiz

First Filipino Saint - Martyr

Feast day – September 28

Governor (Tormentor): If we let you live will you renounce your faith?"

St. Lorenzo Ruiz: "That I shall never do, because I am a Christian and I shall die for God, and for Him I will give many thousands of lives if I had them. And so do with me as you will please."

Lorenzo Ruiz was born in Binondo, Manila between 1600 to 1610. His father was Chinese and his mother was native Tagalog.

During his youth he was an altar boy, sarcistan at Binondo convent. He was educated by the Dominican Fathers and was their escribano because of his skillful hand and unsurpassed penmanship.

It is most commonly believed that he left the Philippines in 1639 because the Spaniards believed he had committed a crime against them.

He left the Philippines on 10 June 1636 with the aid of the Dominican Fathers and Sr. Domingo Gonzales.

In Japan, Christians were persecuted and put to death. St. Lorenzo Ruiz together with his imprisoned companions were captured and brought to Nagasaki around 10 July 1636.  There they suffered incredible torture as they were hung by their feet and submerged in water till they neared death. They also suffered 'water torture' which brought some of St. Lorenzo's companions to recant their faith. Needles were pressed in between their finger nails and skin and they were beaten unconscious. St. Lorenzo never lost his faith.

On 27 September 1637 he was taken with his companions to the "Mountain of Martyrs". There he was hung upside down into a pit in what was called a 'horca y hoya'. This was the most painful way to die in those times and involved using rocks to add weight to the person so that the person suffocates faster and is crushed from their own and added weight. After two days he died from bleeding and suffocation. His body was cremated and his ashes were thrown into the sea. He always professed his love and faith in God.

He was beatified by Pope John Paul II during the Papal visit to Manila on 18 February 1981. St. Lorenzo Ruiz was elevated to sainthood and received canonization on 18 October 1987 by His Holiness Pope John Paul II in Vatican City, Rome.

St. Lorenzo Ruiz was a layman, with two sons and a daughter. He is recognized as the first Filipino Saint and Martyr.


Sources for this article were taken from:




O most merciful and almighty God,
You bestowed as gift to Lorenzo Ruiz
The strength to withstand
The overpowering forces of death
For the sake of his faith in You.

Through his prayers,
Help us to follow his example
By overcoming all life’s trials
And eventually, increase
Our hope and love in You.

O St. Lorenzo Ruiz,
You brought honor to your country,
Having been a level-headed
And prudent father of the family,
A witness of Christ in your life
Until your death.

We present all our petitions
To God through your help
So that by our actions,
We may know more and love more
Jesus our Lord and Savior.

We humbly implore
Your intercession O dear St. Lorenzo,
For the infinite glory of God
And in honor of your triumph
As a martyr of Christ
And defender of Christianity.


St. Lorenzo Ruiz and Companion Martyrs – Pray for us

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