Saint Lorenzo Ruiz (Lawrence) was born on November 28 1594 in Binondo, Manila, Philippines and died as a martyr on September 29 1637 in Nagasaki, Hizen Province, Japan. We celebrate his feast day together with his companions on September 28 every year in the Catholic Church.
|Saint Lawrence Ruiz and Companions, Martyrs Biography|
|Date of Birth||November 28 1594|
|Place of Birth||Binondo, Manila, Philippines|
|Profession||Clerk for the Binondo Church|
|Place of Work||Binondo, Manila, Philippines|
|Date of Death||September 28 1637|
|Place of Death||Nagasaki, Hizen Province Tokugawa Shogunat, Japan|
|Feast Day||September 28|
|Beatification||By Pope John Paul II on February 18 1981 in Manila|
|Canonization||By Pope John Paul II on October 18 1987 in Vatican City|
|Patron Saint of||
Saint Lorenzo Ruiz and Companions History
Lorenzo Ruiz’s father was Chinese and his mother was Filipino and were both Catholic Christians. He was taught Chinese by his father and Tagalog (a popular language in the Philippines) by his mother.
After undergoing instructions and baptism, Saint Lorenzo Ruiz became an altar boy in his local Saint Gabriel Catholic Church in Binondo. He was educated by the Dominican friars and became a very avid and experienced writer.
Lorenzo married Rosario and were blessed with three children; two sons and a daughter. They lived a very loving, religious and peaceful life as he worked as a clerk for his local Binondo Church and as a full member of the Confraternity of the Holy Rosary under Dominican auspices.
A time came when he was accused falsely of killing a Spaniard. He fled and went into hiding on board a ship that along with some companions namely;
- Antonio Gonzalez – Dominican priest
- Guillermo Courtet – Dominican priest
- Miguel de Aozaraza – Dominican priest
- Vicente Shiwozuka de la Cruz – a Japanese priest
- Lázaro of Kyoto – a lay leper
On June 10 1636, they all set sail for Okinawa with the help of the Dominican fathers
The military government of Japan (Tokugawa shogunate) at that time was persecuting Christians. This was because they had learned that the Spanish had taken control of the Philippines using religion and therefore no Christian was welcome in Japan.
When Saint Lorenzo Ruiz and his Companions landed in Japan, they were arrested and imprisoned for two years. After this, they were taken to Nagasaki to face trial. Here they were all tortured with cruelty with the sole purpose of forcing them to apostatize.
The torture involved forcing huge amounts of water down the prisoners’ throats, then the guards would make them lie down, place long boards on their stomachs and step on them, thereby forcing water to gush out of their mouths, noses, and ears.
Still, they would be hung upside down over a pit and heavy stones would be tied around their bodies to make the blood move in large quantities to the head. The guards would make a small cut in the head to release some blood to avoid loss of consciousness and prolong the pain.
Despite this painful torture, Lorenzo Ruiz and his companions never recanted their faith in God. He declared these words to his torturers,
“I am a Catholic and I accept wholeheartedly to die for God. If I had a thousand lives, I would offer all of them to God.”St Lorenzo Ruiz
Saint Lorenzo Ruiz suffocated and died within two days but some of the priests who did not die of suffocation were beheaded.
St Lorenzo Ruiz Death
After two days of torture at the Nishizaka Hill, Lorenzo Ruiz died as a martyr from suffocation and blood loss at the age of 42 years on September 29 1637. His body was cremated and ashes were thrown into the sea.
Saints Lawrence Ruiz and Companions were beatified by Pope John Paul II on February 18 1981 in Manila, Philippines. This beatification was the first beatification ceremony ever held outside the Vatican.
Saints Lawrence Ruiz and Companions were canonized by Pope John Paul II on October 18 1987 in Vatican City after a miracle happened in October 1983. A two-year-old baby in the Philippines called Cecilia Alegria Policarpio was cured of a brain disease called hydrocephalus after the family, friends, and supporters prayed to Lorenzo for his intercession.
Saint Lorenzo Ruiz Feast Day
We celebrate his feast day together with his companions on September 28 every year in the Catholic Church.
Saint Lorenzo Ruiz is the Patron Saint of
- The poor
- The Philippines
- Separated families
- Overseas Filipino Workers and migrant workers
- Filipino youth
- Filipino Altar servers
- Archdiocese of Manila
Saint Lorenzo Ruiz Quote
“I am a Catholic and wholeheartedly do accept death for God; Had I a thousand lives, all these to Him shall I offer.”
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