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Saint Lorenzo Ruiz

Born: c.1600 at Binondo, Manila, Philippines


Died: 29-30 September 1637 at Nagasaki, Japan by being crushed over a period
of three days while hanging upside down body burned, ashes thrown into
the Pacific Ocean
Beatified: 18 February 1981 by Pope John Paul II
Canonized: 18 October 1987 by Pope John Paul II
Feast day: On Sept. 24,

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.

His story as his life is so much more then the forementioned summary of
events. Yet, his life stands simply for love, having true unyielding belief
and faith in God.

For everyday Christians and Catholics around the world his life is a story of
an ordinary person willing to give his life for God. But on a daily basis his
life is a constant symbol of how we should never lose faith in God nor ever
be afraid of meeting our Father.