Biography of San Lorenzo Ruiz de Manila (1600-1637)

Martyr and Saint layman filipino, born in Binondo (Manila) probably in 1600 and died in Nagasaki (Japan) 29 September 1637, who preached Christianity in Japan and suffered this martyrdom. He was the first filipino native canonized by the Church.

But son of a Chinese father and mother Tagalog, Lorenzo Ruiz was educated in the Christian religion, which their parents were faithful devotees. In childhood he attended the school of the Dominican fathers of his hometown, and from then on his life was closely linked to the regular order, first as sacristan of the monastery friars had in Binondo and then exerting the role of clerk or notary, thanks to its expertise in writing. According to sources, he was also a member of the confraternity of the Holy Rosary, institution in the Philippines since 1587, and it seems that he contracted a marriage he had two sons and a daughter, although their names are not known.

In 1636 he was involved in a crime committed in Manila, and the prospect of being accused of this, he decided to embark on an expedition together with other four Dominican missionaries whose fate was in principle Macao, although after the ship headed for Japan, a country where Christianity was persecuted. In consequence, shortly after having arrived in the island of Okinawa (the Ryukyu archipelago), Lorenzo and his companions were arrested and imprisoned. In September of 1637 were sent to the Japanese city of Nagasaki to be tried there, but the refusal to recant the Christian faith they were martyred with horrible torture. While some of the Dominicans finally renounced their faith, Lorenzo resisted all the torments and proclaimed their willingness to die by God with the following words: "I am a Christian and I will continue to be Christian until the very moment of death [...] only I will offer to God my life, and even if I had a thousand lives, a thousand times would offer it." One of the most terrible tortures to which he was subjected was forced to drink huge amounts of water until it caused him vomit, practice suffered repeatedly for two days; Despite this, he continued to deny God. Finally, on September 27 he was conducted to the sacred hill of Nishizaka, where he was hanged and hung upside down. His mortal remains were thrown into the fire and the ashes thrown into the sea.

During the first visit of Juan Pablo II to the Philippines, in February 1981, the Supreme Pontiff beatified him along with other fifteen missionaries died in Japan during the 17TH century, and finally on October 18, 1987 was canonized at the Vatican along with other Dominican missionaries, although all of them only Lorenzo Ruiz was originally from the Islands. Her feast is celebrated on September 28.