Saint Lorenzo Ruiz

September 28

Lorenzo was born in Binondo, Manila on November 28, 1594. His father is a Chinese businessman while his mother is a Filipino native. Being of mixed parentage, he had the advantage to speak both the language of his parents: Mandarin & Tagalog. He studied Spanish from the Dominican friars who were in charge of the Parish of Binondo. Later, Lorenzo became an altar bay. When he grew older he became a "escribano". Lorenzo got married and was blessed with three Children. Lorenzo is a devout catholic who always attend Mass, and he was a great lover of the Virgin Mary. Lorenzo was a happy man, but this will come to an end, when he accidentally quarreled with a Spaniard and not long he was accused of homicide. At about the same time, some Dominican missionaries planned rto go to some places in the Orient to preach and teach the Catholic Faith. Lorenzo volunteered to join the Spanish Friars not just to escape the false accusation but also because he wanted to help to spread the Catholic Faith. On their journey, they reached Okinawa, Japan. At that time, Christians were banned in Japan. Everyone is required to worship the gods of the Japanese. Upon Arrival in Okinawa, they were arrested and tortured. Before Lorenzo died, he was asked the following questions: "If we grant you your life, are you willing to renounce your faith?" Lorenzo quickly answered: "I'm a Christian and this I profess, & although I didn't come to Japan to become a martyr, I am now willing to give up my life for God. You can do with me whatever you please." Lorenzo, with his companions, was sentenced to die. The place of execution was Nishizaka Hill, Nagasaki. They were hanged head down inside a small pit & only his limbs were seen from above the ground. They remained in this condition for three days. At the end of the Third day, all prisoners were found dead. Their remain were burned and the ashes were thrown into the sea, near the Nagasaki Harbour. Lorenzo died a martyr together with his companions on September 29, 1637. He and his companions were beatified in Manila on February 18, 1981 by Pope John Paul II. On October 18, 1987, he was canonized in Rome by the same Pontiff.