Signed in as:
Signed in as:
Lorenzo served as an altar boy at the Binondo Church. After being educated by the Dominican friars for a few years, Lorenzo earned the title of escribano (scrivener) because of his skillful penmanship. He became a member of the Cofradía del Santísimo Rosario (Confraternity of the Most Holy Rosary). He married Rosario, a native, and they had two sons and a daughter. The Ruiz family led a generally peaceful, religious and content life.
In 1636, whilst working as a clerk for the Binondo Church, Lorenzo was falsely accused of killing a Spaniard. Lorenzo sought asylum on board a ship with three Dominican priests: Antonio Gonzalez, Guillermo Courtet, and Miguel de Aozaraza; a Japanese priest, Vicente Shiwozuka de la Cruz; and a lay leper Lázaro of Kyoto. Lorenzo and his companions sailed for Okinawa on 10 June 1636, with the aid of the Dominican fathers.
The Tokugawa Shogunate was persecuting Christians, because they feared that was how the Spanish invaded the Philippines by using religion by the time Lorenzo had arrived in Japan. The missionaries were arrested and thrown into prison, and after two years, they were transferred to Nagasaki to face trial by torture. The group endured many and various cruel methods of torture.
On 27 September 1637, Lorenzo and his companions were taken to Nishizaka Hill, where they were tortured by being hung upside-down over a pit. He died two days later on 29 September 1637, aged 42. This form of torture was known as tsurushi (釣殺し) in Japanese or horca y hoya ("gallows and pit") in Spanish. The method, alleged to have been extremely painful, had the victim bound; one hand was always left free so that the individual may signal their desire to recant, leading to their release. Despite his suffering, Lorenzo refused to renounce Christianity and died from eventual blood loss and suffocation. His body was cremated, with the ashes thrown into the sea.
According to Latin missionary accounts sent back to Manila, Lorenzo declared these words upon his death:
Ego Catholicus sum et animo prompto paratoque pro Deo mortem obibo.
Si mille vitas haberem, cunctas ei offerrem.
(I am a Catholic and wholeheartedly do accept death for God;
Had I a thousand lives, all these to Him shall I offer.)
The Positio Super Introductione Causae or the cause of beatification of Lorenzo Ruiz was written by Spanish historian Fidel Villarroel. The central document found to exhibit Ruiz's martyrdom was an eyewitness account by two Japanese ex-priests from the Society of Jesus, rediscovered by Villaroel at the Jesuit Generalate archive in Rome, an unlikely location as Ruiz was of the Dominican order. Lorenzo was beatified during Pope John Paul II's papal visit to the Philippines in 1981. It was the first beatification ceremony to be held outside the Vatican in history. Lorenzo was canonized by the same pope in the Vatican City on October 18, 1987, among the 16 Martyrs of Japan, making him the first Filipino saint.
His canonization was supported by a miracle in October 1983, when Cecilia Alegria Policarpio of Calinog, Iloilo, was cured of brain atrophy (hydrocephalus) at the age of two, after her family and supporters prayed to Lorenzo for his intercession. She was diagnosed with the condition shortly after birth and was treated at University of the East Ramon Magsaysay Memorial Medical Center.