On our last post, you had read the life and canonization of Blessed Pedro Calungsod, the second Filipinos saint for canonization. The Christian life he lived and the gift of martyrdom he had is an excellent example of a good Christian life we should live with.
Prior to the the canonization of Blessed Pedro Calungsod, a Filipino saint was also canonized on October 18, 1987 at the grounds of Vatican City, Rome. Saint Lorenzo Ruiz (San Laurentius Ruiz de Manila) of Binondo, Manila was the first Filipino to become saint.
Saint Lorenzo served as an altar boy at the local church he was taught by the Dominica Friars, after a few years he earned title of escribano or a calligrapher. Years past he became a member of Confraternity of the Most Holy Rosary. He married and had two sons and a daughter.
His life was peaceful and joyful until a struck of test hit him, in 1636 while working he was accused of killing a Spaniard, because of this he was thrown in an asylum on board a ship together with three Dominican priest. They went to Okinawa, Japan on June 10, 1636. By the time they reach the shores of Japan, the Tokugawa shogunate was in the streak of killing Christians, arrested them and they were thrown in a prison. Two years past they were transferred to Nagasaki to face trial by torture.
On September 27, 1637, Ruiz and group of missionaries were taken to the Nishizaka Hill, they meet their fate of being tortured, hang upside down from a pit (horca y hoya in spanish). A governor went to him and said,
“If we let you live will you renounce your faith?|”
St. Lorenzo Ruiz said,
“Ego Catholicus sum et animo prompto paratoque pro Deo mortem obibo. Si mille vitas haberem, cunctas ei offerrem.”
English: ” I am a Catholic and wholeheartedly accept death for the Lord; if I have a thousand lives, all of them I will offer to Him”
St. Lorenzo Ruiz died full of faith and awesomeness. Because of this act and faith he was beatified in Manila, February 18, 1981 by Pope John Paul II and on October 18, 1987 he was canonized and became the first Filipino saint and first Filipino martyr.
An amazing saint that we Filipinos should be proud of.
Written by: Kevin Maglinte