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Statuary St. Lorenzo Ruiz

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St. Lorenzo Ruiz

St Lorenzo Ruiz (1600 – 1637), was born in Manila, Philippines. He is the first Filipino saint venerated in the Roman Catholic Church; he is thus the protomartyr and the patron saint of the Philippines. He was killed for refusing to leave Japan and renounce his Roman Catholic beliefs during the persecution of Japanese Christians under the Tokugawa Shogunate in the 17th century.

Early life

Lorenzo Ruiz was born in Binondo, Manila to a Chinese father and a Filipino mother who were both Catholic. His father taught him Chinese while his mother taught him Tagalog.

Ruiz served as an altar boy at the convent of Binondo church. After being educated by the Dominican friars for a few years, Ruiz earned the title of escribano (calligrapher) because of his skillful penmanship. He became a member of the Cofradia del Santissimo Rosario (Confraternity of the Most Holy Rosary). He married Rosario, a native, and they had two sons and a daughter. The Ruiz family lead a generally peaceful, religious and content life.

In 1636, whilst working as a clerk for Binondo Church, Ruiz was falsely accused of killing a Spaniard. Ruiz sought asylum on board a ship with three Dominican priests: Saint Antonio Gonzalez; Saint Guillermo Courtet; Saint Miguel de Aozaraza, a Japanese priest; Saint Vicente Shiwozuka de la Cruz; and a lay leper Saint Lazaro of Kyoto. Ruiz and his companions left for Okinawa on 10 June 1636, with the aid of the Dominican fathers and Fr Giovanni Yago.


The Tokugawa shogunate was persecuting Christians by the time Ruiz 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. He and his companions faced different types of torture. One of these was the insertion of needles inside their fingernails.

On 27 September 1637, Ruiz and his companions were taken to the Nishizaka Hill, where they were tortured by being hung upside down a pit. This form of torture was known as tsurushi (釣殺し) in Japanese or horca y hoya in Spanish. The method was supposed to be extremely painful: though the victim was bound, one hand is always left free so that victims may be able to signal that they recanted, and they would be freed. Ruiz refused to renounce Christianity and died from blood loss and suffocation. His body was cremated and his ashes thrown into the sea.

According to Latin missionary accounts sent back to Manila, Ruiz declared these words upon his death:

"Ego Catholicus sum et animo prompto paratoque pro Deo mortem obibo. Si mille vitas haberem, cunctas ei offerrem."

In English this may be rendered:

"I am a Catholic and wholeheartedly do accept death for the Lord; If I had a thousand lives, all these I shall offer to Him."

This may be reconstructed into Tagalog or Filipino as:

"Isa akong Katoliko at buong-pusong tinatanggap ang kamatayan para sa Panginoon. Kung ako man ay may isanlibong buhay, lahat ng iyon ay iaalay ko sa Kanya."

Path to sainthood

Cause of beatification and canonization

The Positio Super Introductione Causae or the cause of beatification of St. Lorenzo Ruiz was authored by respected historian, Fr. Fidel Villarroel, O.P., which led to his beatification during Pope John Paul II's papal visit to the Philippines. It was the first beatification ceremony to be held outside the Vatican in history. San Lorenzo Ruiz was canonized by the same pope in Vatican City on 18 October 1987, making him the first Filipino saint.


The miracle that led to his canonization took place in 1983, when Cecilia Alegria Policarpio, a 2-year-old girl suffering brain atrophy (hydrocephalus) was cured through the intercession of the family and supporters to Lorenzo Ruiz. She was diagnosed shortly after her birth and was treated at Magsaysay Medical Center.

Places and things named after Lorenzo Ruiz

� San Lorenzo Ruiz, Camarines Norte, a municipality in the province of Camarines Norte

� Colegio de San Lorenzo, a Catholic college in Quezon City, founded in 1988

� Lorenzo Ruiz de Manila School, a Catholic school in Cainta, Rizal, founded in 1990

� Chapel of San Lorenzo Ruiz, a Catholic church in New York City, opened in 2005

� St. Lorenzo Ruiz Catholic Church, a Catholic church in Walnut, California

Other tributes to Saint Lorenzo

St. Lorenzo Ruiz's image is included among the images by John Nava of 135 saints and blessed from around the world in the Communion of Saints Tapestries which hangs inside the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in Los Angeles.

On 28 September 2007, the Catholic Church celebrated the 20th anniversary of Ruiz's canonization. Manila Cardinal Archbishop Gaudencio Rosales said: "Kahit saan nandoon ang mga Pilipino, ang katapatan sa Diyos ay dala-dala ng Pinoy (Wherever the Filipinos may be, they bring with them their loyalty to God)."

The text in this box was generated from a Wikipedia article, which is released under the CC-BY-SA.

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Title: New Hand Carved, Hand Painted Statue of St. Lorenzo Ruiz
Item Number: KRNM-A1656
KRMUS-1656: New hand carved and hand painted statue of St. Lorenzo Ruiz. King Richard's recently designed, crafted and delivered this statue as part of a 5' matched set t...
Title: New Statue of St. Lawrence Ruiz
Item Number: KRDEM-535
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