Lorenzo Ruiz
1600/1610 - 19/30.09.1637
 

A brief biography.

Lorenzo Ruiz  (Laurence, Lawrence) was born in Binondo, Manila, between 1600 to 1610. His father was Chinese and his mother was native Tagalog, both Christians. He learned Chinese and Tagalog from them, Spanish from the  Dominicans whom he served as altar boy and sacristan. He was married, had two sons and a daughter and was a member of the Confraternity of the Rosary. He was professional calligrapher and documents transcriptionist.

For unknown reasons, Lorenzo was accused of murder. He sought asylum and left the Philippines on 10 June 1636 on board ship with three Dominican priests, Antonio Gonzalez, Guillermo Courtet, Miguel de Aozaraza, a Japanese priest Vicente Shiwozuka de la Cruz, and a layman named Lazaro of Kyoto, a leper.
Only when they were at sea did he learn that they were going to Japan during a time of intense Christian persecution. Lorenzo could have gone to Formosa (modern Taiwan), but feared the Spaniards there would hang him, and so stayed with the missionaries as they landed at Okinawa.

 

The group was soon exposed as Christian, arrested and taken to Nagasaki. They were tortured in several ways for days. Lawrence and the Japanese priest broke at one point, and were ready to renounce their faith in exchange for release, but after their moment of crisis, they reclaimed their faith and defied their tormentors.
There they suffered incredible torture as they were hung by their feet and submerged in water till they neared death. They also suffered 'water torture' which brought some of  Lorenzo's companions to recant their faith. Needles were pressed in between their finger nails and skin and they were beaten unconscious. Lorenzo never lost his faith.
 

On 27 September 1637 he was taken with his companions to the "Mountain of Martyrs". There he was hung upside down into a pit in what was called a 'horca y hoya'.
After two days he died, 29-30 September, from bleeding and suffocation. His body was cremated and his ashes were thrown into the Pacific Ocean.
He and fifteen companions, martyred in the same persecution, were beatified by Pope John Paul II during the Papal visit to Manila on 18 February 1981. Lorenzo Ruiz was canonized on 18 October 1987 by Pope John Paul II in Vatican City, Rome.
He is the first Filipino martyred for the Christian Faith, and the first Filipino saint.

 


Philately

Lorenzo Ruiz with his words “I die for God…”
With the text:

Blessed Lorenzo Ruiz first Filipino martyr
beatified by Pope John Paul II Manila, 1981

 

Philippines 1983, Mi 1513, Sc 1628.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beatification of Lorenzo Ruiz and 15 Companions
on 18 February 1981, during the visit of Pope
John Paul II to the Philippines, 16 till 27 February 1981.

 

Vatican City 1981. KimCover PW 145, 16-27.02.1981.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Canonization of Lorenzo Ruiz by Pope John Paul II
on October 18, 1987.Stained
glass window showing Crucifixion
 of Christ
in the Lorenzo-Ruiz-Statue.

Text:  "I would rather die a thousand deaths than renounce my faith."
Canonization of the first Filipino saint Lorenzo Ruiz de Manila by
Pope John Paul II, Rome, October 18, 1987.

  

Philippines 1987, Mi 1812, Sc 1885.

 

 

 

 

     

Lorenzo Ruiz at prayer before his execution on the Mountains of Martyrs
in Nagasaki,
27 September 1637.

Text: "I would rather die a thousand deaths than renounce my faith."

Canonization of the first Filipino saint Lorenzo Ruiz de Manila by
Pope John Paul II, Rome, October 18, 1987.

 

Philippines 1987, Mi 1813, Sc 1886.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lorenzo Ruiz praying on the Mountains of Martyrs in Nagasaki,
27 September 1637.

Text: "I would rather die a thousand deaths than renounce my faith."

Canonization of the first Filipino saint Lorenzo Ruiz de Manila by
Pope John Paul II, Rome, October 18, 1987.

 

Philippines 1987, Mi Bl 33, Sc 1887.

 

 

10th Anniversary of the Philippine Stamp Collectors Society.  

 

Philippines 2005, Mi Bl 214, Sc -- . Same block with overprint.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Canonization of  Lorenzo Ruiz and 15 Martyrs in
Japan by Pope John  Paul II in Rome on 18.10.1987.

 

Vatican City 1987. KimCover PW 597, 18.10.1987.

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Return to    REGISTER A          Return to   HOMEPAGE