Saint Lorenzo Ruiz (ca. 1600 – 29 September 1637), also known as Laurentius Ruiz de Manila or San Lorenzo Ruiz de Manila, is the firstFilipino saint venerated in the Roman Catholic Church; he is thus the protomartyr 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. Saint Lorenzo is patron saint of, among others, the Philippines and Filipinos.
Lorenzo Ruiz was born in Binondo, Manila to a Chinese father and a Filipino mother who were bothCatholic. 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 Dominicanfriars 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...