St. Lorenzo Ruiz was a Filipino who lived in Binondo, Manila. He was born between the years 1600 -1610. His father was a Chinese while his mother was a Filipina.
At a young age, he was already active in the church since he served as an altar boy in the Binondo Church. He was educated by the Dominican Friars and was given the title escribano or calligrapher since he had good penmanship. He had a family and he was married to a woman named Rosario. They had 3 children, 2 sons and 1 daughter.
He was accused by the Spaniards that he had killed one of their men and because of it, he went with the Dominican fathers to Okinawa, Japan on June 10, 1636. He aided the Dominican fathers and Sr. Domingo Gonzalez.
Unluckily, during the time he went to Japan, the Tokugawa shogunate was already persecuting Christians so they were captured and imprisoned for 2 years. They were transferred to Nagasaki on July 10, 1636. They were tortured incredibly by submerging them upside down in water until they were nearly dying. They were also beaten and pricked by needles between their finger nails and skin which became the reason why some of his companions recanted their faith but St. Lorenzo Ruiz never lost his. On September 27, 1637, he and his companions were brought to the Nishizaka Hill or the “Mountain of Martyrs”. They were hunged upside down. It was called tsurushi in Japanese or horca y hoya in Spanish. It was the most painful method to die during those times since it used rocks to add weight to the person thus suffocating him faster. St. Lorenzo Ruiz died after two days due to suffocation and bleeding. His body was cremated and his ashes were thrown in the sea. Because of his unwavering faith, he was beatified by Pope John Paul II during his visit in the Philippines on February 18, 1981 and was made saint on October 18, 1987 in Vatican City, Rome. He was the First Filipino Martyr and Saint.