Today in Philippine History, February 18, 1981, Lorenzo Ruiz was beatified by Pope John Paul II

Friday February 17, 2012 ()

On February 18, 1981, Lorenzo Ruiz, a former altar boy from Binondo, Manila, was beatified by Pope John Paul II during his Papal visit to the Philippines. It was the first beatification ceremony held outside the Vatican City, Rome.

Father Ruiz was elevated to Sainthood and canonized by Pope John Paul II in Vatican City on October 18, 1987, making him the first Filipino saint and the first Filipino martyr.

Lorenzo Ruiz   
Lorenzo Ruiz   

Prior to his death, Ruiz led a peaceful, religious and full of contentment life with his wife, two sons and a daughter.

However, he was falsely accused of killing a Spaniard, thus he sought asylum and left for Japan on June 10, 1636 on board a ship with some Dominican Fathers and Fr. Domingo Gonzales.

The boat landed at Okinawa, but Ruiz and his group were arrested and persecuted because of their Christian religion. They were brought to Nagazaki on July 10, 1636.

On September 27, 1637, Ruiz and companions were taken to the "Mountain of Martyrs," where they were tortured through hanging by their feet, submerged in water until neared death. He was also subjected to water torture. Needles were also inserted through his finger nails and beaten until he was unconscious.

These methods made some of Ruiz's companions recant their faith, but Ruiz never did.

Despite the torture inflicted on him, Ruiz did not renounce his Christian faith.

He was hung upside down in a pit by his tormentors in Nagazaki on September 29, 1637.

Ruiz died from hemorrhage and suffocation. His body was cremated and the ashes thrown into the sea.

Reference: Philippine News Agency archives
Photo credit: Wikipedia Commons


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