Perhaps, the most famous religious Filipino ever is Saint Lorenzo Ruiz. Here are some of the most interesting facts about this Filipino saint.
1.) Saint Lorenzo Ruiz was born in 1600 CE in Binondo, Manila.
2.) He served as an altar boy at the convent of Binondo Church.
3.) Ruiz is also known as San Lorenzo de Manila.
4.) Lorenzo Ruiz is the first Filipino saint venerated in the Roman Catholic Church.
5.) He was martyred during persecution of Japanese Christians under the Tokugawa Shogunate in the 17th century.
6.) Ruiz’s father was a Chinese and his mother was a Filipina.
7.) His parents were both Catholics and Ruiz was both fluent in Chinese and Tagalog.
8.) Lorenzo was educated by the Dominican friars and earned the title of escribano (calligrapher) because of his skillful hand and unsurpassed penmanship.
9.) Lorenzo Ruiz was a member of the Cofradia del Santissimo Rosario or Confraternity of the Most Holy Rosary.
10.) He married and had two sons and a daughter with his Filipino wife.
11.) Life for the Ruiz family was generally peaceful, religious and full of contentment.
12.) In 1636, while working as a clerk at the Binondo Church, Ruiz was falsely accused of killing a Spaniard.
13.) Because of the allegation, Ruiz sought asylum on board a ship with three Dominican priests.
14.) His companions were Saint Antonio Gonzalez; Saint Guillermo Courtet; Saint Miguel de Aozaraza, a Japanese priest; Saint Vicente Shiwozuka de la Cruz; and a layman named Saint Lazaro of Kyoto, a leper.
15.) Ruiz and his companions left for Japan on June 10, 1636, with the aid of the Dominican fathers and Fr.Giovanni Yago.
16.) Ruiz and company was arrested and persecuted for their Christian religion upon reaching Okinawa, Japan.
17.) They were brought to Nagasaki on July 10, 1636 and were tortured in many ways.
18.) They were hanged by their feet, submerged in water until near death and by water torture.
19.) Needles were also inserted in their finger nails and they were beaten until unconscious.
20. Because of the excruciating pain from these methods, some of Ruiz's companions recant their faith, but Ruiz never did.
21.) On September 27, 1637, Ruiz and his companions were taken to the "Mountain of Martyrs" and they were hung upside down into a pit known as horca y hoya, or tsurishi.
22.) TSURISHI was considered as the most painful way to die at the time because it involved the use of rocks to add weight to the person being punished.
23.) The individual being tortured suffocated quickly while being crushed by his own weight.
24.) On September 29, 1637, Lorenzo Ruiz died from hemorrhage and suffocation.
25.) Ruiz’s body was cremated and his ashes were thrown into the sea