Lorenzo Ruiz was born in Binondo, between 1600 and 1610. He was baptized shortly afterwards. His parents who were devoted Catholics brought him up and influenced him to have a strong faith in God. Lorenzo’s father and two siblings died in a battle between the Spaniards and Chinese. Lorenzo and his mother were then placed under the Dominicans.
Several years later, his mother died. Lorenzo grew up under the care of the Dominicans who gave him Christian education. He was much trusted as a sacristan in the Church. But, one day, a friar suspected that Lorenzo stole an envelope with cash from his table. To this, Lorenzo could only pray to the Blessed Mother. The following day, the friar told him that the money he was looking for was taken by his assistant. He was later on appointed as an “escribano”. After a few years, Lorenzo got married and was blessed withe three children.
One night, a Spaniard was murdered, but nobody could testify to the murder. But, before the day ended, somebody had testified that Lorenzo was the murderer. Aware of the injustices that often happen against the Filipinos, Lorenzo was advised to flee for his life.
Lorenzo did not want to die for a crime he never committed. He sought help from the Dominican friar, He was advised to join the expedition to Japan together with some missionaries. They buried all their Christian objects and liturgical ornaments in a deserted place. In Japan these missionaries were able to gather a good number of Christians and Lorenzo began to like being sacristan again. But a spy spotted them. They were captured easily and were imprisoned.
The friars were tortured to death. Fr. Antonio Gonzales was tortured before the very eyes of Lorenzo and Lazaro. Lazaro denied his faith but was also tortured. Lorenzo professed his faith: ” I am a Christian and this I profess until the hour of my death; and for God, I shall give my life.” For the second thime, he was brought to the judges and was offered life if he apostatized. But, Lorenzo said: ” That I will not do, because I am a Christian and I shall die for God! And for Him, I will give many thousands of lives if I had them.” At the death of Fr. Antonio, Lazaro repented and resolved to offer his life to God too. They were finally executed to death in 1637.