Martyrs — (d. 1633-1637)
+ Between 1633 and 1637 sixteen Christians were killed in Nagasaki, Japan.
+ The group, which included both professed Dominican priests and brothers as well as Third Order Dominicans, had worked to spread the Gospel in the Philippines, Formosa, and Japan.
+ Among those killed was the Filipino husband and father, Saint Lawrence Ruiz. He was the first Filipino to be honored as a saint in the Church.
+ Saint Lawrence Ruiz and his companions were canonized in 1987.
In 2012, Pope Benedict XVI canonized another Filipino layman and martyr, Saint Pedro Calungsod. Pedro had served as a missionary catechist on Guam and was murdered in 1672, trying to protect the priest Blessed Diego Luis San Vitores.
“Sixteen men and women bore witness, by their heroic sufferings and death, to their belief in the message of salvation in Christ which had reached them after being proclaimed from generation to generation since the time of the Apostles.
In their sufferings, their love and imitation of Jesus reached its fulfillment, and their sacramental configuration with Jesus, the one Mediator, was brought to perfection.”—Pope Saint John Paul II
Grant us, we pray, Lord God,
the same perseverance shown by your Martyrs
Saint Lawrence Ruiz and his companions
in serving you and their neighbor,
since those persecuted for the sake of righteousness
are blessed in your Kingdom.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
(from The Roman Missal)
Profiles prepared by Br. Silas Henderson, S.D.S.