Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Saint Lorenzo Ruiz and companions

Tomorrow is the memorial of the first Filipino saint Lorenzo Ruiz and his companions, martyrs.

Lorenzo was an accidental martyr. He went to Japan with a band of Dominican missionaries trying to escape from being unjustly accused of murder in Manila. His intention was to go to Macau and work while letting things cool down back at home.

His initial denial of the faith in the face of torture somehow shows his unreadiness to give his life in witness to the Gospel. But his ultimate decision to return and confess his faith after taking it back all the more highlights the authenticity of his free and deliberate martyrdom. Regretting his once casting off Christ only to hold on to his life, he declared: “A thousand lives, I would give them all for God if I had them” expressing his new-found readiness to give his life countless times for Christ if asked of him.

And so we pray to Lorenzo for the grace to be strong in trial and more importantly, for the grace to rise from our failings, ever to commit ourselves again to God who is worth infinitely more than our life, even a thousand of it.

Saint Lorenzo Ruiz and companion-martyrs, pray for us!
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