St Lorenzo Ruiz healing oil
The St Lorenzo Ruiz healing oil is dedicated to the Filipino saint venerated in the Catholic Church. He was executed in Japan during the persecution of Christians in the 17th century. He became his country’s protomartyr. Also, S Lorenzo is patron saint of the Philippines and the Filipino people.
Lorenzo Ruiz was born in Manila, to a Chinese father and a Filipino mother. They were both Catholic. His father taught him Chinese while his mother taught him Tagalog.
Ruiz served as an altar boy at the Binondo Church. He was educated by the Dominican friars for a few years. Ruiz earned the title of calligrapher because of his skillful penmanship. He married Rosario, a native, and they had two sons and a daughter. The Ruiz family led a generally peaceful, religious and content life.
In 1636, Ruiz was falsely accused of killing a Spaniard. He sought asylum on board a ship with three Dominican priests: Ruiz and his companions sailed for Okinawa on 10 June 1636, with the aid of the Dominican fathers..
Ruiz arrives in Japan
The Tokugawa was persecuting Christians in Japan. The missionaries were arrested and thrown into prison. After two years, they were transferred to Nagasaki to face trial by torture. The group endured many and various cruel methods of torture.
On 27 September 1637, Ruiz and his companions were taken to Nishizaka Hill. There they were tortured by being hung upside-down over a pit. The method, alleged to have been extremely painful. The victim was bound. One hand was always left free so that the individual may signal their desire to recant. This would lead to their release. Despite his suffering, Ruiz refused to renounce Christianity. Eventually, he died of blood loss and suffocation. His body was cremated, with the ashes thrown into the sea.
According to Latin missionary accounts sent back to Manila, Ruiz declared these words upon his death:
(I am a Catholic and wholeheartedly do accept death for God;
Had I a thousand lives, all these to Him shall I offer.
The cause of beatification of Saint Lorenzo Ruiz was written by respected historian, Fr.Fidel Villarreal, O.P. In due course, Ruiz was beatified during Pope John Paul II’s papal visit to the Philippines. It was the first beatification ceremony to be held outside the Vatican in history. San Lorenzo Ruiz was canonized by the same pope in the Vatican City on 18 October 1987. He was the first Filipino saint.
His canonization was supported by a miracle in October 1983. Cecilia Algeria was cured of brain atrophy at the age of two. Her family and supporters prayed to Ruiz for his intercession. Also, she was diagnosed with the condition shortly after birth. Cecilia was treated at local medical centre.
Tradition of oils
The tradition of anointing with sacred oil is very old indeed. It is used in sacraments and also as a devotional practice. The sick person applies the oil and blesses themselves. As they do so, they are asked to pray to whomever the oil is dedicated to. The Irish blessings oils do not have miraculous power. It is God who has the power to heal. Applying the oil while praying are important ways for us to express our faith in God’s power. Moreover, by doing so we place our trust in God.