10 April, 2008

Basilica of St Lorenzo Ruiz Postcards

Minor Basilica of St. Lorenzo Ruiz (Binondo Church) was founded by Dominican priests in 1596 to serve their Chinese converts to Christianity. The original building was destroyed by a bombardment by the British in 1762 during their brief occupation of Manila at that time.

Binondo Church Postcard 1

Binondo Church was greatly damaged during the Second World War, although fortunately the western facade and the octagonal bell tower survived. The current granite church was completed on the same site in 1852 and features an octagonal bell tower which suggests the Chinese culture of the parishioners.

Binondo Church Postcard 2

Minor Basilica of San Lorenzo Ruiz was named after the sacristan, San Lorenzo Ruiz. Saint Lorenzo Ruiz (c.1600 - Sept. 29, 1637), served at the convent of Binondo church as an altar boy. After a few years he earned the title of escribano and soon became a member of the Confraternity of the Holy Rosary.

Binondo Church Postcard 3

He was working as a clerk at the Binondo Church when he was falsely accused of killing a Spaniard in 1636. He sought asylum on board a ship with three Dominican priests. The boat landed at Okinawa and the group was arrested on basis of their Christian religion. They were tortured, but they did not denounce their faith and died as martyrs.

Binondo Church Postcard 4

Lorenzo Ruiz was beatified in Manila on Feb 18, 1981 by Pope John Paul II. He was canonized on Oct 18, 1987, becoming Philippines' first saint. A large statue of the martyr stands in front of the church.

Binondo Church Postcard 5

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