Lorenzo served at the convent of Binondo church as a sacristan. After a few years Lorenzo earned the title of "escribano" (notary). He became a member of the Confraternity of the Holy Rosary. Lorenzo was falsly accused of murder and sought asylum on board a ship with three Dominican priests, Saint Antonio Gonzalez, Saint Guillermo Courtet, and Saint Miguel de Aozaraza, a Japanese priest, Saint Vicente Shiwozuka de la Cruz, and a layman named Saint Lazaro of Kyoto, a leper. The boat landed at Okinawa and the group was arrested on basis of their Christian religion. They were tortured, but did not denounce their faith, and died as martyrs. Lorenzo Ruiz was beatified in Manilla on February 18, 1981 by Pope John Paul II who cannonized Lorenzo on October 18, 1987.
Lorenzo was the first beatification outside the Vatican and the first Filipino saint.