By nature of our vocations, Christ calls us fathers and husbands to die, to a martyrdom of self. He calls us to lay down our lives for our brides and our families, dying to our selfish desires. St. Paul could not be clearer on this point (see Ephesians 5:25-27). It is a metaphorical death, to be sure, and one which leads to a new life with our families.
Some men, however, go beyond mere manhood, beyond the natural virtues we all strive to live out, as Christ calls us to live. These men, these saints, not only give up their lives symbolically in marriage, as all men do who exchange wedding vows, but also literally in their deaths as martyrs for the Faith. There are few of these married martyr saints, and each one of them gives the Church a shining example of the call all of us have to holiness.
Of this elite band of brothers, St. Lorenzo Ruiz remains relatively obscure, a saint better known in Catholic trivia circles than in spiritual discussions. That is a shame, for we Christian men, especially husbands and fathers, gain much from reflecting on this true man of Christ and his life of love and service.
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