- Saturday, 06 February 2010 06:34
God, our Father, source of strength for all Your
saints, You led Peter Baptist, Paul Miki, and their companions through the
sufferings of the cross to the joy eternal life. May their prayers give us the
courage to be loyal until death in professing our faith.
Today the Church commemorates
twenty-six martyrs, three Jesuits
and six Franciscans, crucified in Nagasaki, Japan, on February 5, 1597. Most
were Japanese and most were laypersons and they were among the first martyrs of
a young Church. The names of the martyrs are:
Fathers Peter Baptist, Martin of the Ascension, Francis Blanco; Seminarian Philip of Jesus; Brothers Gonsalvo Garzia, Francis of St Michael with seventeen native Franciscan Tertiaries
Seminarians Paul Miki, John Goto, and Brother James Kisai
They were beatified by Pope Urban VIII on September 14, 1627 and canonized by Pope Pius IX on June 8, 1862.
One historical note, to date the Catholic Church in Japan has 410 beatified and/or canonized martyrs.