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Friday, February 6, 2015

Saint Paul Miki and Companions - February 6

Saint Paul Miki and Companions photo MikiSan_Paolo_Miki_e_compagni_M_zps482be0d1.jpg
Saint Paul Miki and Companions
February 6

"The earnest faith that arose among the Japanese following Saint Francis Xavier's mission in the 16th century was crowned by martyrdom beginning with Paul Miki, a Japanese Jesuit, and twenty-five companions on February 5, 1597.  The following decades saw repeated mass executions, frequently by burning.  The stalwart Japanese frequently recited prayers during their deaths.  Faithful onlookers were known to chant the Magnificat or Te Deum as the martyrs succumbed.  Frustrated by their inability to eradicate Catholicism through public executions, the Japanese authorities closed the country to foreign visitors in 1638.  When Japan was reopened in 1865, thousands of covert Catholics came forward, still clinging to the faith of their forefathers."  (From Magnificat, February 2015 - Vol. 16, No. 12, page 91-92)

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