Monday, 6 February 2017

Saint Paulo Miki


Statue of Miki, bearing stylised depictions of the instruments of his death, in St Martin's Church in Bamberg, Germany.
The 6th of February is the feast day of Saint Paul Miki. He is the patron saint of Japan.

The following is from Wikipedia:
Paulo Miki (Japanese: パウロ三木; c. 1562[1] – 5 February 1597) was a Roman Catholic Japanese Jesuit seminarian, martyr and saint, one of the Twenty-six Martyrs of Japan.
Paulo Miki was born into a wealthy Japanese family. He was educated by the Jesuits in Azuchi and Takatsuki. He joined the Society of Jesus and became a well known and successful preacher - gaining numerous converts to Catholicism. The local daimyōToyotomi Hideyoshi, began persecuting Catholics for fear of the Jesuits' influence and intentions, and possibly that of European visitors.
Miki arrested and jailed with his fellow Catholics were later forced to march 966 kilometres (600 miles) from Kyoto to Nagasaki; all the while singing the Te Deum. On arriving in Nagasaki—which today has the largest Catholic population in Japan—Miki was crucified on 5 February 1597.
He preached his last sermon from the cross, and it is maintained that he forgave his executioners, stating that he himself was Japanese. Crucified alongside him were Joan Soan (de Gotó) and Santiago Kisai, also of the Society of Jesus; along with twenty-three other clergy and laity, all of whom were canonized by Pope Pius IX in 1862. 
(1) Liturgy of the Hours, Vol. III. Proper of Saints, February 6. 

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