St Paul Miki & Companions, Martyrs
Born wealthy, the son of the military leader Miki Handayu. Paul felt a call to religious life from his youth. Jesuit in 1580, educated at the Jesuit College at Azuchi and Takatsuki. Successful evangelist. When the political climate became hostile to Christianity, he decided to continue his ministry, was soon arrested. On his way to martyrdom, he and other imprisoned Christians were marched 600 miles so they could be abused by, and be a lesson to, their countrymen; they sang the Te Deum on the way. His last sermon was delivered from the cross. One of the Martyrs of Nagasaki.
He was born in 1562 at Tsunokuni, Japan and crucified on 5 February, 1597 at Nagasaki, Japan.
He was beatified on 14 September, 1627 by Pope Urban VIII and canonized on 8 June, 1862 by Pope Pius IX.
“The only reason for my being killed is that I have taught the doctrine of Christ. I thank God it is for this reason that I die. I believe that I am telling the truth before I die. I know you believe me and I want to say to you all once again: Ask Christ to help you become happy. I obey Christ. After Christ’s example, I forgive my persecutors. I do not hate them. I ask God to have pity on all, and I hope my blood will fall on my fellow men as a fruitful rain.” (Saint Paul Miki)