St. Paul Miki and Companions, orate pro nobis!

Amid the many horrors of the bombing of Nagaski, Japan by the American Air Force in 1945, this one is often overlooked: in a country where Christians are few, Nagasaki was the site of a Christian community. It was near Nagasaki in 1597 that the first Christian martyrs of the Far East, St. Paul Miki and his companions, were killed.

St. Paul Miki joined the Jesuits in 1580, during a time when Christianity was spreading rapidly through Japan. Paul became known and loved for his preaching. He was a novice, studying for the priesthood when he and twenty-five other Catholics were arrested and killed by order from Emperor Hideyoshi. They were canonized as the Martyrs of Japan in 1862.

The martyrs had their left ears cut off as a mark of shame. Mutilated, they were forced to walk through the streets of Kyoto.

Then they were taken to Nagasaki and tied to crosses, with their necks anchored to the cross by iron rings. An eyewitness gave this account of the martyrdom:
continue at The Catholic Catalogue

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