Saint of the Day – February 6 – Saints Paul Miki and Companions, Martyrs

The Memorial of Saints Paul Miki and Companions, Martyrs

Saints Paul Miki and Companions, Martyrs is the Patron Saint of Japan

Saints Paul Miki and Companions, Martyrs Date of Birth, Country of Birth, Profession, Place of Work, Date of Death, Place of Death, Feast Day, Beatification Date, Canonization Date

Saints Paul Miki and Companions, Martyrs brief life History

Date of Birth 1562 AD
Country of Birth Japan in Asia
Matrimony/Holy Orders Not Married who became Saints
Profession Roman Catholic Japanese Jesuit seminarian and martyr
Place of Work Japan
Date of Death 5 February 1597
Place of Death Nagasaki, Japan
Feast Day February 6
Beatification By Pope Urban VIII on 14 September 1627
Canonization By Pope Pius IX on 8 June 1862
Patron Saint of Japan

Saints Paul Miki and Companions, Martyrs Short life History

Paulo Miki was born into a wealthy Japanese family. He was the son of a Japanese military leader. Born at Tounucumada, Japan, 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 daimyō, Toyotomi Hideyoshi, began persecuting Catholics for fear of the Jesuits' influence and intentions, and possibly that of European visitors.

Miki was arrested and jailed with his fellow Catholics, who were later forced to march 966 kilometers (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 had his chest pierced with a lance while tied to a cross 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. Among the Japanese layment who suffered the same fate were: Francis, a carpenter who was arrested while watching the executions and then crucified; Gabriel, the nineteen year old son of the Franciscan's porter; Leo Kinuya, a twenty-eight year old carpenter from Miyako; Diego Kisai (or Kizayemon), temporal coadjutor of the Jesuits; Joachim Sakakibara, cook for the Franciscans at Osaka; Peter Sukejiro, sent by a Jesuit priest to help the prisoners, who was then arrested; Cosmas Takeya from Owari, who had preached in Osaka; and Ventura from Miyako, who had been baptized by the Jesuits, gave up his Catholicism on the death of his father, became a bonze, and was brought back to the Church by the Franciscans, all of whom were canonized by Pope Pius IX in 1862.

Today’s Catholic Quote:

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