Brother Paul Miki, a Jesuit and a native of Japan, has become the best known among the martyrs of Japan. While hanging upon a cross, Paul Miki preached to the people gathered for the execution: “The sentence of judgment says these men came to Japan from the Philippines, but I did not come from any other country. I am a true Japanese. The only reason for my being killed is that I have taught the doctrine of Christ. I certainly did teach the doctrine of Christ. I thank God it is for this reason I die. I believe that I am telling only 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 to 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.” When missionaries returned to Japan in the 1860s, at first they found no trace of Christianity. But after establishing themselves they found that thousands of Christians lived around Nagasaki and that they had secretly preserved the faith. Beatified in 1627, the martyrs of Japan were finally canonized in 1862. Their feast day is February 6th.
PRAYER TO SAINT PAUL MIKI AND COMPANIONS
I pray, Dear Lord, source of strength for all your saints, you led Paul Miki and his companions through the suffering of the cross to the joy of eternal life see me through these hard times. I n these troubling times, I am filled with unspeakable fears
I am filled with unspeakable fears. I reach out my hand to you now, and ask you to walk besides me. I cannot carry all my burdens, But I know you can, and will. Please walk beside me. Please guide me. Please help me hold on strong, Through the trials and storms. Help me hold on to my faith, In even the darkest hour. Stay with me Lord, and show me Your way. In your love and Holy Spirit, I abide.
O God, strength of all the Saints,
who through the Cross were pleased to call
the Martyrs Saint Paul Miki and companions to life,
grant, we pray, that by their intercession
we may hold with courage even until death
to the faith that we profess.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God, forever and ever.
Patron Saints of Japan
Saint Paul Miki, you accepted martyrdom rather than abandon your faith. You chose to serve those closest to you rather than to flee. Inspire in us the same love of God and man so that we too can know, love, and serve God in the heroic fashion that made you so brave and composed in the face of intense suffering.
God our Father, source of strength for all your saints, you led Paul Miki and his companions through the suffering of the cross to the joy of eternal life. May their prayers give us the courage to be loyal until death in processing our faith. Through Christ our Lord.