Blessed Martin Lumbreras Sanchez Perez Peralta and Melchiorre Sanchez, December 11

December 11, 2009

Blessed Martin Lumbreras Sanchez Perez Peralta and Melchiorre Sanchez, Augustinian Priests and Martyrs
+ Nagasaki, Japan, December 11, 1632

Spanish Blessed Martin of St. Nicholas Lumbreras Peralta, professed priest of the Order of Augustinian Recollects, was Martyred with his brother Melchior of Saint Augustine Sanchez just arrived in the Japanese city of Nagasaki, were closed in a dark cell, and then burnt. John Paul II beatified them April 23, 1989.

Roman Martyrology: At Nagasaki in Japan, and Melchiorre Blessed Martin Lumbreras Peralta Sánchez Pérez, Priests and Martyrs of the Order of Saint Augustine, who just arrived in this city were arrested and thrown into a dark cell, and finally burned at the stake.

Martin was born in Zaragoza Lumbreras a noble family in 1598. He took the habit of an Augustinian convent in Recollet Borja, taking vows in Zaragoza in 1619. Three years later, in July, 1622, he set out from Cadiz to the islands of the Philippines, where he arrived the following year, accompanied by thirteen Augustinian Recollect missionaries. Led to the withdrawal was particularly cloistered and his superiors assigedn him to the convent of Manila, in the first place as sacristan major, then for a period of eight years as novice master. In recent years, he greatly promoted the cult of the Virgin of Pilar, to which he dedicated a picture and an altar in the church of S. Nicola.

His desire was still hidden Japan: live and die for the Christian community, as proven at that time. In a letter dated August 4, 1631 he announced his desire to the vicar general, and exactly one year later, on August 4, 1632, he departed from Manila for Japan in the company of Fr Melchior of Saint Augustine who would be his constant companion until his martyrdom. Both arrived in Nagasaki eight days later.

Melchiorre Sanchez was born in Granada in 1599. At the age of nineteen he professed his religious vows in the convent of Augustinian Recollects of his hometown. In 1621, he departed for the Phillipines in the company of twenty-three other Augustinian Recollect missionaries, arriving in Manila in July of 1622. He learned the Tagalog dialects and Hisaya and exercised the apostolate in the recently opened missions of Mindanao, without a doubt the most difficult of the archipelago. He also spent some time in Manila as a preacher of the Spaniards until August 4, 1632, when he made his desire to go to Japan.

From that moment his life took place beside Martin. Read the rest of this entry »


Saint Giordano Ansalone, November 17

November 17, 2009

Saint Giordano Ansalone, Dominican Priest, Martyr
Santo Stefano Quisquina (Agrigento), 1 November 1598 – Nagasaki (Japan), November 17, 1634

In 1625, he reached Seville on foot, he left for the missions. After a break of about a year in Mexico, across the Pacific in the summer of 1626, he reached the Philippine Islands. First two years costs between the Philippines, Cagayan in northern Luzon, then lived for four years among the Chinese of a colony of the suburb of Binondo, Manila, in the Parish and the Hospital S. Gabriel, built for them. Studied the language, the mentality and customs from the Chinese, showing true forerunner of inculturation and dialogue with non-believers. To do this he also wrote an opera, hopelessly lost, which compiled the main religious beliefs and philosophical ideas of the Chinese, discussing them with the data of faith and Catholic doctrine, for an enlightening comparison. In 1632, the midst of this persecution, he went to Japan, disguised as a merchant, to bring aid and comfort: for a year he was the Vicar Provincial of this mission. Seriously ill on the island of Kyushu, “he implored the Virgin Mary to be cured until they had killed Christ.” He was jailed August 4, 1634 and subjected to unspeakable torture.

source: Santi e Beati

Blessed Thomas Jihyoe of St. Augustine, November 6

November 6, 2009

Blessed Thomas Jinhoe

Blessed Thomas Jihyoe of St. Augustine,Augustinian, Priest, Martyr
Nagasaki, Japan, 1600 – November 6, 1637

Thomas Jihyoe, Augustinian Japanese, during the anti-Christian persecution during the seventeenth century, for 5 years with the nom de guerre “Kintsuba” held in check the soldiers of the emperor who tried to capture him because he was Catholic.He was born in Omura, Nagasaki around 1600, his parents were both catechists and died martyrs for the faith. As a child he attended the Jesuit school in Arima, but the school was closed because of persecution so he went to Macao to finish his studies. On an Augustinian missionary, since 1622, he moved to Manila in the Philippines and made his religious profession in the convent of St. Augustine Intramuros in 1624, then to Cebu to take up his theological studies. On completion of training he was ordained to the Priesthood. In the meantime persecution raged in Japan and the missionaries were falling one by one under the relentless blows of the persecutors, leaving the Catholic communities abandoned. Thomas felt that his place was in his country and, after several attempts, followed by as many shipwrecks, in 1631 was able to return to Nagasaki. Read the rest of this entry »

Blessed Julian Nakaura, October 21

October 21, 2009

Blessed Julian Nakura

Blessed Julian Nakaura, Jesuit Priest and Martyr
Nakaura, Japan, ca. 1567 – Nishizaki, Japan, October 21, 1633

Jesuit Priest, native of Japan, Julian Nakaura was martyred in his homeland in the context of fierce waves of persecution against Christians. Following a rapid process started with the green light by the Holy See granted on 2 September 1994, his Martrydom was recognized on July 1, 2007 and he was beatified on November 24, 2008, during the pontificate of Pope Benedict XVI, together with 187 other Japanese Martyrs.

Source: Santi e Beati

Blessed Sebastian Kimura, September 10

September 10, 2009

Blessed Sebastian Kimura

Blessed Sebastian Kimura, First Japanese Priest, Martyr
Firando, Japan, 1565 – Nagasaki, Japan, September 10, 1622

Roman Martyrology: At Nagasaki, Japan, blessed Sebastian Kimura, Jesuit, Francisco Morales, of the Order of Preachers, priests, and fifty companions, martyrs, priests, religious, married couples, youth, catechists, widows and children, Christ died on a hill in front of a large crowd of cruel torture.

In the long history of the evangelization of Japan, there were two periods of terrible persecution against Christians and foreign missionaries in Japan.

The first began December 9, 1596 by the ‘shogun’ Hideyoshi and led to the martyrdom of the first 26 Catholics, including three Japanese Jesuits and six Franciscans, crucified and pierced February 5, 1597, in the area of Nagasaki on the ‘holy hill’ these martyrs were proclaimed saints by Pope Pius IX in 1862.

The second prosecution after a useful period of peace which saw the arrival of other missionaries, not only the Jesuits and Franciscans, Dominicans and Augustinians as well, was unleashed by the ‘shogun’ Ieyasu, in 1614 and its successors until 1632; a furious carnage that struck missionaries, catechists, lay people of every social condition, even children and entire families killed in the style of Eastern and refined among various tortures.

Most of the martyrs, who were thousands, died tied to a stake and burned over a slow fire, so that the ‘holy hill’ of Nagasaki, which experienced the first persecution, was eerily illuminated by rows of torches for several evenings and nights; other martyrs were beheaded or chopped to pieces. In this second, longer and more numerous persecution, collecting evidence, the Church was able to recognize among the many thousands of victims, the historical validity of martyrdom for at least 205 of them, that Pope Pius IX, July 7, 1867 proclaimed Blessed.

Among them is one blessed Kimura, descendant of the first newcomer to be educated and baptized in Hirado s. Francis Xavier and a relative of two other Japanese martyrs, Kimura (Leonardo) and Kimura (Antonio) who will become blessed as well.

Kimura was born in Firando in 1565 into a family converted to Catholicism, at Baptism, he was also given the Christian name of Sebastian. For 11 years, he devoted himself to the service of the Jesuit church in the city of Firando, then passed to Bungo in the seminary of the Jesuit fathers, aged 19 and got asked to join the Order of St. Ignatius. Seminarian said the catechism Meace and the district of the monkey, then moved to the College of Macao to China to study theology. In September 1601, he returned to Japan, and was ordained a priest in Nagasaki, the first of the Japanese nation.

The second raging fierce persecution against Christians, Father Kimura (Sebastian), who was gifted with remarkable eloquence, was skilled at disguise and transform, to evade the spies, in the most diverse characters, as a soldier, merchant, farmer, carrier, doctor. This allowed him to penetrate even the most dangerous places in prisons to comfort the future martyrs.

Learning that he was wanted, the father provincial of the Jesuits urged him to leave Nagasaki as soon as possible, but it was too late, June 30, 1621, betrayed by a Korean slave, Father Kimura was arrested while he was staying at the home of Anthony, a Korean Catholic, taken with him were also his catechists and Suzuta, locked up in prison, where they were prisoners for four years, Father Charles Spinola (1564-1622) and four novices.

The conditions of the prisoners were terrible, the prison was on a mountain top, cold and exposed to the winds, and they were given a single blanket, some food; rice and two sardines, just enough to keep them alive but without satisfying their hunger.

The hygienic conditions were miserable, unable to wash a cloth and dry them without a bit ‘n the sun, the time spent in this terrible prison, saw them engaged in prayer, penance and fervent spiritual talks.

At last September 9, 1622, orders came to transfer the prisoners to Nagasaki, Father Kimura, Father Spinola and 22 others, novices and faithful Catholics, now sentenced to death by the governor Gourocu were combined with others from local jails and transported on boats to Nagaic and from there on mules up above the hills above Nagasaki, where the stakes were ready and the wood to be burned alive.

The torment of the stake fell to 22 of them, while 30 others were beheaded, it was September 10, 1622, Father Kimura, and Father Charles Spinola were among those burned at the stake, to make longer torment the wood shed had been put off circle.

The barbaric execution, which lasted three hours, was witnessed by a huge crowd scattered on the mountain and on boats at sea, Father Sebastian Kimura, First Priest of Japan, died last, after being motionless for three hours, and tied with his arms crossed, until the fire reached him.

His liturgical feast is on September 10.

Author: Antonio Borrelli

Source: Santi e Beati

Peter Kasui Kibe, July 4

July 4, 2009


Peter Kasui Kibe, Priest and Martyr

Oita, Kyushu, 1587-Tokyo, July 4, 1639

He is called “The man who walked the globe,” because of his remarkable journey along the arduous Silk Road in the 16th century in his quest of ordination to the priesthood.

His statue stands in Oita, Kyushu, where he was born in 1587. His features are strong, with eyes fixed toward his one goal of becoming a priest to serve his God and church, and a determination etched on his face and in his stance. They convey the strength and conviction of a true man of God, who was willing to undergo all hardship and disappointment and years of waiting, only to end in final torture and martyrdom. Read the rest of this entry »