Posted in MARTYRS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY

Thought for the Day – 6 February – “On the Holy Mountain”

Thought for the Day – 6 February – The Memorial of St Paul Miki S.J. (c 1564-1597) & Companions – 26 Martyrs of Nagasaki

When the first missionaries, like St Francis Xavier, came to Japan in 1549 they were welcomed.   Many Japanese became Christians.   When the leader Hideyoshi took command, he feared that Christians would take over the government.   In 1587, he banished them and destroyed many of their churches.   Some missionary priests stayed and went into hiding, dressing like Japanese in order to minister to the Christians.

More than 3,000 Christians were martyred in Japan.   On 8 December 1596, Hideyoshi arrested and condemned to death the friars of Miako.   Among them were three Japanese Jesuits, six Franciscans (four of them Spanish) and seventeen Japanese laymen.   Charged with attempting to harm the government, they were sentenced to crucifixion.   Some of these men were very young – Louis was 10, Anthony, 13, Thomas, 16 and Gabriel, 19.   The best known is Paul Miki, who was a Japanese of a noble family, a Jesuit brother and a brilliant preacher.

The twenty-six men were tortured and then forced to walk more than 300 miles from Miako to Nagasaki through snow and ice and freezing streams.   Along the way they preached to the people who had come out to see them.   They sang psalms of praise and joy.   They prayed the rosary and told the people that such a martyrdom was an occasion of rejoicing, not of sadness.   Finally, on 5 February they reached Nagasaki, where twenty-six crosses awaited them on a hill now called the Holy Mountain.   It is said that the Christians ran to their crosses, singing.   St Paul Miki said –

“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.”the-only-reason-st-paul-miki-nagasaki-martyr-6-feb-2018.jpg

Soldiers bound them to the crosses with iron bands at their wrists, ankles and throats.  Then they thrust them through with lances.   Many people came to watch the cruel deaths.   Hideyoshi and his solders had hoped the example would frighten other Christians.   Instead, it gave them the courage to profess their faith as the martyrs had.

These martyrs died an horrendous and agonising death in witness to their faith in Jesus Christ.   We may not be asked to make this sacrifice but we are all called upon to bear witness to our faith, sometimes in ways that are very difficult – yes even in our parishes, neighbourhoods and schools.   Could we witness thus?

In 1858, Japan again permitted Christianity in Japan.   Missionaries found thousands of Christians still in Japan.   For two hundred years they had carried on the faith in secret.   

Paul Miki was born in Japan and educated by the Jesuits.   He would have been the very first Japanese priest if he had escaped arrest, for he had already completed his studies for the priesthood.   From his cross he forgave his persecutors and told the people to ask Christ to show them how to be truly happy.

St Paul Miki and the Martyrs of Nagasaki, Pray for Us!st paul miki and the nagasaki martyrs - pray for us 6 feb 2019.jpg


Quote of the Day – 6 February – St Paul Miki SJ (c 1564-1597) Martyr

Quote of the Day – 6 February – The Memorial of St Paul Miki SJ (c 1564-1597) & Companions – 26 Martyrs of Nagasaki

“Like my Master I shall die upon the cross.
Like Him, a lance will pierce my heart,
so that my blood and my love,
can flow out upon the land
and sanctify it to His name.”

St Paul Miki (c 1564-1597)like my master - st payl miki - 6 feb 2019.jpg

Posted in MARTYRS, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 6 February – “Is not this the carpenter?”…Mark 6:3

One Minute Reflection – 6 February – Wednesday of the Fourth week in Ordinary Time, Year C, Gospel: Mark 6:1–6 and the Memorial of St Dorothy of Caesarea (Died 311) and St Paul Miki SJ (c 1564-1597) & Companions/Martyrs of Nagasaki – Martyrs

“Is not this the carpenter?”…Mark 6:3

REFLECTION – “Joseph loved Jesus as a father loves his son and he cared for Him, giving Him the best he had.   Joseph took charge of this child as he had been commanded and turned Jesus into a workman, passing on his craft to Him.   That is why their neighbours in Nazareth, when they spoke of Jesus, called Him, roughly speaking, a “carpenter” or “the son of a carpenter” (Mt 13:55)…
Jesus must have resembled Joseph in His traits of character and ways of working and talking.   His realism, His powers of observation, His way of sitting at table and breaking bread, His attraction for explaining His teaching in a concrete way by taking His examples from everyday things, reflect what Jesus’ childhood and youth were like and therefore His relationship with Joseph.   What depths there are in this mystery!   This Jesus, who is a man, who speaks with the accent of a particular region of Israel, who resembles a workman named Joseph, is indeed the Son of God.   And who can teach God anything?   Nevertheless, He is truly man and His life is a normal one – first a child, then a young man who helps Joseph in the workshop and finally, a mature man in the fullness of age:  “Jesus advanced in wisdom and grace before God and men” (Lk 2:52).
At the human level Joseph was Jesus’ master.   Day by day he surrounded Him with tender affection and cared for Him with joyful self-denial.   Is this not a very good reason for thinking this man to be just (Mt 1:19) – this saintly patriarch in whom the Old Testament faith reaches its climax as a master of the interior life?”…St Josémaria Escriva de Balaguer (1902-1975)

“According to the people of Nazareth, God is too great to humble Himself to speak through such a simple man!   It is the scandal of the Incarnation – the unsettling event of a God made flesh, who thinks with the mind of a man, works and acts with the hands of a man, loves with a human heart, a God who struggles, eats and sleeps like one of us.
The Son of God overturns every human framework – it is not the disciples who washed the feet of the Lord but, it is the Lord who washed the feet of the disciples (cf. Jn 13:1-20). This is a reason for scandal and incredulity, not only in that period but in all ages, even today.”…Pope Francis – Angelus, 8 July 2018mark 6 3 is not this the carpenter - the son of God overturns - pope francis 6feb2019.jpg

PRAYER – Lord God, source of strength and grace, grant us eyes to see and ears to hear and hearts to love the Word of Your Son.   Make us recognise Your Son in our daily lives and be generous in sharing our faith to all we meet.   Grant, we pray, that the prayers of St Dorothy of Caesarea and St Paul Miki and companions, may help us to manifest zeal and courage.   Through Jesus Christ, our Lord, in unity with the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.

st dorothy of caesarea pray for us 6 feb 2019.jpg



Our Morning Offering – 6 February – “O Mary”

Our Morning Offering – 6 February – Wednesday of the Fourth week in Ordinary Time, Year C

O Mary
By Ven Fulton J Sheen (1895-1979)

O Mary,
we have exiled your Divine Son
from our lives,
our councils,
our education
and our families!
Come with the light of the sun
as the symbol of His Power!
Heal our wars, our dark unrest,
cool the cannon’s lips so hot with war!
Take our minds off the atom
and our souls out of the muck of nature!
Give us rebirth in your Divine Son,
us, the poor children of the earth,
grown old with age!
Ameno mary no 2 - ven fulton sheen 6 feb 2019.jpg


Saint of the Day – 6 February – St Dorothy of Caesarea (Died 311) Virgin, Martyr

Saint of the Day – 6 February – St Dorothy of Caesarea (died 311) – Virgin, Martyr – also known as Dora, Dorothea – Patronages – horticulture, brewers, brides, florists, gardeners, midwives, newlyweds, love, Pescia in Italy.  Franz_Ittenbach_Hl_Dorothea.jpg

St Dorothy is a 4th-century virgin martyr who was executed at Caesarea Mazaca. Evidence for her actual historical existence or acta is very sparse.   She is called a martyr of the Diocletianic Persecution, although her death occurred after the resignation of Diocletian himself.   She should not be confused with another 4th-century saint, Dorothea of Alexandria.   She and St Theophilus the Lawyer are mentioned in the Roman Martyrology as martyrs of Caesarea in Cappadocia, with a feast day on 6 February.   She is thus officially recognised as a saint but because there is scarcely any non-legendary knowledge about her, she is no longer (since 1969) included in the General Roman Calendar.

St Dorothy and the Child by Edward Burne Jones

St Dorothy was a young virgin, celebrated at Cæsarea, where she lived, for her angelic virtue.   Her parents seem to have been martyred before her in the Diocletian persecution and when the Governor Sapricius came to Cæsarea he called her before him and sent this child of martyrs to the home where they were waiting for her.

She was stretched upon the rack and offered marriage if she would consent to sacrifice, or death if she refused.   But she replied that “Christ was her only Spouse and death her desire.”   She was then placed in charge of two women who had fallen away from the faith, in the hope that they might pervert her but the fire of her own heart rekindled the flame in theirs and led them back to Christ.

St Dorothy by Francisco de Zubaran

When she was set once more on the rack, Sapricius himself was amazed at the heavenly look she wore and asked her the cause of her joy.   “Because,” she said, “I have brought back two souls to Christ and because I shall soon be in heaven rejoicing with the angels.”

Her joy grew as she was buffeted in the face and her sides burned with plates of red-hot iron.   “Blessed be Thou,” she cried, when she was sentenced to be beheaded,-“blessed be Thou, O Thou Lover of souls!   Who dost call me to Paradise and invitest me to Thy nuptial chamber.”

St Dorothy by Lucas Cranach the Elder

St Dorothy suffered in the dead of winter and it is said that on the road to her passion a lawyer called Theophilus, who had been used to calumniate and persecute the Christians, asked her, in mockery, to send him “apples or roses from the garden of her Spouse.”

The Saint promised to grant his request and, just before she died, a little child stood by her side bearing three apples and three roses.   She bade him take them to Theophilus and tell him this was the present which he sought from the garden of her Spouse.  Santa_Dorotea_e_Teofilo_E.jpg

St Dorothy had gone to heaven and Theophilus was still making merry over his challenge to the Saint when the child entered his room.   He saw that the child was an angel in disguise and the fruit and flowers of no earthly growth.   He was converted to the faith and then shared in the martyrdom of St Dorothy.

St Dorothy by Girolamo Donnini

She is regarded as the patroness of gardeners.   On her feast trees are blessed in some places.

Posted in MARTYRS, SAINT of the DAY

Memorials of the Saints – 6 February

St Paul Miki SJ (1564/65-1597) & Companions/Martyrs of Nagasaki – 26 saints (Memorial)
Their story:

St Alfonso Maria Fusco (1839-1910)

St Amand of Maastricht
St Amand of Moissac
St Amand of Nantes
St Andrew of Elnone
Bl Angelus of Furci
St Antholian of Auvergne
St Brinolfo Algotsson
Cassius of Auvergne
Bl Diego de Azevedo
St Dorothy of Caesarea (c 279/290-311) Martyr

St Ethelburga of Wessex
Bl Francesca of Gubbio
St Francesco Spinelli
St Gerald of Ostia
St Guarinus
St Guethenoc
St Hildegund
St Ina of Wessex
St Jacut
St Liminius of Auvergne
Bl Mary Teresa Bonzel
St Mateo Correa-Magallanes
St Maximus of Aurvergne
St Mel of Ardagh
St Melchu of Armagh
St Mun of Lough Ree
St Relindis of Eyck
St Revocata
St Saturninus
St Tanco of Werden
St Theophilus
St Theophilus the Lawyer
St Vaast of Arras
St Victorinus of Auvergne

Martyrs of Emesa:
St Luke the Deacon
St Mucius the Lector
St Silvanus of Emesa