St. Paul Miki
Paul Miki, one of the Martyrs of Nagasaki, was educated by the Jesuits and decided to join the order as a priest. He was known for his eloquent preaching. In 1596, just before his ordination, Emperor Hideyoshi, threatened by the rise of Christianity, initiated a persecution of the Christians he had previously driven underground in 1587. Paul was soon arrested. On his way to martyrdom, he and twenty-five others were marched 600 miles so they could be a lesson to the onlookers. Though subjected to torture and abuse, the condemned Christians sang the Te Deum on the way. Many who witnessed this became Christians themselves. Paul's last sermon was delivered from the cross.
"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."
—Saint Paul Miki
Japan, c. 1564-1597.
His feast day is February 6.
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