Universalis
Saturday 6 February 2016    (other days)
Saints Paul Miki and his Companions, Martyrs 
 (Saturday of week 4 in Ordinary Time)

The Lord is the king of martyrs: come, let us adore him

Year: C(II). Psalm week: 4. Liturgical Colour: Red.

St Paul Miki (1564/6 - 1597)
He was born in Japan between 1564 and 1566. He joined the Society of Jesus and preached the gospel to the Japanese people with great success. When a persecution of the Catholics arose he was arrested together with twenty-five others. Mocked and tortured, they were eventually taken to Nagasaki on 5 February 1597, bound to crosses and speared.
  See also the article in the Catholic Encyclopaedia on St Philip of Jesus, a Mexican Jesuit who was one of those martyred together with St Paul Miki, and an article in Wikipedia which contains some useful links.

SS. Gonsalo Garcia, Peter Baptista and Companions (- 1597)
Gonsalo Garcia was born in Bassein, near Bombay (Vasai / Mumbai) in around 1557. He was educated by the Jesuits, who took him with them on a mission to Japan when he was 15. He spent eight years in Japan, quickly learning the language and becoming a popular cathechist. He left the mission and set up as a trader. As his business expanded he found himself making frequent visits to Manila in the Philippines, where he got to know the Franciscans and eventually became a Franciscan lay brother. In 1592 he sailed, together with other Franciscans including Peter Baptista, on an embassy from the Spanish Governor to the Emperor of Japan. He worked as a preacher for four years and the simplicity of the Franciscans’ mission won them many Japanese friends and converts, including the shōgun Toyotomi Hideyoshi.
  At length the enmity of the local Buddhist authorities combined with suspicion of Spanish political motives and the shōgun’s attitude changed. The Jesuit and Franciscan missionaries were arrested, mutilated, and on 5 February 1597 crucified at Nagasaki. They included five European Franciscan missionaries, one Mexican Franciscan missionary, three Japanese Jesuits and seventeen Japanese laymen including three young boys.

Liturgical colour: red
Red is the colour of fire and of blood. Liturgically, it is used to celebrate the fire of the Holy Spirit (for instance, at Pentecost) and the blood of the martyrs.

Mid-morning reading (Terce)Daniel 6:27-28 ©
Our God is the living God, he endures for ever, his sovereignty will never be destroyed and his kingship never end. He saves, sets free, and works signs and wonders in the heavens and on earth.

Noon reading (Sext)Romans 15:5-7 ©
May God, who helps us when we refuse to give up, help you all to be tolerant with each other, following the example of Christ Jesus, so that united in mind and voice you may give glory to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. It can only be to God’s glory, then, for you to treat each other in the same friendly way as Christ treated you.

Afternoon reading (None)Philippians 4:8,9 ©
My brothers, fill your minds with everything that is true, everything that is noble, everything that is good and pure, everything that we love and honour, and everything that can be thought virtuous or worthy of praise. Then the God of peace will be with you.

Scripture readings taken from the Jerusalem Bible, published and copyright © 1966, 1967 and 1968 by Darton, Longman & Todd, Ltd and Doubleday, a division of Random House, Inc, and used by permission of the publishers. For on-line information about other Random House, Inc. books and authors, see the Internet web site at http://www.randomhouse.com.
 
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