Universalis
Thursday 7 February 2019    (other days)
Saints Paul Miki and his Companions, Martyrs 
 on Thursday of week 4 in Ordinary Time

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

Year: C(I). 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.
Other saints: Saint Mel
Ireland
Saint Mel or Moel died in 488. He is said to have been a Briton who came to Ireland with Saint Patrick, his uncle, with whom he worked until he was ordained in Ardagh. He is one of the earliest Irish saints and gave the religious veil to Saint Brigid. See the article in Wikipedia.

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)1 John 3:23-24 ©
God’s commandments are these:
that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ
and that we love one another
as he told us to.
Whoever keeps his commandments
lives in God and God lives in him.
We know that he lives in us
by the Spirit that he has given us.

Noon reading (Sext)Wisdom 1:1-2 ©
Love virtue, you who are judges on earth, let honesty prompt your thinking about the Lord, seek him in simplicity of heart; since he is to be found by those who do not put him to the test, he shows himself to those who do not distrust him.

Afternoon reading (None)Hebrews 12:1-2 ©
We should throw off everything that hinders us, especially the sin that clings so easily, and keep running steadily in the race we have started. Let us not lose sight of Jesus, who leads us in our faith and brings it to perfection: for the sake of the joy which was still in the future, he endured the cross, disregarding the shamefulness of it, and from now on has taken his place at the right of God’s throne.

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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