Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Martyrs Near and Far

On the 5th of February in Nagasaki, Japan, the city infamously known for the one of the atomic bombs of WWII,  26 Jesuits,  Franciscans and various Faithful were martyred for their faith. Previous to their executions, they had a piece of their left ear cut off and for weeks they were paraded through different cities with someone shouting their crimes. They were offered freedom if they renounced Christianity, all declined. They were crucified on a hill overlooking Nagasaki. Almost 300 years later, when Christian missionaries returned to Japan, it had initially looked like there was no trace of Christianity left, but they found that thousands secretly preserved the Faith.

Omnes Sancti Martyres ora pro nobis

For more on the story and individual martyrs, here is the website to the 26 Martyrs Museum.

Today in the old calender is the Feast of St. Dorothy of Caesarea, virgin and martyr. It is said that on her way to the execution a Roman official named Theophilus jokingly said to her something like "Bride of Christ, send me some fruit from your Bridegroom's garden." She said she would and right before she was put to death she saw a vision of a child carrying three apples and three roses (or wearing a   headdress smelling of fruits and flowers) and ask the child to go to Theophilus. This converted Theophilus, and he too became a martyr.

Sancta Dorothea ora pro nobis

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