02/05/2018, 16.01
PHILIPPINES
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Card Tagle calls on Catholics to be martyrs and witnesses every day for the love of God

The archbishop urges the faithful to proclaim the Gospel, despite hostilities, detached from the material world. The life of Blessed Justo Takayama Ukon is a manifestation of the power of Christ's love. He chose the path of humiliation and exile rather than reject his Christian faith.

Manila (AsiaNews/CBCPNews) – Two days ago, Card Luis Antonio Tagle, archbishop of Manila, celebrated a Mass in the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception (pictured) to mark the feast day of Blessed Justo (Justus) Takayama Ukon.

In his homily, the prelate told worshippers that the world today needs believers who can bear witness each day to the love of God, who sacrificed His life for others.

Witnessing heroism doesn’t always mean sacrificing “blood,” said the prelate, but rather proclaiming the Gospel despite opposition and hostility, detached from the material world.

“We are invited to be martyrs and witnesses every day. We don’t wait for martyrdom by blood,” Tagle said in his homily.

“Every day in our lives, we are asked by Jesus, ‘be with me, witness My love, give yourself to the mission for others’,” he said.

For the cardinal, Takayama’s life is a manifestation of the power of Christ’s love.

The Japanese Catholic martyr, Justo Takayama Ukon (1552-1615), also known as “Christ’s samurai”, was a feudal lord and samurai at a time of persecution of the “Western” religion in his homeland.

He chose the path of humiliation and exile rather than reject the Christian faith.

After gave up wealth, office, social status, honour and respectability, and became a drifter who was forced into exile. He fled Japan with his family and 300 other Japanese Christians and reached Manila where he died on 4 February 1615.

"He has blessed our soil with a testimony of faith and heroism," the archbishop said.

Citing the Blessed’s example, Card Tagle added that Christians are called to bear witness and suffer for the love of Jesus, even if this world of sin and injustice calls them "foolish".

“But now, his foolishness is wisdom for us, his weakness is strength for us,” the prelate said.

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