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    » 11/10/2014, 00.00

    JAPAN - VATICAN

    Ukon Takayama, the 'Samurai of Christ', to be beatified in 2015



    Card Amato, prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, confirmed reports to a Japanese delegation that visited the Vatican a few days ago. A big celebration is the works for the 400th anniversary of the death of the feudal lord, who gave up fame and fortune in order not to repudiate Christ. The announcement also increases the likelihood of a papal visit to Japan.

    Tokyo (AsiaNews) - Ukon Takayama, a Japanese feudal lord who set aside fame and fortune in order not to repudiate Christ, will be beatified in 2015, Card Angelo Amato, prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, told a Japanese delegation that visited the Vatican a few days ago.

    Mgr Yoshinao Otsuka, bishop of Kyoto and president of the Episcopal Commission in charge of the Samurai of Christ's case, headed the delegation. In his view, Takayama's life "can serve as a useful lesson for people today, especially the Japanese."

    For the prelate, the future beatus "placed his faith above any desire for success or good health, and this says a lot to people who live in a highly competitive society. His courage and faith overcame everything."

    In August 2013, the Bishops' Conference of Japan submitted a 400-page beatification dossier with all the necessary documents to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, which is expected to give a final answer this December, just a few months before the 400th anniversary of his death (February 2015), which occurred just 40 days after his flight to the Philippines.

    For his part, Pope Francis should decide in the New Year on a visit to Japan, but Takayama's beatification should make a papal trip to Japan that more likely.

    In addition to the now certain beatification of the Samurai of Christ, the Japanese Church will also mark 150 years since the re-emergence of the Kakure Kirishitam, the so-called "hidden Christians".

    On several occasions, Francis cited them as an example of survivors who outlasted persecution, holding fast to their Christian faith.

    In view of this, the Japanese government and the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Japan have already formally invited the Holy Father to visit Japan.

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    See also

    09/06/2014 JAPAN - VATICAN
    Japanese bishops: A future papal visit, a real chance for peace
    Peter Takeo Okada, Archbishop of Tokyo and president of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Japan, talks about the meeting between Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and pope Francis. During the talks, Abe invited the Pope in the Asian country: "We are determined to pray and make every effort to make possible a visit of the Pope to Japan".

    20/08/2013 JAPAN - VATICAN
    The Japanese Church ready to celebrate Takayama Ukon, "samurai of Christ"
    The Bishops' Conference of Japan sent to Rome the documents needed to open the cause of beatification of the feudal lord who challenged the empire by keeping his faith. His example and teachings paved the way for the evangelisation of Japan. "He led a life appropriate to a saint."

    10/03/2015 JAPAN
    For the bishop of Niigata, the 'Hidden Christians' are an inspiration to live fully one's faith
    Between 14 and 17 March, the Japanese Church will honour the Catholics who survived two and a half centuries of persecution in Nagasaki by keeping their strong Catholic beliefs without priests or missionaries. Japan's 'hidden Christians "must leave the history books. The Church of Japan is working to make them living witnesses to inspire today's Catholics," said Mgr Tarcisio Isao Kikuchi. Although evangelisation in Japan is an uphill battle, bearing witness in person to evangelical values is necessary.

    17/03/2015 JAPAN
    The "hidden Christians" of Japan, a story protected by Mary's mantle
    When the country's Catholic community came out of the shadows of persecution to "greet Our Lady" in Ōura Church, the future bishop of Nevers was apostolic vicar to Japan. Later, he would defend the authenticity of the Marian apparitions at Lourdes. PIME's regional superior for Japan offers his thoughts on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of this historic event for the Church and Japan.

    22/01/2016 20:30:00 JAPAN – VATICAN
    Takayama Ukon, “Christ’s samurai," to be beatified

    Pope Francis signs the decree on the martyrdom of the Servant of God Justo Takayama, who died in exile in the Philippines for refusing to give up his beliefs. For PIME regional superior in Japan, “this is fantastic news that brings great joy to the Church in Japan.” Takayama’s “song of love song and faith for the Christian proclamation.





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