His grandfather was the first Japanese person baptized by Saint Francis Xavier, and Leonard was raised Christian; he was related to Blessed Anthony Kimura. Attended the Jesuit school in Nagasaki, Japan. Served as lay catechist. Travelled with Jesuit priests on missionary trips. Jesuit Co-adjutor Brother, serving as cook and tailor. When the Jesuits were expelled from Japan in 1614, Leonard stayed behind and worked alone for years, living as a fugitive for his faith.
In 1619 he was captured with a small group of Christians. He was dressed as a Japanese gentleman, and the priest hunters had no idea they’d nabbed a Jesuit. At his trial the judge offered him the usual 200 pieces of silver if he would reveal the whereabouts of a Jesuit priest. Kimura said, “I know one Jesuit; he is a Co-adjutor Brother and not a priest, and I am that Brother.” This admission sent him to prison. There he continued his mission as catechist, converted jailers and prisoners, and turned the prison into a Christian community with fixed times for prayer and meditation; this worked sent him to martyrdom.
- if you have information relevant to this Cause, contact
Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Japan
2-10-10 Shiomi Koto-ku
Tokyo 135-8585, JAPAN
- Book of Saints, by the Monks of Ramsgate
- Catholic Online
- Hagiography Circle
- Our Sunday Visitor’s Encyclopedia of Saints
- “Blessed Leonardus Kimura“. Saints.SQPN.com. 18 November 2013. Web. 19 April 2014. <>