Names of the two hundred and five martyrs beatified 7 July 1867, in chronological order, from the authentic catalogue annexed to the brief.
22 May 1617
1. Blessed Peter of the Assumption, Spanish priest of the order of Saint Francis.
2. Blessed John Baptist Machado de Tavora, Portuguese priest of the Society of Jesus, beheaded.
The former was betrayed by a false brother who enticed him to his house under the pretext of converting a repentant apostate. The latter was arrested in the island de Goto while hearing confessions. They cheerfully and piously spent their last days in the Omura prison, and were beheaded near it. Father Machado was only thirty-seven. Born in the island of Terceira, one of the Azores, he entered the Society of Jesus at an early age, and according to the statement of his superiors led an angelic life. Bartoli relates several miracles wrought by his intercession.
3. Blessed Alphonsus Navarrete, Spanish Dominican priest.
4. Blessed Ferdinand of Saint Joseph, Spanish Augustinian priest.
5. Leo Tanaca, Father Machado’s Catechist; beheaded.
After the martyrdom of the preceding, Blessed Alphonsus, impelled by divine inspiration, resumed his religious habit, left Nagasaki, and going to Omura, devoted himself openly to the ministry with Blessed Ferdinand. They were arrested with Blessed Leo and beheaded on a desert rock far from spectators. Blessed Alphonsus was fifty-two, and had been six years in Japan.
1 October 1617
6. Blessed Gaspar Fisogiro.
7. Blessed Andrew Gioscinda, hosts of the preceding.
16 August 1618
8. John of Saint Martha, Spanish Franciscan priest, beheaded. This zealous missionary was confined three years in prison with criminals, then put to death at Meaco.
19 March 1619
9. Blessed John of Saint Dominic, Spanish Dominican priest. Died of ill treatment in the Omura prison.
18 November 1619
10. Blessed Leonard Kimura, Japanese Jesuit lay brother.
11. Blessed Andrew Tocuan, Japanese.
12. Blessed Cosmas Taquea, Korean.
13. Blessed John Xoum, Japanese.
14. Blessed Dominic Giorgi, Portuguese; burnt alive.
Blessed Leonard was an excellent coadjutor of the Fathers, acting in cases of necessity as missionary. Blessed Dominic was Father Charles Spinola’s host. The other three had also harbored priests. After a long imprisonment at Nagasaki, they were brought before Gonroc and condemned to the stake. They heard the sentence with holy joy. “See,” said Blessed Leonard to the spectators, “it is for practising and preaching the law of God that I am condemned.” “I am happier,” said Blessed Dominic, “than if they gave me the empire of Japan.” Their martyrdom was a prelude to the Great Martyrdom. It took place on the same promontory and in presence of an immense crowd. Blessed Leonard seemed to sport with the fire. “It hardly burns,” he said, and made signs to have it pushed nearer his body. They were entirely consumed, except a few bones which were cast into the sea.
VII – 29 November 1619
15. Blessed Bartholomew Xequi.
16. Blessed Anthony Kimura.
17. Blessed John Ivananga.
18. Blessed Alexis Nacamura.
19. Blessed Leo Nacanisci.
20. Blessed Michael Tascita.
21. Blessed Mathias Cazaca.
22. Blessed Bomanus Matevoca,
23. Blessed Matthias Nacano.
24. Blessed John Montaiana.
25. Blessed Thomas Cotenda.
All Japanese; beheaded. Twelve Japanese Christians were arrested for residing near missionaries. Their life and property were offered as the price of apostacy. One fell. The rest went to the stake on the Sacred Mount, in holiday garb. Blessed Thomas Cotenda, a relative of the king of Firando, had long led a holy life. Blessed Anthony Kimura was a brother of Blessed Leonard (No. 10).
7 January 1620
26. Blessed Ambrose Fernandez, Portuguese Jesuit, lay brother. Companion of Blessed Charles Spinola, died in prison.
IX – 22 May 1620
27. Blessed Mathias of Arima, Japanese Catecliist, tortured to death.
This excellent Catechist was specially attached to the service of Father de Couros, provincial of the Jesuits. During the persecution he readily went on dangerous errands. “If you are taken,” they said one day, “will you keep your secrets.” “They may tear off my flesh and break my bones before they make me reveal anything to injure the Fathers.” He was true to his word. Caught with a vestment in his hands, he was put to the torture. The usual applications extorting nothing, he was forced to swallow large quantities of water, which was then forced out by pressing violently on his stomach. As they were about to renew this torture, he said, “Let me breathe, I will inform of one worth ten, a priest from Europe, from Rome, the Christian Meaco.” “Who? Where?” “He is at Firando, and is called Thomas Araki,” naming a Japanese priest or ecclesiastic who had really been at Rome, but had apostatized. “Treat him as you wish to treat good priests,” he added smiling, “for I will never betray one of them.” On this they attacked him so furiously that when they wished to drag him to execution he was a corpse.
16 August 1620
28. Blessed Simon Quiota.
29. Blessed Magdalen, his wife.
30. Blessed Thomas Guengoro.
31. Blessed Mary, his wife.
32. Blessed James, their son; crucified.
Blessed Simon was an old Catechist of the Jesuits in the kingdom of Bungo, a holy old man whose supernatural power was often attested by the possessed. He was at Cocura, capital of the kingdom of Bugen, in the northern part of the island of Ximo, with his friend Blessed Thomas and their families, all fervent Christians when Gietciundono, the tyrant of that district, gave them the alternative, apostasy or death. They were all crucified, head down.
10 August 1622
33. Blessed Augustine Ota, Japanese Jesuit, lay brother; beheaded.
He was taken with Father Camillus Costanzo and Blessed Gaspar Cotenda, and taken to the prison at Ichi in Firando, where Blessed Flores and Blessed Zuniga were already. To reward his untiring zeal he was admitted into the Society of Jesus on the eve of his martyrdom; and by a remarkable protection, of all the letters addressed by the provincial to the prisoners at Ichi only that containing the admission of this brother reached the place.
19 August 1622
34. Blessed Louis Flores, a Belgian Dominican priest.
35. Blessed Peter de Zuniga, a Mexican Augustinian priest.
36. Blessed Joachim Firaiama, Japanese, burned alive.
They were burned alive on the Sacred Mount after seeing their companions beheaded; but by an unexpected indulgence Gonroc permitted the Christians to carry off the bodies. That of Blessed Flores was first deposited in the house of a widow, where the Dominicans habitually officiated, then translated to the Dominican Church at Manilla. That of Blessed Zuniga was sold by the executioners at a high price to Don Martin Govea, a noble Portuguese, who transported it to Macao, where it was placed in the Church of the Society of Jesus.
Blessed Peter de Zuniga, son of Don Alvaro de Zuniga, sixth viceroy of Mexico, and Dofia Teresa, marchioness of Villamarina, was born in 1585. He had labored in the Philippines as a zealous missionary for ten years.
Blessed Flores was a Belgian: his real name being Fraryn. The Fraryn family Avas from Ath, but had been long at Antwerp, occupying the house on the corner of the Rue aux Laines and the Rue de la Vigne. At a very early age he went to Spain, and thence to Mexico, where he entered the order of Saint Dominic. His change of name was doubtless made to adapt himself to those among whom he lived. Authors differ as to his age. Father Boero makes him sixty, but he is certainly wrong as to his birthplace. Father Malpeus of Brussels, in his Palma Fidei Sacri Ordinis Fratrum Proedicatorum, does not give his age. He says he was successively an untiring laborer and a master of noviccp, which implies a period of several years. Father Masetti in his Italian Life of Blessed Flores, citing Aduarte, Historia de la Provincia del S. Rosario de Filippines, Japan y China, states that in 1609, Blessed Flores was exercising the ministry in New Segovia in the Philippines. However, a Register of the Cathedral of Antwerp notes the birth of Louis, son of John Fraryn- Jacommine Malders, apparently our Saint, on the 9th of April, 1589 This would make him only thirty-three at the time of his death.
Joachim Firaiama was the captain whose zeal was rewarded by his being burned alive with the missionaries whom he was conveying. His noble character never wavered. On his way from the prison to the stake, he exhorted all present, repeating in Japanese what the missionaries whispered in Spanish. On reaching the place of execution he observed that the stake to which he was to be bound was loose; with perfect calmness and simplicity he set it firm. Even amid the flames he continued to exhort all present and pray aloud.
37. Blessed Leo Sucheiemon.
38. Blessed Jolm Foriamon.
39. Blessed Michael Diaz.
40. Blessed Mark Xinsiemon.
41. Blessed Thomas Coranagui.
42. Blessed Anthony Giamanda.
43. Blessed James Densci.
44. Blessed Lawrence Rocuiemon.
45. Blessed Paul Sanciqui.
46. Blessed John Iago.
47. Bartholomew Mofioie.
48. Blessed John Nangata — Japanese; beheaded.
They were compromised with the last, either as passengers or sailors. Gonroc and the renegade Feizo endeavored, but in vain, to induce them to apostatize.
10 September 1622
The Great Martyrdom.
49. Blessed Francis Morales, Spanish Dominican priest burned alive.
He had been, for twenty years, a missionary of untiring zeal in Japan. He built two churches in the kingdom of Satzuma, and a church and convent at Fuscimi, in the kingdom of Figen.
50. Blessed Angelo Orsucci, an Italian Dominican priest, burned alive.
He was born at Lucca, entered the order in his youth and lived with the reputation of a saint. He died at the age of forty-nine, having been four years at prison in Omura with his friend Father Spinola.
51. Blessed Alplionsus de Mena.
52. Blessed Joseph of Saint Hyacinth.
53. Blessed Hyacinth Orfanel — Spaniard.
Priests of the order of Saint Dominic; burned alive. The first resembled his cousin Blessed Navarrete in his ardor; the second, by his eloquence and devotion to Mary, exercised great influence; the third, by his charity, was the refuge of the unfortunate.
54. Blessed Alexis.
55. Blessed Thomas.
56. Blessed Dominic.
Japanese. They had been catechists to the Dominicans, but in the prison were admitted to religious profession. Alexis was burned; the other two, for want of stakes, were beheaded. During the trial, the governor, struck by the beauty of Thomas and his innocent air, which gave a charm to his whole person, advised him to deny that he knew the missionaries. “How could I say that,” replied the candid Thomas, “without offending God by a lie?”
57. Blessed Richard of Saint Anne, a Belgian priest of the order of Saint Francis; burned alive.
This holy martyr was born in 1585 at Ham-sur-Heure, of a worthy family called Trouvez, but having been in childhood delivered from the jaws of a wolf by the intercession of Saint Anne, whom his mother invoked, he took the name of his protectress. In 1604 he was received into the Recollect convent of Nivelles, and after many wanderings landed at the Philippines in 1611. He was only a lay brother, but was then from his virtue and talents applied to his studies and received holy orders. He was eight years in Japan, always courageous and devoted. One day he was warned to hide at once if he wished to escape the persecutors. Several Christians were waiting for him, at tlie house of Lucy Freitas, to make their confessions, and he would not abandon them. He remained, was captured, imprisoned for a year, and shared the triumph of his companions.
58. Blessed Peter de Avila, Spanish priest. 59. Blessed Vincent of Saint Joseph, lay brothers of the order of Saint Francis.
After a life spent in gaining souls to Christ, Blessed Peter underwent two years’ imprisonment and the stake, Blessed Vincent had been the companion of his missionary labors.
60. Blessed Charles Spinola, S. J.
61. Blessed Sebastian Kimura, Japanese priest of the Society of Jesus; burned alive.
This excellent missionary was a nephew of the first Japanese baptized by Saint Francis Xavier, and cousin of Blessed Leonard Kimura, Anthony Kimura and Mary Tocuan, the whole family having been apparently blessed in its head. Sebastian was the most illustrious. He was the first Japanese priest, having been ordained at Nagasaki by Bishop Louis Cerqueira in 1601, and, of all the Japanese priests, he was the first to receive the crown of martyrdom. Born at Firando, of Christian parents, he entered the service of the Church at twelve, was educated at the seminary of Bungo, and entered the Society of Jesus at the age of nineteen. After his novitiate he was sent to instruct neophytes; he completed his studies at Macao, and on becoming a priest displayed the highest qualities of his nation, without their defects. In the prison and at the stake he was worthy of Blessed Spinola. He died at the age of fifty-seven.
62. Blessed Gonsalvo Fusai.
63. Blessed Anthony Chiuni.
64. Blessed Peter Sampo.
65. Blessed Micliael Xumpo.
66. Blessed John Cioncogu.
67. Blessed John Acafosci.
68. Blessed Louis Cavara.
These are the seven Japanese admitted by Blessed Spinola to their novitiate and then to their first vows in the Society of Jesus (see page 169). They were tried Christians, most of them renouncing great worldly advantages to consecrate themselves to the service of the Church. The Sampo family held a high rank in the kingdom of Oxu, in the northern part of the island of Niphon. Thomas Acafosci had been a brilliant oflBcer before he became a zealous catechist of Father Kimura. Gonsalvo Fusai had played a conspicuous part at the court of Bigen, as Louis Cavara had at Arima.
69. Blessed Leo de Satzuma, Japanese, of the order of Saint Francis.
This catecliist of Father Richard of St.Anne, on learning that the missionary was arrested, went and gave himself up, so as to share his fate.
70. Blessed Lucy de Freitas, Japanese widow; burned alive.
This illustrious widow was a model of all virtues. She was a Japanese, but married Philip de Freitas, a Portuguese. Pious from childhood she sanctified her years of widowhood by rigorous austerity and heroic acts of cliarity. Her house was open to the persecuted missionaries. One day learning that the apostate Feizo sought to seduce a Christian, she ran to the spot and publicly reproached him bitterly with his conduct. As the wretched man sought to intimidate her by threats, she seized the sword of a bystander; she handed it to him, saying, “Strike, and do what you will with me.” When condemned to death for harboring Father Richard she drew forth the crucifix she wore on her bosom and exclaimed, “I will cheerfully die for my God.” At the age of eighty she bore the torture of fire with admirable courage.
71, 72. Blessed Anthony Sanga and Blessed Magdalen his wife, Japanese.
Of noble birth and highly educated, Anthony had entered the novitiate of the Jesuits, but was compelled by ill health to retire. But he devoted himself with his wife to all good works. He was a good and zealous catechist. Just before his death he wrote a very touching letter to the Provincial of the Jesuits. Unable to call himself a son, he calls himself the slave of the Society, to which he owed all that he was. ” I have united with its labors, as far as I could; and since my imprisonment I have baptized thirty-two heathens, taught the prayers to a great many and encouraged my fellow-prisoners. All this I owe to the Society which instructed and formed me, as it prepared me for the death that now awaits me. . . – . Only one thing affects me — the recollection of my leaving the Society. I seem to myself like Adam driven from the earthly Paradise Why can I not in death become again your brother? but as this is impossible, receive me at least as your most devoted slave.” His wife was beheaded, as were most of the other martyrs of this day. Of those whose names are now given little is known, except of Elizabeth Fernandez and little Ignatius.
73. Blessed Anthony, a Corean, catechist under the Jesuits.
74. Blessed Mary his wife, a Japanese.
75, 76. Blessed John and Blessed Peter their children, aged twelve and three.
77. Blessed Paul Nangasci, Japanese, burned alive.
78. Blessed Thecla, his wife.
79. Blessed Peter (seven years old), their child.
80. Blessed Paul Tanaca, a Japanese.
81. Blessed Mary his wife.
82. Blessed Elizabeth Fernandez, wife of the martyr Dominic Giorgi.
83. Blessed Ignatius, their child, aged four.
84. Blessed Apollonias, widow, aunt of Blessed Gaspar Cotenda.
85, 86. Blessed Dominic Xamada and Blessed Clara his wife, Japanese.
87. Blessed Mary, wife of Blessed Andrew Tocuan, Japanese.
88. Blessed Agnes, wife of Blessed Cosmas Taquea, Japanese.
89. Blessed Dominic Tacano, son of Blessed Mathias Tacano.
90. Blessed Bartholomew Xichiemon.
91, 92. Blessed Damian Jamichi and his son Blessed Michael (five years old).
93. Blessed Thomas Xiquiro (aged seventy).
94. Blessed Kufus Iscomola.
95. Blessed Mary, wife of Blessed John Xoum.
96, 97. Blessed Clement Vom and his son Blessed Anthony.
98. Blessed Dominica Ongata.
99. Blessed Catharine, a widow
100. Blessed Mary Tanaura—all Japanese.
11 September 1622
101. Blessed Gaspar Cotenda, catechist under F. Camillus Costanzo, S. J.
102. Blessed Francis, aged twelve, son of Blessed Cosmas Taquea.
103. Blessed Peter, aged seven, son of Blessed Bartholomew Xichiemon.
Blessed Gaspar, of the family of the kings of Firando, was twenty-one years of age. Pious and well educated, he was just about to enter the Society of Jesus. Blessed Peter was to have been put to death with his father, but was overlooked in the confusion. The next day the judge, out of pity, wished to make the boy say he had run away “Not at all,” replied the little martyr, “I saw that nobody took any notice of me, so I went home.” Threats had no avail. “I am ready to die,” said he, ” for some Fathers of the Society appeared to me and encouraged me to die for Jesus Christ, and to answer freely as I do.” Then these martyrs were taken to the sacred mountain, still covered with the bodies and blood of the victims of the 10th. Undismayed, they joyfully mingled their blood with that of their predecessors. Their bodies were beheaded, then reduced to ashes, and these scattered to the winds.
12 September 1622
104. Blessed Thomas Zumarraga, Spanisli priest.
105. Blessed Mancio of Saint Thomas, Japanese.
106. Blessed Dominic, Japanese — all of the order of Saint Dominic.
107. Blessed Apollinaris Franca, Spanish priest.
108. Blessed Francis of Saint Bonaventura, Japanese.
109. Blessed Peter of Saint Clare, Japanese — all of the order of Saint Francis.
After the great execution of September 10, Gonroc considered himself as the special minister of the Emperor to execute prompt and terrible justice on all religious. He accordingly sent his lieutenant to Omura, to burn at the stake all who still remained in prison. Their suffering was like that of those burned at the Great Martyrdom, but more prolonged. The two Spanish Fathers conducted each his two disciples, and all died worthy of their apostolate. Four others, Paul and Mathias Faiaci, John Iquenda and Leo Suquiemon, executed at the same time, are not included in the Brief of Beatification from want of judicial proofs.
15 September 1622
110. Blessed Camillas Costanzo, priest of Society of Jesus; burned alive.
He was born in Calabria and first served in Prince Albert’s army, and was at the siege of Ostend. At the age of twenty he became a Jesuit, retaining all the energy of his first vocation. He labored usefully in the kingdom of Bugen from 1605 to 1614; he then returned to Macao, where he wrote a Japanese treatise against the Bonzes. For the last year he had, as an apostle, traversed all the western part of Japan, especially the islands depending on the king of Firando.
The inconsiderate zeal of a Japanese lady led to his arrest. Anxious to convert her husband Soiemon, a judicial officer in the island of Ikitsuki, she said, “Who knows when we shall have so favorable an opportunity again—the blessing of hearing a holy religious? Soiemon astonished, pretended to acquiesce in his wife’s desire, and soon learned the missionary’s retreat and his harborers. This was all he sought. Blessed Camillus was arrested on the 24th of April, 1623, in the island of Ucu. His trial at Firaudo, imprisonment in the island of Ikinoscima. and finally his martyrdom near Firando, were a repetition of those of Blessed Spinola. But Father Costanzo displayed, especially amid the flames, an exultation unexampled even in the annals of this persecution. Before a great number of Catholics, pagans, and even Dutch and English Protestants, he resolutely entered the place of execution and marched up to liis stake. Thence, as from a pulpit, he began to address the spectators. “I am,” he said, ” Camillus Costanzo, an Italian, of the Society of Jesus. I am going to be burnt alive for preaching the law of the true God… We are not to fear temporal but eternal death, . . . There is not means of avoiding that woe except to embrace the law of Jesus Christ.’ While he thus preached the flames rose and concealed him from the spectators. A moment after they beheld him motionless, his eyes raised to heaven, in a sort of extasy. Suddenly he intoned the psalm Laudate Dominum, pronounced some words of exhortation, and, what seemed really prodigious, uttered exclamations of joy, and seemed transfigured with a heavenly radiance finally, with a voice that was heard afar he chanted Sanctus, sanctus, and repeating for the fifth time this homage of the Seraphim, he bowed his head and expired. The testimony to these facts is abundant, and they produced an incalculable impression.
2 October 1622
111. Blessed Louis Giaciqni, Japanese—burned alive.
112. Blessed Lucy Lis wife.
113. Their sons, Blessed Andrew, aged eight, and Blessed Francis, four years — beheaded.
Blessed Giaciqui was tlie one wlio planned tlie escape of Blessed Father Flores. He was put to the torture to learn the names of his accomplices, but he showed unshaken courage. His wife and children preferring death to apostasy, were first beheaded before his eyes.
1 November 1622
115. Blessed Peter Paul Navarro, Italian, priest.
116, 117. Blessed Denis Fugiscima and Blessed Peter Onizuki, scholastics of the Society of Jesus.
118. Blessed Clement, a Japanese in the service of Father Navarro.
Blessed Navarro, countryman and friend of Father Costanzo, had labored successfully in Japan for thirty-six years, when he obtained the martyr’s crown. He was discovered and arrested with his three companions at Arima, where Bungodono had succeeded the apostate Michael. This prince was not then such as he subsequently appeared. He treated Father Navarro with great humanity, and even desired to save him, but had to comply with the orders of Xongun and Gonroc. The execution was fixed for the first of November. On the morning of All Saints, by the personal favor of the prince, Blessed Navarro was permitted to celebrate Mass and receive the vows by which Blessed Blessed Peter and Denis became members of the Society of Jesus, as well as address a last exhortation to the sobbing Christians. This took place at Scimabara, a city lying on a gulf of that name. The stakes were erected on a promontory stretching far out into the sea. There, before the eyes of a vast concourse, the four confessors underwent tiia fiery ordeal with heroic fortitude.
4 December 1623
119. Blessed Francis Galvez, a Spanish priest of the order of Saint Francis.
120. Blessed Jerome de Angelis, an Italian priest.
121. Blessed Simon Jempo, a Japanese—both of the Society of Jesus.
On arriving in Japan Father de Angelis, so long tlie companion of Father Spinola, was sent north and penetrated to kingdoms hitherto unapproached. He was in Jedo, the new capital of Japan, when Zongun II. succeeded his father and renewed the edicts against the Christians with many threats and promises. On the information of an apostate, Father Jerome’s host was arrested. The brave man refused to give any information, but the missionary, in hopes of saving his host, gave himself up. His catechist, Blessed Simon Jempo, refusing to abandon his master, followed his example. Some days later, Blessed Francis Galvez, a Franciscan missionary, was discovered and added to the two Jesuits. The confessors continued their labors even in prison, converting and baptizing forty pagans.
Many Christians were arrested at the same time, and were held subject to Xongun’s decision on his return from his coronation at Meaco. “Let them be all burned alive,” was the summary sentence of the prince; ard fifty Christians underwent this torture in a plain without Jedo. The two religious and John Faramondb, a gentleman, were reserved to the last; they used the delay to address, in words of salvation, the spectators who crowded from the capital, then cheerfully laid down their lives to confirm their assertions. The tyrant himself took care to establish the motive of their execution. A placard bore the following, “These men are punished with death because they are Christians.” However, for want of juridical statements, only three of the fifty martyrs are beatified. The bodies were, as usual, carefully guarded, but some Christians succeeded in carrying oflf the head of Father de Angelis, which was conveyed to Nagasaki and thence to Macao.
22 February 1621
122. James Carvallio, Portuguese, priest of the Society of Jesuits, frozen to death.
While the Christians were thus treated, Masamune, King of Oxu, was at the court of Jedo. Hitherto he had shown an inclination to the Christian faith, and liad sent an embassy to Europe; but, led away by the emperor’s example, he ordered the governor of Scendai, his capital, to bunt down the Christians, and put all to death who refused to apostatize. Twenty-three suffered, but the necessary information could be obtained only as to the most illustrious of tliem, Blessed James Carvalho. This worthy missionary had spent his best years in Japan; after establishing a mission at Cochin China, during his exile, he returned to Japan and joined B, Jerome de Angelis in his laborious northern mission. Trgfcked by Masamune’s emissaries, Carvalho, warned of the danger, retired, with sixty Christians, far from all abodes, in a valley, hidden away in the mountains. They would probably have eluded pursuit, except for their footprints in the snow, which guided the persecutors. As soon as the holy missionary saw that he was discovered, he went forward to meet them, and thus gave a number of Christians time to scatter and escape.
The prisoners were led to Scendai, through the snow-bloclved roads and the bitter cold. Two old men. unable to keep up, were killed by the guard. At the capital an entirely new punishment was devised for the rest. A river flowed at the foot of the fortress. On its banks a hole, several feet square, was dug, and filled with water from the river. Here the Father, with eight companions, was exposed, naked, to the torture of ice-water, amid the railleries and jeering exhortations of the pagans. After the lapse of three hours, when their limbs were numbed, they were, by order of the court, taken out. It was supposed that this first torture would make them more compliant. As the holy confessor’s replies expressed only desire to sacrifice himself in so good a cause, he was taken back to the pit, plunged in the water to his knees, then to his neck, taken out, plunged in again, till he was completely frozen. He lived thus three hours, and, with his last breath, uttered the holy names of Jesus and Mary.
25 August 1624
123. Blessed Michael Carvallio, Portuguese, priest of the Society of Jesus.
124. Blessed Peter Vasquez, Spaniard, Dominican priest.
125. Blessed Louis Sotelo, Spaniard, and
126. Blessed Louis Sosanda, Japanese, both priests of the order of Saint Francis; and
127. Blessed Louis Baba, Japanese Catechist of the same order.
All burned alive. From his prison in Omura, resemblingB. Spinola’sBMicliaol Carvallio wrote, “We are all feeble and infirm in body, but sustained and consoled in spirit, for God grants his favors in proportion to sufferings. If it please liis Sovereign Majesty tbat I die in tliis prison, devoured by vermin and covered by filth, His will be done,” After enduring this torment for a year and a half, they were taken from Omura to Scimabara, where they were burned. The executioner, wishing to fix the rope on one of the stakes, used the body of Blessed Vasquez as a footstool — mounting on his shoulders — without the martyr’s resenting it. After two hours Blessed Louis Baba’s bonds were consumed, and that good religious went and kissed the hands of Blessed Vasquez and Sotelo, and expired at their feet. On this occasion even the Bonzes paid homage to the courage of the martyrs, and acknowledged that God alone could raise feeble mortals to that height.
15 November 1624
128. Blessed Caius, a Corean, Catechist to the Jesuits, burnt alive.
Born in Corea, and still a pagan, he begged God to save his soul and God showed him an aged man, who in another land would teach him the way of salvation. Brought to Japan” as a prisoner of war, he was instructed by the Jesuit missionaries, aided them in their ministry, and in reward received the martyr’s crown. He was burned alive at Nagasaki, by Gonroc’s order.
20 June 1626
129. Blessed Francis Paclieco, Portuguese priest.
130. Blessed Balthasar de Torres, Spanish priest.
131. Blessed John Baptist Zola, ItaHan priest.
132. Blessed Peter Kinscei, Japanese.
133. Blessed Vincent Caum, Korean.
134. Blessed John Chinasco.
135. Blessed Paul Scinsuche.
136. Blessed Michael Tozo.
137. Blessed Gaspar Sadamatzu, Japanese.
All of the Society of Jesus, burned alive. In 1626 the emperor published new edicts of unheard-of severity. Every practice of the Christian religion, and even the use of the European calendar, was punished with death, and, to execute these acts, an army of spies was organized. The first to fall into the tyrant’s hands was Blessed Francis Paclieco, provincial of the Jesuits and administrator of the diocese. For easier communication he had remained at Cocinotzu, a port in the kingdom of Arima. He was taken, with several others of his order, to Scimabara, and shut up in a dungeon in the fortress. Blessed Balthasar de Torres, and Michael Tozo, his catechist, were soon after taken near Nagasaki, and imprisoned at Omura. The two parties, all Jesuits, were then sent to Nagasaki, and met at the foot of the sacred mountain, where they saluted and embraced one another with the most lively joy, amid the applause of the Christians and wonder of the pagans. It was the Great Martyrdom renewed.
12 July 1626
138. Blessed Mancio.
139. Blessed Mathias Arachi.
140. Blessed Peter Arachi Cobioia.
141. Blessed Susanna, his wife.
142, 143. Blessed John Tanaca, and Blessed Catharine his wife.
144, 145. Blessed John Naisen, and Blessed Monica his wife.
146. Louis, their son, seven years old
All Japanese; burned or beheaded. After the religious, their hosts were arraigned. Cavaci, the new governor of Nagasaki, ordered them all to be put to death. Ho first subjected them to fearful tortures. The ladies were exposed to the irsults of the mob. Susanna was hung by her hair to a tree for eight hours. Monica and Catharine were forced to swallow and then eject great quantities of Avater : all were thrown into loathsome dungeons. Mancio died there, but his body was burned with the rest on the Holy Mountain of Nagasaki. The ladies, with little Louis, were beheaded. The young martyr was taken to execution in a soldier’s arms. When set down, not understanding all the preparations, he ran to his mother, who, absorbed in the thought of her approaching death, pushed him away, exciting his grief and surprise. His father, perceiving it from his stake said : ” Grieve not, Louis; in a few moments we shall all three be re-united in heaven.” All the martyrs died in similar sentiments. One of them, Jolm Tanaca, an aged man, did what was deemed miraculous. Seeing his bonds consumed, he left his stake and went to each martyr, saluting them, kissing their hands, praising God for their constancy, passing through the burning coals as if he were incombustible. He then went back to his stake and died praying.
29 July 1627
147. Blessed Louis Bertrancl, priest.
148. Blessed Mancio, of the Holy Cross.
149. Blessed Peter of Saint Mary, both Japanese
All of the order of Saint Dominic; burned alive. Blessed Louis Bortrand, a nephew of Saint Louis Bertrand, the apostle of South America, was burned at Omura, with two fervent Catechists of his order. This is about all we know of their martyrdom, the narratives being less detailed as the times grew more difficult.
16 August 1627
150. Blessed Francis Curobioje.
151. Blessed Caius Jemon, Japanese, beheaded.
152. Blessed Magdalen Chiota, related to the king of Bungo, burned.
153. Blessed Francis, Japanese, burned.
154. Blessed Francis of Saint Mary, a Spaniard, priest of the order of Saint Francis.
155. Blessed Bartholomew Laurel, a Mexican.
156. Blessed Anthony, of Saint Francis, a Japanese, his Catechist of the same order, burned alive.
157. Blessed Gaspar Voz, Japanese, beheaded.
158. Blessed Thomas Yo, Japanese, beheaded.
159. Blessed Francis Enlioie, Japanese, burned.
160. Blessed Luke Chiemon.
161. Blessed Michael Chizaiemon.
162. Blessed Louis Matzuo.
163. Blessed Martin Gomez.
164. Blessed Mary.
All Japanese; beheaded.
7 September 1627
165. Blessed Thomas Tzugi, Japanese priest, of the Society of Jesus.
166. Blessed Louis Maqui.
167. Blessed John, his son — Japanese; all burned alive.
Blessed Thomas Tzugi, born on the territory of Omura, Avas educated in the seminary of Arima, and, entering the Society, became a very distinguished preacher. In the worst times of the persecution he assumed all sorts of disguises to sustain the faithful, and especially that of porter; but one day his courage failed him, and he asked to withdraw from the Society of Jesus. He had scarcely received his dismission when he repented, and asked to re-enter the order. Having no complaint to make of him, the superiors merely subjected him to fresh trials, and God, having permitted this humiliation, gave him the opportunity to repair his fault by martyrdom. His hosts shared his triumph.
8 September 1628
168. Blessed Anthony of Saint Bonaventure, Spanish priest.
169. Blessed Dominic, of Nagasaki, both Franciscans.
170. Blessed Dominic Castellet, Spanish priest.
171. Blessed Thomas, of Saint Hyacinth.
172. Blessed Anthony, of Saint Dominic, Japanese, all Dominicans.
173. Blessed John Tomachi, with his four sons.
174. Blessed Dominic (sixteen years old).
175. Blessed Michael, (thirteen years).
176. Blessed Thomas, (ten years).
177. Blessed Paul, (seven years).
178. Blessed John Imamnra.
179. Blessed Paul Aibara.
180. Blessed Romanus.
181. Blessed Leo.
182. Blessed James Faiascida.
183. Blessed Matthew Alvarez.
184. Blessed Michael Jamada.
185. Blessed Lawrence, his son.
186. Blessed Louis Nisaci, with his sons.
187. Blessed Francis (five years).
188. Blessed Dominic, (two years).
189. Blessed Louisa, aged eighty.
All Japanese; twelve burned, ten beheaded. Religious and harborers of religious, they were maityred at Nagasaki by order of Bungodono, prince of Omura, who had become a violent persecutor. The religious, with their chief hosts, were burned. One of them has left us this noble expression, “Now I see that I am thine, my Jesus!” As usual the beheading took place first. The heads of Blessed Tomachi’s four sons were thrown on his fire and consumed with him. Amid their trials these noble Christians chanted the praises of God.
16 September 1628
190. Blessed Michael Fimonoia.
191. Blessed Paul Fimonoia.
192. Blessed Dominic Xobioie.
Beheaded at Nagasaki.
25 December 1628
193. Blessed Michael Nacascima, Japanese Jesuit, applied to “The Mouths of Hell.”
From childhood Blessed Micliael led an exemplary life. At a later day he took part in all the works of zeal that tlie persecution surrounded with greatest peril. After his admission into the Society of Jesus, he bore, with heroic constancy, all that the tyranny of his persecutors could invent. He was first bastinadoed at the mercy of his executioners, then subjected, on different occasions, to the torture of water, used in the most brutal manner; finally, they had recourse, for the first time, to a new torture.
Some leagues from Arima, stands Mount Ungen, with three summits, separated by fissures, from which issue boiling waters and sulphurous exhalations. Tbese waters corrupt and decompose the flesh the efiiuvia they emit is enough to extinguish life. Hence they were called “Mouths of Hell!”
To use them against the Christians required some skill. The persecutor had no idea of stifling them instantly. They were passed through some basins where the water was onlj^kneedeep; then covered with boiling water and gradually plunged into the deepest fissures. When they could bear no more they were withdrawn. Thus was B, Michael Nacascima boiled to pieces, no word escaping his lips except the names of Jesus and Mary. He knew by experience the eflBcacy of this invocation, for in a letter written after his first torture to Father Emanuel de Borges, we read : ” When the pain became too intense, I invoked Our Lady the Blessed Virgin, and my pain instantly ceased.”
28 September 1630
194. Blessed John Cocumbuco.
195. Blessed Mancio.
196. Blessed Michael Chinosci.
197. Blessed Lawrence Scixo.
198. Blessed Peter Cufioie.
199. Blessed Thomas.
All of the third order of Saint Augustine, beheaded. Between 1629 and 1632 there were more than three hundred martyrs, but positive information could be obtained only as to six. God knows and crowns all.
3 September 1632
200. Blessed Bartholomew Guttierez, Mexican priest.
201. Blessed Vincent Carvallio, Portuguese priest.
202. Blessed Francis of Jesus, Spanish priest
All three Augustinians.
203. Blessed Anthony Iscicla, Japanese priest of the Society of Jesus.
204. Blessed Jerome cle Torres, Japanese priest.
205. Blessed Gabriel of Magdalen, Spanish Franciscan.
From 1629 Tachimaga Uneme, successor to Cavaci, governor of Nagasaki, and commissary of the Emperor in all Southern Japan, undertook by every means to extirpate Christianity. He exhausted the patience of the Christians by prolonged tortures, and attacked them in every way most repugnant to their instincts. He forced the men to go on all fours like brutes through filth; he exposed the women stripped to the insults of the mob, and other atrocities. It must be admitted that the number of apostates then increased. No succor could reach them, and tyranny developed an infernal system. After terror came stratagem. Uneme pretended to relax. He took the air of one who felt that it was all over and the Christians extirpated. At the same time he watched all suspected spots, and soon captured several priests on whom he resolved to try every means of seduction, and if he failed, every species of torment. He was bent especially on obtaining the apostacy of the Japanese, above all of one like Blessed Anthony Iscida, a Jesuit and priest as well. But all his arts, all his officers failed to move the holy religious. Then he had recourse to the “Mouths of Hell,” and employed them with refinements of cruelty. Each martyr was taken thither separately; each subjected to the torture of the devouring waters as far as his strength permitted. The strongest were tortured six times a day; a physician daily applying remedies till they were able to begin again. This torture lasted a month, not a martyr quailed. The tyrant was defeated, and the whole city of Nagasaki proclaimed the heroism of the martyrs of Jesus Christ. Uneme, to conceal his defeat, had them secretly conveyed to the Sacred Mountain and there privately burned.
Such are the two hundred and five martyrs whose process could be regularly conducted. Of these seventy-eight were members of religious orders in the strict sense, being priests, catechists or tertiaries. Saint Dominic numbers twenty-one children; Saint Francis, eighteen; Saint Augustine, five; and Saint Ignatius, thirty-four.
These were not the last martyrs. The persecution continued to immolate the Japanese by hundreds and from 1632 to 1646 seven more Dominicans, two Franciscans, two Augustinians, and forty Jesuits were put to death for the faith, some by fire, others by the horrible torture of the pit. Even later it was not fear that arrested the missionaries; but the impossibility of penetrating into Japan, without trampling on the image of Jesus crucified. The country was closed, till the moment God had set apart to pour down his favors on the descendants of so many noble martyrs.