February 6, 2012. (Romereports.com)
He was one of the 50,000 Catholics who were killed during Japan's religious persecution between the 16th and 17th century.
His last words were, “I forgive the head of the nation who ordered we be crucified and also all those who have taken part in making us martyrs.” He was crucified at the age of 31 in Nagasaki on February 5th, 1597. St. Paul Miki
was educated by Jesuits, after being inspired to follow in the footsteps of St. Francis Xavier.
In 1597, he was arrested along with 25 other Catholics, 19 of them Japanese
Before killing them, the soldiers took the martyrs and one by one, began cutting off one of their ears. Then they were forced to walk nearly a thousand miles from village to village in the winter. Soldiers were hoping other Catholics would reject their faith after seeing the torture.
They walked for a month. During that time, even amid the torture, it's said they would constantly forgive their killers
They were crucified
on a hill just outside of Nagasaki
. To the astonishment of Japanese authorities, they were honored to be put do death on a cross and die in the same manner Jesus died.
Christians who witnessed the killings ran to the crosses looking for pieces of cloth soaked in their blood.
Years later, the hill became a place of pilgrimage and Pope Pius IX canonized the martyrs
One hundred years later, in 1962, a monument was built in Nagasaki, to honor these 26 martyrs. The monument is a huge cross that includes the image of those Christians who were killed that day.