Who was St. Paul Miki?
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 in1862.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. PH/KLH RRGDP- PR