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Rome Reports

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Pope visits Japanese martyrs museum with St. Francis Xavier's writings

The 26 martyrs of Japan were assassinated on Feb. 5, 1597. To remember them, Fr. Arrupe promoted the construction of this museum in the second half of the 20th century. Fr. Arrupe was the Superior General of the Society of Jesus at the time.

The museum holds original documents from that period.

“We have a letter from St. Francis Xavier.”

Jesuit Fr. Renzo de Luca, who was sent to be a missionary in Japan by Jorge Mario Bergoglio himself in the 80s, acted as the pope's guide throughout the museum tour.

“There is the letter from Julian Nakaura.”

Julian Nakaura was a Japanese Jesuit priest atrociously murdered along with his companions. He is not one of the 26 martyrs who were killed in February 1597, but he was a noteworthy Christian from that period.

St. Paul Miki on the other hand, was one of the group. He and his 25 companions were canonized in 1862 by Pius IX.