205 Martyrs of Japan

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205 Japanese Martyrs
DiedJapan
Venerated inRoman Catholic Church
Anglican Church
Lutheran Church
Beatified7 May 1867, Vatican City by Pope Pius IX
Feast10 September

The Martyrs of Japan (日本の殉教者, Nihon no junkyōsha) were Christian missionaries and followers who were persecuted and executed for their faith in Japan, mostly during the Tokugawa shogunate period in the 17th century.

Early Christianity in Japan[edit]

Christian missionaries arrived with Francis Xavier and the Jesuits in the 1540s and briefly flourished, with over 100,000 converts, including many daimyōs in Kyushu. The shogunate and imperial government at first supported the Catholic mission and the missionaries, thinking that they would reduce the power of the Buddhist monks, and help trade with Spain and Portugal. However, the Shogunate was also wary of colonialism, seeing that the Spanish had taken power in the Philippines, after converting the population. It soon met resistance from the highest office holders of Japan.[1] Emperor Ogimachi issued edicts to ban Catholicism in 1565 and 1568, but to little effect. Beginning in 1587 with imperial regent Toyotomi Hideyoshi’s ban on Jesuit missionaries, Christianity was repressed as a threat to national unity.[2] After the Tokugawa shogunate banned Christianity in 1620, it ceased to exist publicly. Many Catholics went underground, becoming hidden Christians (隠れキリシタン, kakure kirishitan), while others lost their lives. Only after the Meiji Restoration, was Christianity re-established in Japan.

The first group of martyrs, known as the Twenty-Six Martyrs of Japan (1597), were canonized by the Church in 1862 by Pope Pius IX.[3]

The same pope beatified the second group, known as the 205 Martyrs of Japan (1598–1632), in 1867.

205 Martyrs of Japan (1598–1632)[edit]

The persecution of Missionaries and Christian followers continued after the martyrdom of the twenty-six souls in 1597. Jesuit fathers and others who had successfully fled to the Philippines wrote reports which led to a pamphlet that was printed in Madrid in 1624 "A Short Account of the Great and Rigorous Martyrdom, which last year (1622) was suffered in Japan by One Hundred and Eighteen Martyrs'.[4]

Through the promulgation of decree on martyrdom, Pope Pius IX venerated these martyrs on 26 February 1866 and beatified them on 26 May 1867.[5] This group is also known as Alfonso Navarrette Benito, Perdo of Ávila, Carlo Spinola, Ioachim Díaz Hirayama, Lucia de Freitas, and 200 companions.[6]

Ordained Martyrs[edit]

Augustinian[edit]

Foreign Missionaries[edit]

Dominican[edit]

Foreign Missionaries[edit]

Japanese[edit]

Franciscan – Alcantarines[edit]

Foreign Missionaries[edit]

Japanese[edit]

Franciscan – Observant[edit]

Foreign Missionaries[edit]

Japanese[edit]

Jesuit[edit]

Foreign Missionaries[edit]

Japanese[edit]

Martyred Laity[edit]

Augustinian Laity[edit]

Japanese Religious Brother[edit]

Japanese Oblates[edit]

Japanese Tertiaries[edit]

Dominican Laity[edit]

Foreign Missionaries – Confraternity of the Holy Rosary[edit]

JapaneseConfraternity of the Holy Rosary[edit]

Japanese Tertiaries[edit]

Franciscan Laity[edit]

Japanese Tertiaries[edit]

Catechist Laity[edit]

Japanese[edit]

Christian Laity[edit]

Japanese[edit]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Brodrick, James (1952). Saint Francis Xavier (1506–1552). London: Burns, Oates & Washbourne Ltd. p. 558.
  2. ^ Jansen, Marius (2000). The Making of Modern Japan. Harvard University Press.
  3. ^ Martyrs of Japan (1597–1637) at Hagiography Circle
  4. ^ Seitz, Don C. (October 1927). "The Nagasaki Martyrs". The Catholic Historical Review. Catholic University of America Press. 13 (3): 503–509. JSTOR 25012455.
  5. ^ Martyrs of Japan (1597–1637) at Hagiography Circle
  6. ^ Martyrs of Japan at the All Saints & Martyrs website

External links[edit]