Paul Miki

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Paul Miki

Statue of Miki, bearing stylised depictions of the instruments of his death, in St Martin's Church in Bamberg, Germany.
Jesuit and Martyr
Bornc. 1562
Settsu County, Japan
Died5 February 1597 (aged 34–35)
Nagasaki, Japan
Venerated inRoman Catholic Church
Beatified14 September 1627 by Pope Urban VIII
Canonized8 June 1862 by Pope Pius IX
Feast6 February
AttributesMartyr’s Palm, cross, spear

Paul Miki, SJ (Japanese: パウロ三木; (‘Paulo Miki’) c. 1562 – 5 February 1597) was a Japanese Catholic evangelist and Jesuit, known for his martyrdom during a 16th-century anti-Catholic uprising.

Canonized by Pope Pius IX in 1862, Miki is recognized as one of the Twenty-six Martyrs of Japan.


Martyrdom of Paul Miki and Companions in Nagasaki

Paul Miki was born into a wealthy Japanese family. He was educated by the Jesuits in Azuchi and Takatsuki. He joined the Society of Jesus and became a well known and successful preacher – gaining numerous converts to Catholicism.[1] The ruler of Japan, Toyotomi Hideyoshi, began persecuting Catholics for fear of the Jesuits' influence and intentions, and possibly that of European visitors.

Miki was arrested and jailed with his fellow Catholics, who were later forced to march 966 kilometers (600 miles) from Kyoto to Nagasaki; all the while singing the Te Deum. On arriving in Nagasaki – which today has the largest Catholic population in Japan – Miki had his chest pierced with a lance while tied to a cross on 5 February 1597.[1]

He preached his last sermon from the cross, and it is maintained that he forgave his executioners.[2] Crucified alongside him were Joan Soan (de Gotó) and Santiago Kisai, also of the Society of Jesus; along with twenty-three other clergy and laity, all of whom were canonized by Pope Pius IX in 1862.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b 日本人名大辞典+Plus,日本大百科全書(ニッポニカ), デジタル版. パウロ三木(パウロ みき)とは - コトバンク. コトバンク (in Japanese). Retrieved 2018-08-24.
  2. ^ "カトリック住吉教会 | 聖パウロ三木について". Archived from the original on 2020-02-18. Retrieved 2018-08-24.
  3. ^ Paul Miki and two companion Martyrs of Japan at Hagiography Circle

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