Wednesday, February 6, 2019

His Word Today: Saint Paul Miki

Good morning everyone,

Today, we remember and pray with Saint Paul Miki, born in 1562, who was a Jesuit seminarian, one of the twenty-six martyrs of Japan.  Having been taught by the Jesuits, Saint Paul joined the Society of Jesus and became a well-known and successful preacher.  Because of his work, many others converted to Catholicism.  Out of fear of the Jesuit influence and not understanding their intentions, the ruler of Japan began persecuting Catholics.  Paul Miki was arrested and jailed along with other fellow Catholics who were later forced to march more than 966 miles from Kyoto to Nagasaki.  There, he was cruelly put to death.

It is interesting to note that on the day when we remember that it was so difficult for Paul Miki and his companions to be accepted for their faith, we also hear the story of Jesus' arrival in his hometown, where he too was not accepted (cf Mk 6:4).  Over the centuries, fear of the unknown has often proven to be at the root of misunderstandings.  Jesus worked very hard during his life to break down the misunderstandings of his time; even today, there are prophetic voices calling out to us, urging us to work hard at promoting avenues of mutual understanding.

Today, we can make a difference if we choose to work toward understanding others, their motivations and their reasonings. When we do, we might just discover that others are not so different from us.

Have a great day.

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