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Catholic Dictionary




Marian sanctuary at Oura, near Nagasaki, Japan. In 1865 when a French priest built a small chapel on a hill at Oura, a group of women came from nearby Urakami to tell him that they had "the same Heart" that he had, which meant that they had kept the faith for two centuries without benefit of clergy. The tiny reopened church at Urakami was completely destroyed by the 1945 atom bomb, but the nearby church dedicated to Mary at Oura remained intact. It was the site hallowed by the crucifixion of twenty-six Christians in the seventeenth century. It was also the place where Catholics had preserved their faith without the sacraments, relying solely on prayer to Mary for guidance.