Ordinary Time: February 6th
Memorial of St. Paul Miki and Companions, martyrs
Old Calendar: St. Titus, confessor and bishop; St. Dorothy, virgin and martyr
Paul Miki, a Japanese Jesuit, and his twenty-five companions were martyred in Nagasaki, Japan. They were the first martyrs of East Asia to be canonized. They were killed simultaneouly by being raised on crosses and then stabbed with spears. Their executioners were astounded upon seeing their joy at being associated to the Passion of Christ.According to the 1962 Missal of Bl. John XXIII the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, today is the feast of St. Titus, whose feast in the Ordinary Form is combined with St. Timothy on January 26. It is also the feast of St. Dorothy, virgin and martyr, in the Extraordinary Form.
St. Paul Miki and Companions
Nagasaki, Japan, is familiar to Americans as the city on which the second atomic bomb was dropped, killing hundreds of thousands. Three and a half centuries before, twenty-six martyrs of Japan were crucified on a hill, now known as the Holy Mountain, overlooking Nagasaki. Among them were priests, brothers and laymen, Franciscans, Jesuits and members of the Secular Franciscan Order; there were catechists, doctors, simple artisans and servants, old men and innocent children—all united in a common faith and love for Jesus and his church.
- The survival of Japanese Catholicism is one of the most moving stories in the entire history of the Church. For over two centuries the people had no priests but lived the faith as best they could, in secret, not daring to keep written materials but handing down their beliefs by word of mouth. (James Hitchcock, The Nagasaki Martyrs) You can read more in this article from Catholic Culture's Library, The Nagasaki Martyrs.
- Stop for a moment today to pray for Christians who are persecuted throughout the world.
- Read more about St. Paul Miki and Companions at these websites: St. Paul Miki; St. Paul Miki and Companions; or view this video St. Paul Miki's Martyrdom.
- Read Pope Pius XII's Encyclical Meminissee Iuvat on prayers for the persecuted Church.
St. Dorothy, (i.e., the gift of God), a virgin from Caesarea in Cappadocia, allegedly suffered a martyr's death under Diocletian. Her relics are honored in a church dedicated to her honor in the Trastevere section of Rome. (On the door of St. Dorothy's Church the names of those who had not received holy Communion during Easter time used to be posted.) Her feast was introduced into the Roman calendar during the Middle Ages.
- Read the Golden Legend account of the Life of St. Dorothy.
- Decorate your table with red roses and a bowl of apples, and tell the story of Theophilus and Saint Dorothy to your family at dinner.
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