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Saint Of The Day For 6 February: Saints Paul Miki And Companions

The crucifixion of Saints Paul Miki and companions makes us stand before the cross of Jesus. Not a few suggestions

This is how the 26 martyrs crucified in Nagasaki, Japan, still move the world today, and these are not scenes from a film but harsh reality.

The frost of initial tolerance of the local institutions left no way out for this mixed group of courageous fighters for Christ (the Jesuit Paul Miki, a soldier, a doctor, some catechists, two boys) who did not shy away from an obvious injustice

The canonisation of a saint follows various steps, but in this case the witness of martyrdom is undoubted.

Death alone is not enough, but it must clearly emerge, as in this case, that it is due to nothing other than faith.

It makes one shudder to just imagine 26 Christians, crucified, and for a while then we shift our focus to Christ, his end, the dawn of a new era.

The first canonised saint is precisely the good thief

When we prefigure the scene of Jesus’ crucifixion, there are so many suggestions that we don’t even want to mention them for fear of sin, of rambling.

There is an old saying: “You don’t mess with holy things!”

Indeed, it is Jesus himself who promises the thief to take him to paradise: a great gesture of reciprocation and gratitude.

Even on the crucifixion scene of Saints Paul Miki and companions, there is even a soldier, a detail that is certainly not unusual but real life.

Love is the motivation for everything. “If one says he loves God and then hates his brother, he is a liar”; the good thief allows himself to be inundated with the desire for love, later being loved by Jesus.

The gifts of a saint against the backdrop of the cross: knowing how to per-donate.

On that 6 February 1597 in Nagasaki, Saint Paul Miki gave his life together with his 25 companions, but goodness does not triumph except in Christological love

“Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do” calcifies the mighty edifice of God, at this point well dug into the rocks and not built on unsafe ground.

The solid foundation of faith always helps redeem any crucified reality.

Is there a fountain of eternal youth? Yes, the face of one who is reconciled with himself and with others is a serene, radiant, luminous face.

It is ugly to see words of hatred coming out towards one’s tormentors and yet we do it day after day, even in our insane habits.

Every power war, every injustice is always a great test of faith

The Christian cannot hate, or if he is naturally inclined to do so, he must try to overcome, to go beyond.

St Paul Miki was a disciple of St Ignatius of Loyola, a former warrior, and the son of a military commander.

He could not help but become combative, a true warrior of God.

Numerous were converted to the salt and light of the word: astonishment stupefies even the most distrustful heart, bridges every distance.

The scandal of the true Christian lies precisely in the incomprehensible gift of self, beyond all human logic.

Those Japanese Christians, converted, thus rallied around the Korean attack, in exactly the same way that millions of Christians today try not to be horrified on the Ukrainian front.

The strength of the Christian is cohesion: a Christian on the cross never dies alone.

There is always also a crowd following the crucified one, and above all a Mother for all, the call to Life.

God’s new covenant with his people: the synodal path

We are a wandering people trying to walk together in Synodality.

God is also looking for that lost sheep because he knows that the other 99 will not be lost but will accompany each other.

Beautiful then is this canonisation with its great communitarian value (St Paul Miki and companions) as well as the word ‘companions’ that stands out strongly.

Accompanying us on the age-old path of holiness is our concern, our irrevocable urgency.

Let us walk together towards the unfading Kingdom.

This is our invitation to meditation and prayer, hoping for the example of Saints Paul Miki and companions.

 Sister Ines Carlone Daughters of Mary Missionaries

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