Mercy When It Counts Most

by Melanie on February 6, 2018

in Catholicism, Cursillo, Martyrs, Missionaries, Nonfiction, Saints, Spirituality, Your Daily Tripod

Note: On Tuesdays and some Sundays, you can find me at Your Daily Tripod, owned by my friend TonyD. A longer version of the post below appears there.

He was about thirty-five years old, a Jesuit novice after eleven years of study. And he was never going to become a priest now. Instead, he, two of his Japanese Jesuit confreres, seventeen laymen, and six Franciscan missionaries were about to be killed for their faith.

The twenty-six had been marched six hundred miles from Kyoto to Nagasaki over the course of a month. Their left ears had been cut off in an attempt to disgrace them. And now, they had been tied to crosses. An executioner with a lance stood by each of the men, ready to stab them to death when the word was given.

And what did Paul Miki do? He offered mercy:

“After Christ’s example, I forgive my persecutors. I do not hate them. I ask God to have pity on all, and I hope my blood will fall on my fellow men as a fruitful rain.” 

And then, the twenty-six were executed.

It’s easy to be faithful when everything is humming right along in our lives, when we have good health, good support, and good surroundings. But what about when someone else’s senseless or evil actions take all that away? After the example of Christ, Paul Miki, and so many other martyrs, recognized and otherwise, may we offer mercy.

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