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After having served in the military, the Japanese Catholic nobleman Simon Kiyota Bokusai became a catechist, founding a school for this purpose. After learning of the catechetical school, the pagan Japanese emperor ordered Simon to close it. When in turn Simon refused to comply with this order, the emperor condemned Simon and his wife Magdalena to be put to death by crucifixion together with another Catholic family living under their roof. The latter family consisted of Thomas Gengoro, his wife Mary, and their very young son, James Bunzo. Shortly before his execution, Simon confided to a religious in a letter, "I hope that, if my sins offer no obstacle, I may go in a few hours to enjoy eternal happiness. I entreat you to obtain for me perseverance." The next day, before setting out for the place of their crucifixion in Kokura, Simon, Magdalena, Thomas, Mary, and James all knelt down before a crucifix to prepare themselves. When later the five reached the execution site, they individually prostrated themselves before the respective crosses on which they were to die.
Nothing is known of St. James the Greater's early life, though it has been established that he is the son of Zebedee and Salome and brother of John the disciple. The title "the Greater" was added to ... continue readingMore Saint of the Day
St. Kateri Tekakwitha is the first Native American to be recognized as a saint by the Catholic Church. She was born in 1656, in the Mohawk village of Ossernenon. Her mother was an Algonquin, who was captured by the Mohawks and who took a Mohawk chief for her ... continue readingMore Female Saints
Saint Michael the Archangel isn't a saint, but rather he is an angel, and the leader of all angels and of the army of God. This is what the title "Archangel" means, that he is above all the others in rank. St. Michael has four main responsibilities or offices, as we ... continue reading
Franciscan missionary and traveler. Born Odoric Mattiussi at Villanova, near Pordenone, Italy, he entered the Franciscans in 1300 and became a hermit. After several years, he took to preaching in the region of Udine, northern Italy, attracting huge crowds ... continue reading
By Deacon Keith Fournier
This great defender of the faith insisted on the central claim of Christianity: God can be known and loved-indeed, that is why He came into our midst in the person of His Son; so that through a relationship with Jesus Christ, man could participate in the very ... continue readingMore Christian Saints & Heroes