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St. Francis Pacheco

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Feastday: June 20
Death: 1626

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Jesuit martyr in Japan. A native of Ponte da Lima, Portugual, Pacheco entered the Society of Jesus in 1584 and was subsequently sent to Macao. There he was ordained and concentrated his efforts on missionary work on the island. He then went to Japan, the main focus of his labors. After a brief first visit, he left the islands but returned with Bishop Louis Cerquiera as vicar general to the recently constituted diocese, of which Cerquiera was head. The bishop died in 1614 and Pacheco was forced to leave Japan following the formal expulsion of all foreign clergy. Under the risk of penalty, Pacheco returned to Japan in a disguise and served for a short time before receiving appointment as episcopal administrator. He held the post briefly, as he was soon arrested and burned alive with eight other Christians at Nagasaki. He was beatified in 1867.

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