The beatification Mass of a Christian samurai that will be celebrated in the Japanese city of Osaka will be broadcast live via YouTube on Feb. 7.
Jesuit Father Renzo De Luca and Sister Chiaki Maeda of the
Caritas Sisters of Jesus, both members of the Japan Catholic Committee
for Promoting Canonization, will provide commentary for the live
broadcast of the beatification of Venerable Justo Ukon Takayama, a
high-ranking daimyo (feudal lord).
Born into a family of
landowners, Ukon (1552-1615) converted to Christianity at the age of 12
after coming into contact with Jesuit missionaries.
persecution of Christians in the 17th century, he lost his position
because of his faith and was exiled to the Philippines.
Cardinal Angelo Amato, Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, will celebrate the Mass in Latin.
The broadcast will begin will 11 a.m. and will continue till 3 p.m. Japan time. The Mass starts at midday.
De Luca is the director of the 26 Martyrs Museum in Nagasaki. He will
take the post of Jesuit Provincial on March 1. The Argentine missionary
was sent to Japan when Pope Francis was the rector of the philosophy and
theology faculty of San Miguel where Father De Luca studied.
want not only Japanese people but also foreign people to watch it," said
Father De Luca who will mainly speak in Japanese but some English in
his commentary as well.
Father De Luca praised Ukon as "a wonderful person in every field."
a Christian, as a leader, as a cultural person, as a pioneer of
adaptation, he is a role model and there are many things we can learn
from him. In this era of political distrust, I think he will be helpful
for people other than Christians."
When Shogun Toyotomi Hideyoshi
took power and prohibited the practice of Christianity, Ukon refused to
follow the great feudal lords and abandon his faith. He lost his
properties, his position, his social status, honor and respectability
and was eventually forced into exile. With 300 other Japanese Christians
he fled to Manila where, just 40 days after his arrival, he fell ill
and died on Feb. 4, 1615.
Pope Francis signed a decree for his beatification in January last year.