This homily was delivered on 06 February 2014 on the Feast of Paul Miki and his companion martyrs of Japan.
One religious shrine that has left a deep impression on me is the Martyrs’ Shrine in Nagasaki, Japan. The first thing you’ll see when you get there is a row of 26 figures: the martyrs of Japan, each one hand clasped in prayer, with a distinctive facial expression. Some are Japanese; others foreigners. Some are priests and religious; others lay people. Among them is a Japanese youth, the Jesuit novice Paul Miki, who was well-known for his preaching.
Eye witness accounts tell us that he was crucified along with his companions, and in his last moments, he preached to the crowd (certainly the last thing I would do if I were crucified!). Paul Miki took the occasion to address the crowds, preaching about forgiveness but also about hope.