Companions on the Journey
What would we do without the companions who journey with us through life? They accompany us, ease our burdens, laugh and cry with us, and encourage us to move forward. Life would be a lonely journey without companions who are the chief witnesses to our success, joys, sorrows and failures. They remain and abide, they encourage and affirm, challenge and chide, offer keen listening ears and speak comforting words of love. When we do not listen to them, when we fail to treat them well, the consequences are often grim. Our pride gets in the way, and we lose the very thing we need to make us whole. Treasure your companions.
The feast of Saint Paul Miki and his Companions is celebrated on February 6. His is a fascinating story of courage, bravery and love for our Faith. On December 8, 1596, the Japanese government arrested and condemned to death the friars of Miako. This included three Japanese Jesuits, six Franciscans (Japanese and Spanish) and 17 Japanese laymen. They were charged with attempting to harm the government and were subsequently sentenced to crucifixion. Some of these men were very young-as young as 10 years old. The most well-known is Paul Miki, a Japanese Jesuit brother from a noble family, who was considered a brilliant preacher. Since Paul Miki had already completed his studies to become a priest, if he could have escaped his arrest he would have been the very first Japanese priest. He forgave his persecutors during his crucifixion, and told the people to "ask Christ to show them how to be truly happy."1
Our Church is built on the courage and heroism of people like Saint Paul Miki and his wonderful Companions whose names might not be as well-known, but are certainly known to God. How fortunate we are to have them as companions on our own spiritual journeys. Saint Paul Miki, and your wonderful Companions, pray for us!
Reference: 1. Taken from the Internet 8 January 2020, found at: https://www.loyolapress.com/our-catholic-faith/saints/saints-stories-for-all-ages/saint-paul-miki-and-companions
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