Martyrdom of the 26 Saints of Japan
Nishizaka Hill in Nagasaki is the place of Martyrdom of 26 Japanese Saints.
The Twenty-Six Martyrs of Japan were a group of Catholics who were executed by
crucifixion on February 5, 1597.Their martyrdom is especially significant in the history of
the Catholic Church in Japan.
In 1950, Pope Pius XII designated this place as an official pilgrimage site for Catholics.
Pope John Paul II visited here in 1981, and Saint Teresa of Calcutta commonly known as
Mother Teresa visited in 1982.
Paulo Miki and 25 others were crucified for their belief in God on order of Toyotomi Hideyoshi.
The martyrs including four Spaniards, one from Goa, India, one Mexican and 20 Japanese
demonstrated their spiritual unity despite differences in races, ages and professions.
Nishizaka hill, the site of
Martyrdom in 1597
The martyrs said that
” All people, bless God ! ”
The 26 Japanese martyrs have
been canonized in 1862
By putting them to death, Hideyoshi threatened people, saying “I hereby ban Christianity”.
Responded the martyrs’ chant “All people, bless God! ” Death and life, liberty and persecution
and Dictators and the people confronted on Nishizaka Hill.
The martyrs are immortal. In 1862, the 26 Japanese martyrs were canonized by Pope Pius IX.
In 1956, the place of their martyrdom was designated as a Historical Place by Nagasaki
Prefecture. A monument dedicated to them was built on June 10 in 1962.
The museum behind the monument is devoted to the memory of the martyrs and to Christianity in
Japan in general. Its interior is reminiscent of a church with stained-glass windows, making for
atmospheric viewing of the exhibits. On display are artifacts related to Christianity in Japan,
including old documents, statues and jewelry.
Location of Nagasaki-city
||7-8 Nishizaka-cho, Nagasaki-city
||5 minuts walk from JR Nagasaki Station
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