Tokyo, Japan, Feb 8, 2017 / 03:02 am
A 17th century Catholic Samurai and martyr was beatified during a Mass in Osaka, Japan on Tuesday.
Cardinal Angelo Amato, Prefect of the Vatican's Congregation for the Causes of Saints, presided over the Beatification Mass of Justo Takayama Ukon, who was declared a martyr by Pope Francis in January last year.
Takayama Ukon was born in 1552 in Japan during the time when Jesuit missionaries were being introduced within the country. By the time Takayama was 12, his father had converted to Catholicism and had his son baptized as "Justo" by the Jesuit Fr. Gaspare di Lella.
Takayama's position in Japanese society as daimyo (a feudal lord) allowed him many benefits, such as owning grand estates and raising vast armies. As a Catholic, Takayama used his power to support and protect the short-lived missionary expansion within Japan, influencing the conversion of thousands of Japanese.