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Sts. Peter Baptist and Twenty-five Companions





Died at Nagasaki, 5 Feb., 1597. In 1593 while negotiations were pending between the Emperor of Japan and the Governor of the Philippine Islands, the latter sent Peter Baptist and several other Franciscans as his ambassadors to Japan. They were well received by the emperor, and were able to establish convents, schools, and hospitals, and effect many conversions. When on 20 Oct., 1596, a Spanish vessel of war, the "San Felipe", was stranded on the isle of Tosa, it became, according to Japanese custom, the property of the emperor. The captain was foolish enough to extol the power of the king, and said that the missionaries had been sent to prepare for the conquest of the country. The emperor became furious, and on 9 Dex., 1596, ordered the missionaries to be imprisoned. On 5 Feb., 1597, six friars belonging to the First Order St. Francis (Peter Baptist, Martin of the Ascension, Francis Blanco, priests; Philip of Jesus, cleric; Gonsalvo Garzia, Francis of St. Michael, laybrothers), three Japanese Jesuits (Paul Miki, John Goto, James Kisai) and seventeen native Franciscan Tertiaries were crucified. They were beatified 14 Sept., 1627, by Urban VIII, and canonized 8 June, 1862, by Pius IX.

LEON, Lives of the Saints and Blessed of the Three Orders of St. Francis, I (Taunton, 1885), 169-223; WADDING, Ann. Min., 98-104, 261-81; Acta SS., Feb., I, 79-770; INES, Cronica de la provincia de San Gregorio Magno de Religiosos Descalzos de N.S.P. San Francisco en las islas Filipinas, China, Japon etc., I (Manila, 1892); MARTINEZ, Compendio historico de la apostolica provincia de San Gregorio de Filipinas (Madrid, 1756); BOUIX, Histoire des 26 martyrs du Jaon crucifies a Nangasaqui (Paris, Lyons, 1682); DEPLACE, Le Catholicisme au Japon; II, L'Ere des Martyres 1593-1660 (Brussels, 1909).

Ferdinand Heckmann.








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