Thursday, December 6, 2012

The Yatsushiro Martyrs

    December 8th and 9th, 1603:  Two Catholic samurai of Yatsushiro were beheaded for refusing to renounce Christ, and the following day all the remaining members of their immediate families were crucified for clinging to their convictions too.  The youngest of the crucified martyrs was seven-year-old Ludovico (his baptismal name).  On his mother's instructions he kept repeating the holy names of the Lord and the Blessed Virgin--Iézusu! Maria!--as he awaited the spear-thrust that would pierce his heart, gouging into him through his right kidney and out through his left shoulder.  His mother was hanging on the cross next to his own.
   The little boy rode to Heaven on eagle's wings; lifted, that is, by the Almighty Name.  Imagine that family reunion, once all had arrived at their eternal Home.