In front of the altar, a piece of fabric from Ukon’s vest was displayed as a sacred relic as Archbishop Takeo Okada of the Archdiocese of Tokyo made a formal plea for the beatification of Ukon.
Hundreds of nuns from various religious women’s congregations from around the world were also present, but the CBCJ Secretariat did not have the actual count. They were also representatives from the Anglican, Lutheran and Methodist Churches.
Fr. Albert Fuyuki Hirabayashi, SJ, secretary of the CBCJ Committee for the Promotion of Saints, confirms there were some Buddhist monks too.
Two descendants of Takayama Ukon from “near Kanazawa” also attended.
The special liturgy was comprised of prayers and songs in different languages including Latin, English, Tagalog, Korean, Vietnamese and Italian. They were chosen to express the richness of the faith in the Roman Catholic Church, especially in Japan – which has a pantheon of 42 canonized Saints.
In a nod to the estimated 460,465 Filipinos residing in Japan, of whom some 396,000 are Catholics, the Tagalog song “Salamat sa Iyo” (Tanging Alay) was chosen as the offertory hymn.
During the same week, the NHK (National Television of Japan) dedicated a lot of broadcast time in their evening news prime time. The Lord Takayama Jubilee Foundation offered “Live Streaming” of the three-hour Beatification Ceremonies, which was shared with many requesting networks around the world. (The “Live Streaming” continues to be available in the Takayama Website’s Blog Section.)
With Cardinal Angelo Amato officiating at the celebrations, the Thanksgiving Mass in the Osaka Cathedral of Mother of God was celebrated on Wednesday (Feb. 8). Another Thanksgiving Mass was held on Thursday (Feb. 9) in Kanazawa (Carmelite Parish) where Blessed Justo spent his last 26 years in Japan before his exile in Manila. On Friday evening (Feb 10), the last large Thanksgiving Mass was celebrated at the St. Ignatius Church in Yotsuya, Tokyo.
At the sidelines of the Beatification Ceremonies, the British archbishop, Msgr. Paul Richard Gallagher, the Holy See’s Secretary for Relations with States (the third highest position in the Vatican), met with the Prime Minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe to celebrate the milestone event. ◘
Catholic Online reported: “Over 12,000 people crowded a Catholic Church in Osaka, Japan.” The venue of the Beatification Ceremonies was not a church – but the Osaka-jo Hall, a multi-purpose concert hall with seating for 10,000 persons, with ticketed entry for audience control.
By Dr. Ernie A. De Pedro, Managing Trustee
Lord Takayama Jubilee Foundation