Milestone Dates for Blessed Takayama

►Calendar Dates associated with Blessed Justo Ukon Takayama (1552-1615):

◘ 1590 (April 24) — Issuance of Apostolic “Breve” of Pope Sixtus V sent to “Dom Justo Ucondono.”

In the first instance of the Holy Father recognizing the celebrated Japanese Christian Samurai, Justo Ucondono, Pope Sixtus V wrote a “Papal Breve” to Lord Takayama in 1590, after he was dispossessed of his feudal domain at Akashi in 1587, exhorting him to hold on to his Catholic faith – and be “an inspiration to other oppressed Christians.”

◘ 1614 (Dec. 21) — Arrival in Manila of Lord Justo Ukon Takayama with 350 Japanese Christian asylum seekers.

The first exile boat from Nagasaki arrived in Manila on Dec. 21, 1614 with a boatload of 350 asylum-seekers from Japan, led by Lord Justo Takayama. It was the first of many ships that would arrive across 250 years of Tokugawa anti-Christian persecutions.

◘ 1615 (Feb. 3) — Death of Blessed Takayama in Intramuros, Manila.

◘ 1630 (Oct. 5) — Original Petition for Takayama’s sainthood sent by Manila Archdiocese to the Vatican.

◘ 1937 (Feb. 3) – The 33rd International Eucharistic Congress (Feb. 3-7, 1937) starts on Takayama’s 322nd death anniversary. The IEC passes resolution supporting the beatification of Takayama.

◘ 1942 (Sept. 20) – Memorial Mass for Ukon Takayama is celebrated by Osaka Bishop [later, Cardinal] Paul Yoshigoro Taguchi at San Vicente De Paul Parish, on San Marcelino St., Ermita, Manila.

◘ 1945 (Feb. 3) – 330th anniversary of Takayama marks the first day of the Liberation of Manila (Feb. 3-March 3, 19145).

◘ 1963 (November 14) – Manila Cardinal Rufino J. Santos seconds the “Cause of Takayama” to the Church of Japan.

◘ 1975 (August 5) – Japanese Historical Committee, headed by Fr. Hubert Cieslik, SJ, of Sophia University, Tokyo, completes 30-chapter documentation of the life and heroic virtues of the celebrated Christian Samurai, Justo Ukon Takayama (1552-1615).

◘ 1977 (Nov. 17) – Establishment of the Takayama Memorial at the Philippines-Japan Friendship Park at Plaza Dilao, Paco, Manila.

Unknown to many, the then First Lady, Imelda Romualdez-Marcos, Governor of Metro-Manila, was the promoter for the establishment of the Takayama Memorial that is the centerpiece of the Philippines-Japan Friendship Park at Plaza Dilao on Nov. 17, 1977.

◘ 1986 (May 22) – In Rome, Jesuit General Postulator, Fr. Paolo Molinari, SJ, in-charge of “Cause of Takayama” entrusts to Prof. Ernesto A. de Pedro, of UST, Manila, the complete documents supporting the Cause of Beatification of the Christian Samurai, Justo Ukon Takayama – for translation into English.

◘ 1988 (Sept. 29) – Manila group forms “Lord Takayama Jubilee Foundation” to translate — for the Jesuit General Postulator in Rome — the “Positio” of Takayama.

◘ 1989 (Feb. 4) – Takayama Trustee, Ernesto A. de Pedro, endows in perpetuity “The Lord Justus Takayama Professorial Chair in Philippine-Japanese Studies” – at the University of Santo Tomas Graduate School, Manila.

◘ 1992 (Nov. 17) – The Takayama Memorial at Plaza Dilao is declared a National Monument by the National Historical Commission, predecessor of the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP).

◘ 1994 (June 10) — Declared Servant of God.

◘ 2015 (Jan. 15 to 19) — When Pope Francis (elected Supreme Pontiff on March 13, 2013) made a State Visit to the Philippines, the “Servant of God,” Justo Ukon Takayama (1552-1615), was not yet in the radar of Francis — although the original petition for sainthood was submitted to the Vatican by the Manila Archdiocese in 1630.

◘ 2017 (Jan. 21) – Decree of Martyrdom issued by Pope Francis.

◘ 2017 (Feb. 3) — Liturgical Feastday of Blessed Takayama in Japan and the Philippines.

◘ 2017 (Feb. 7) – Beatification Rites of Blessed Takayama in Osaka, Japan

No Osaka church was large enough to accommodate thousands of Japanese and foreign guests attending the Takayama Beatification Rites (Feb. 7, 2017) – so the Vatican ceremonies were held at the Osaka-jo Hall, which could hold up to 12,000 congregants.

◘ 2017 (Dec. 21) — First Altar-Statue of Blessed Takayama — commissioned by Takayama Trustees — is installed at the San Fernando de Dilao Parish Church, Paco, Manila.

Manila Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle is the latest of Manila Archbishops since Archbishop Diego Vazquez de Mercado (1610-1616) who have promoted the “Cause of Canonization of Blessed Justo Ukon Takayama” – who died “a martyr” in Manila on Feb. 3, 1615. The Manila Archdiocese submitted a petition to the Vatican on Oct. 5, 1630 proposing the beatification of Lord Justo Takayama – a “Son of Manila” — as the Philippine Church’s first candidate for saint.

◘ 2018 (Feb. 3) — Liturgical Feastday of Blessed Takayama in Japan and the Philippines.

◘ 2018 (Dec. 8) – Second Altar-Statue of Blessed Takayama is installed at the Manila Cathedral, where Takayama and his family attended Masses.

Osaka Cardinal Thomas Aquinas Manyo Maeda is the Archbishop of the Japanese prefecture that hosted the Beatification Rites of Blessed Takayana on Feb. 7, 2017.

◘ 2018 (Dec. 21) — Manila City Hall declares December 21 every year as “BLESSED TAKAYAMA UKON DAY.”#

Minister Takehiro Kano, Deputy Chief of Mission, Japanese Embassy in Manila, represented the Japanese Embassy at the 404th commemoration of the arrival of Lord Justo Takayama – and 350 Christian exiles — on Dec. 21, 1614.

By Dr. Ernesto A. de Pedro
Takayama Trustee

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