►First outlines of Blessed Takayama emerge – from the “batikuling” wood sun-dried for 10 years. Paete master woodcarver Paloy Cagayat will chisel away every inch that does not look like Ukon Takayama.
Current stage: “Papatuyuin ko na po, ipapasok ko po muna sa dryer, tapos ay ilalagay na yung finer details.” When cured, finer details will be chiseled out.#
►It is the same Ignatian pose as the 36-inch Takayama statue gifted to Pope Francis by “Via Lucis Pilgrimage Group 112011” — but 6-ft tall. This was the first Takayama statue presented to the Pope – after which he imparted his Apostolic Blessing to all Prayer Warriors of Blessed Takayama. The new statue will have all the essential iconographic elements associated with Ukon: ◘ samurai garb, ◘ topknot (instead of a halo), ◘ sword-cum-crucifix; the ◘ “Palm of Martyrdom” – and a ◘ Rosary.
►Anywhere the Pope Francis celebrates a field Mass where Blessed Takayama accompanies him – we’d be ready to ship a resin-fiberglass replica – in santero parlance a “callejero.” In creating a 6-ft version of the statue he already has, we figure this will find favor with him – if needed.
An enabling donation from a Catholic devotee in Gen. Trias, Cavite — through DoT/Osaka Director Maria Leona Nepomuceno — gave us the confidence to commission this large work.
Prayer Warriors from Los Angeles, Long Beach and Wilmington, California – most of them Pinoy-Americans — pitched in with their contributions.#
►Now is the time to add your P50.00 – less than the price of one mini-burger (or bowl of ramen). No amount is too small to support this initiative.
Please remit your offering to ◘ MetroBank: For credit to “Blessed Justo Takayama Research Service” – Acct. No. #347-3-34757405-9. Remember to send us a copy of your remittance slip – so we can acknowledge. *United in prayer and mission!#
►Don’t just “like” this project. After the original wood carving, we’ll have to make a *rubber mold to produce *resin-fiberglass replicas. There’s a lot required. For now, it’s just to make the master statue. That’s only the first step. My wife reminds me – any shortfall will have to be shouldered by our family. Hmmm. Kaya! No burgers? No ramen? As a samurai-general, Ukon Takayama was a good provider. We march — confident our army will be provided!#
Dr. Ernesto A. de Pedro