Sharing the Apostolic Blessing Imparted by Pope Francis


►As Pope Francis is preparing for a Papal Visit to Japan in November 2019, the Prayers Warriors of Blessed Takayama were anxious to make His Holiness aware that an earlier Pope – His Holiness Sixtus V (r. 1585-1590) — imparted his Apostolic Blessing to the ex-Daimyo Justo Ukon Takayama – who, when he refused to abjure his Catholic faith, was stripped in 1587 of his feudal domain at Akashi — on the Seto Inland Sea west of Kobe, Japan.

Pope Sixtus V wrote: “Dear Son, Noble Sir: Hold fast to your Faith.” This Breve was found by Jesuit researchers in the Vatican Archives under ◘ Arch. Vat., Ann. 44, v. 29 ff. 437va-438v. Nr. 42.#

►With the endorsement of Manila Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, and the facilitation of the Apostolic Nuncio to Manila, Archbishop Gabriele Giordano Caccia, I was allowed to write directly to His Holiness Pope Francis. I presented to him ◘ a framed copy of the Papal Breve sent in 1590 by Pope Sixtus V to the dispossessed Lord Takayama, and ◘ an altar-statue of Blessed Takayama, sponsored by the “Via Lucis Pilgrim Group 112011,” which was chaplained by then-Imus Bishop (now Cardinal) Tagle in 2011.

►On August 14, we received a reply — (no postmark; it was delivered by courier to my door) — dated July 25 — as follows:

“Dear Dr. de Pedro:

“His Holiness Pope Francis was pleased to receive your letter and copy of the papal brief of Pope Sixtus V to Justo Ukon Takayama written in 1590, and he has asked me to respond on his behalf.

“So too, he thanks you for the gift of a statue of Blessed Takayama.

“He appreciates the sentiments which prompted these thoughtful gestures.

“With the assurance of his prayers, the Holy Father willingly imparts his Apostolic Blessing to you and all the Prayer Warriors of Blessed Takayama as a pledge of peace and joy in the Lord.”

It was signed: ✠ Archbishop Edgar Peña, Substitute Secretary for General Affairs, Vatican Secretariat of State.#

►Pope Francs has – so far – imparted TWO Apostolic Blessing connected with Blessed Justo Ukon Takayama (1552 Osaka-1615 Manila; beatified 2017):

◘ APOSTOLIC BLESSING TO OSAKA CARDINAL MAEDA: When Pope Francis appointed Cardinal Thomas Aquinas Manyo Maeda to represent him at the 60th Anniversary of the post-war reconstruction of the Manila Cathedral (Dec. 8, 2018), he imparted his Apostolic Blessing: “And indeed desiring for you a heavenly companion in Manila, we also commend you to Blessed Justo Takayama Ukon, who is recently raised to the glory of the altars in Osaka. We therefore abundantly pour upon you our Apostolic Blessing; and we generously share it with all of those to whom you will be sent: beloved pastors, seminarians, religious men and women, and lay Christian faithful, most especially the poor and the children.”

►APOSTOLIC BLESSING [No. 460.258] TO ‘ALL THE PRAYER WARRIORS OF BLESSED TAKAYAMA: “With the assurance of his prayers, the Holy Father willingly imparts his Apostolic Blessing to you and all the Prayer Warriors of Blessed Takayama as a pledge of peace and joy in the Lord.”

Wherefore, we are obligated to share the Apostolic Blessing with ALL who support the Canonization Cause of Blessed Takayama — the Japan-born Manila Catholic who is the Philippine Church’s THIRD Blessed and the 436th Venerated Martyr of Japan.

The Takayama Cause is blessed by your continuing support and devotion. With the assurance of the Holy Father’s prayers, we are happy to share with you a framed parchment of Pope Francis’ Apostolic Blessing – with your name imprinted therein.  United in prayer and mission.3

Dr. Ernesto A. De Pedro,
Takayama Trustee

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