Dom Justo Ukon Takayama, Celebrated ‘Samurai of Christ,’ Died A Martyr in Manila

DOM JUSTO UKON TAKAYAMA (高山右近, 1552-1615) — Born in Toyono-cho, Osaka, Japan in 1552; baptized at Sawa Castle on June 1, 1563 at age 11; became Daimyo (feudal governor) of Takatsuki, Osaka at age 21; transferred to a larger governorship in Akashi Prefecture in 1585; s  stripped of his domain by Chancellor Toyotomi Hideyoshi for refusing to abjure his Catholic faith on July 24, 1587;  imparted by Pope Sixtus V with an Apostolic Blessing on April 24, 1590 “to hold on to the Faith”; and  spent 27 years in domestic exile in Kanazawa.#

►On Nov. 8, 1614, Ukon was deported to Manila with his family of seven and 350 other Christian refugees and migrants, arriving on Sunday, Dec. 21, 1614. Ukon and his family were accommodated at the Jesuit guesthouse “Casa San Miguel” at the PLM/Jesuit Compound in Intramuros, Manila, while the other Japanese expatriates were resettled in the Jesuit “encomienda” in San Miguel, Manila. Forty-four days after arrival, Ukon died of “a tropical ailment” on Tuesday, Feb. 3, 1615.#

►On Oct. 5, 1630, the Manila Archdiocese proposed to the Vatican the beatification of Ukon — the first Manila Catholic to be proposed by the Philippine Church. On Jan 5, 1995, Justo was recognized as a “Servant of God”; on Jan. 21. 2016, Pope Francis issued a Decree of Martyrdom; on Feb. 7, 2017, Ukon was beatified as Japan’s 426th Martyr and the Philippines Church’s THIRD Blessed.#

►The Canonization Cause of Blessed Takayama is promoted by several Catholic movements in several countries, but only the Manila-based “Prayer Warriors of Blessed Takayama” have been imparted by Pope Francis with his Apostolic Blessing. Invoking Blessed Takayama, we pray fervently to be worthy channels of God’s Grace under the battle standard of Blessed Takayama – praying for ONE validating miracle to cinch Ukon’s Canonization.🙏💖🙏 Amen.#

Dr. Ernesto A. de Pedro, PhD
Takayama Trustee
Recipient, Pope Francis’ Apostolic Blessing No. 404.467



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