Tokyo Cathedral Installs Altar-Statue of Blessed Takayama

►An altar-statue of the celebrated “Samurai of Christ,” Justo Ukon Takayama (1552-1615, beatified 2017) was installed on Sunday, May 12, 2019, at St. Mary’s Cathedral, Tokyo by Archbishop Tarcisius Isao Kikuchi, SVD. (*Credit for photos:  Maria KasuyaJan Michael AcaylarPuchie Gan, Chino Manding Caddarao, Atsushi  Wakamatsu and Carmen Agnes Canafranca Wakamatsu).
St. Mary's Cathedral, Tokyop Japan
St. Mary’s Cathedral, Tokyo, Japan

►Lord Justo Ukon Takayama (高山右近) — then already in domestic exile in Kanazawa, capital of Ishikawa Prefecture, on Japan’s central Honshu Island — was deported by the Tokugawa Shogunate to the Philippines in 1614 for refusing to abjure his Catholic faith. Ukon arrived with his wife, Doña Justa Kuroda Takayama, his married daughter Lucia Yokoyama, and five grandsons, 8 to 16  (all surnamed Takayama) with the first boatload of 350 “refugees and migrants” deported from Japan, docking in Manila on Sunday, Dec. 21, 1614 — to a warm welcome from Manilans.

Only 44 days after his arrival in Manila, Takayama died – “martyred” in the reckoning of the Church – on Feb. 3, 1615.

He was the first Manila Catholic to be proposed for sainthood by the Manila Archdiocese in 1630. He was declared “Servant of God” in 1994. And was beatified by authority of Pope Francis in 2017.

►Blessed Takayama is the Philippine Church’s THIRD “Beatus” (Blessed) — and Japan’s 436th Martyr.

Though there are “over a hundred” different artistic representations of him (*check out Google/Images under “Takayama Ukon”), the Takayama image presented to the Tokyo Cathedral was based on the Takayama statue that was erected as the centerpiece of the Philippines-Japan Friendship Park in Plaza Dilao, Manila in 1977. The version carved by the renowned Paete artist, Paloy Cagayat, shows the “Samurai of Christ,” Ukon Takayama. in a pose associated with St. Ignatius (1491- 1556) — offering his sword in the service of Christ.

►The altar-statue for Tokyo Cathedral, produced by the Prayer Warriors of Blessed Takayama, was sponsored by “The Gathering of Filipino Groups and Communities” (GFGC) in the Archdiocese of Tokyo, chaired by Dr. Maria Carmelita Kasuya, Research Associate Professor at the University of Tokyo since 2001.

►It is the apostolate of the Prayer Warriors of Blessed Takayama in Manila to spread to Catholic parishes worldwide the Takayama statues and figurines (*shown being presented to Pope Francis by Fr. Renzo de Luca, SJ, Father Provincial of the Jesuits in Japan) – as an aid to evoking the memory of this Catholic of heroic virtue, who died a martyr in Manila – the first Manila Catholic to be proposed for sainthood in the Philippine Church.

Welcome to St. Mary’s Cathedral

►Tokyo Archbishop Tarcisius Isao Kikuchi, SVD, welcomed parishioners and their guests to the Tokyo Cathedral.

Ushered in by children with flowers and candles

►Children with flowers and candles ushered the procession of four Filipino parishioners who carried the Takayama statue into the Tokyo Cathedral.

Processional

Four Filipinos were chosen to escort the Takayama altar-statue to the High Altar. Left: Jan Michael Acaylar, Right: Leroy Llorente. Back Left: Manny Rosario, Right: Chino Manding Caddarao.

Tokyo Cathedral

Tokyo Cathedral

On Vocation Sunday

►As May 12, 2019 was Vocation Sunday, there was a large complement of priests during the Takayama installation.

Takayama Ukon

Takayama Hymn ‘To the End’ Was Sung

►The words and music of the Takayama Ukon hymn were written  by Jay Gomez (of the Jesuit Ministry of Music, Manila)

“How do we make the choice
As you have made to hear His voice?
What did you see? What did you know?
All that you had, for Him, you let go.

Takayama Ukon, we will follow your lead.
Together as one, His call, we shall heed.
The life that you lived will show us the way.
Walk us through this journey.
We will not astray.

You honored and loved the Father
In the midst of martial power.
You stood by the church, held on to His word,
Withstanding the draw of this blinding world

Takayama Ukon, your faith is esteemed
A reminder that we, through CHRIST, are redeemed.
Takayama Ukon, you did not bend.
While there’s fear and doubt in others,
You believed in Him to the end.”

Bridge:

Isa kang sorpresa, mula bansang Hapon.
Sana’y nagkapiling ng mas mahabang panahon.
Di man nagtagal ang naging samahan
Minahal ka ng bayan, ang Perlas Ng Silangan!#

“To the End Hymn”was sung by 💥Soloist Redd Sumpaico (from Himig Koenji), with 💥Puchie Velez on the piano.

Prayer-Card(‘Estampitas’) in Japanese and English

►The Takayama Intercessory Prayer, composed by Fr. Johannes Laures, SJ in the 1940s — was printed with an image painted by the late Noel Velez, a Takayama devotee who painted a number of Takayama images — and distributed to the congregation.

Memento Photos

Takayama

Tokyo Cathedral

Takayama

Takayama

Takayama
The Japanese journalist, Atsushi Wakamatsu (at right), has followed the trail of Dom Justo Ukon Takayama since 1986. As Manila bureau chief of a Japanese newspaper, he heard about a research project to document the historical Takayama. He funded the round-trip ticket of Dr. Ernesto A. de Pedro to the Vatican Archives. Was Takayama a myth? Was Ukon a composite of many Japanese Christians? The answer: In 1630, the Vatican received a petition from the Manila Archdiocese for Takayama’s sainthood.

Concelebrated Mass, Presided by Archbishop Kikuchi

►The Filipino community in Tokyo attended the installation.

Homily of Archbishop Tarcisio Isao Kikuchi, SVD

►As we begin today’s Mass for Vocation Sunday, we will first have the blessing of the statue of Blessed Justo Takayama Ukon which will be brought to the altar with a procession by our brothers and sisters from the Philippines. Later, this statue of the blessed martyr will be placed at the rear portion of this Cathedral.

As you know, Takayama Ukon was a warlord (daimyo) who refused to abandon his religion even though the repression of Christianity became increasingly severe, leading him to give up so much.

After Toyotomi Hideyoshi issued an edict expelling the foreign missionaries, Ukon chose to give up all his possessions in exchange for protecting his faith. In 1614, during the time of Tokugawa Ieyasu, he was expelled to Manila, and on the following year, died there on the 3rd of February 1615. Ukon had to let go of everything, including leaving his own motherland, only to keep the faith, thus, the Church considers him a martyr, and beatified him in 2017.

There is a reason why our brothers and sisters from the Philippines brought this statue here. Blessed Takayama Ukon, who died in Manila, is venerated even in the Philippines, and a statue of him is also erected in Manila. The Filipinos have become a moving force in the Cause for the beatification and canonization of Takayama Ukon — researching, praying together for his canonization, and collecting donations from different church communities.

Today, we receive this statue as a gift, but it would not have been possible for this statue to be shipped and brought into this cathedral without the great efforts of our Filipino communities in the Archdiocese of Tokyo. I would like to express my gratitude to all of you, especially for shouldering all the expenses.

I believe it is fitting that Blessed Takayama Ukon is honored in this Mass for Vocation Sunday. A Japanese who has been beatified, had crossed borders, transcended cultures, and to date is venerated in the Philippines, tells a lot about the universality of the Church.

With the Philippine Church accepting Takayama Ukon as a brother of the same Christian faith during his last days and until now honors his life with respect, further strengthens the ties between the Japanese church and the Philippine church.

At the same time, as we support each other, we affirm each other in the life of faith.

It also teaches us clearly that our faith has universal value transcending cultures and nationalities.

For this year’s World Day of Vocations, Pope Francis released a message entitled “The Courage to Take a Risk for God’s Promise.” The Pope pointed out that responding to the call of Jesus is a big challenge in life as he states, “Every vocation is a summons not to stand on the shore, nets in hand, but to follow Jesus on the path he has marked out for us, for our own happiness and for the good of those around us.”

Responding to Jesus’ call does not mean that you stay in a safe place and do nothing. It is not an easy task but it involves putting ourselves on the line and continue facing the challenge with great courage. The Pope continues to say that, “embracing this promise naturally demands the courage to risk making a decision… Responding to the Lord’s call involves putting ourselves on the line and facing a great challenge with our whole body and spirit.”

The very life of Takayama Ukon is truly about “putting oneself on the line and confronting great challenges with courage.” Even if he loses his position and fame in the society at that time, his attitude to keep faith is firm and strong. He could have made a compromise somewhere, and he would have walked his life without much trouble. However, Takayama Ukon did not make that choice. I think that the life of Takayama Ukon was a life that had the courage to continue facing challenges and holding on to his decision to respond to the call of the Lord.

Just as the Pope himself mentioned in his message, when we speak of vocations today, it is not limited only with priests and religious. Every Christian has his own vocation. Therefore facing challenges with courage is not only for special persons with specific roles, but rather a necessity for all Christians. The Pope writes: “I think of the decision to marry in Christ and to form a family, as well as all those other vocations associated with work and professional life, with the commitment to charity and solidarity, with social and political responsibilities, and so forth. These vocations make us bearers of a promise of goodness, love and justice.”

Today is Good Shepherd Sunday and the gospel states, “My sheep hear my voice.” In order for us to continue with courage the path we have chosen, we need a strong, loving Shepherd. To follow that Good Shepherd, we must know His voice. Do we really know the voice of the Good Shepherd? Do we know how to distinguish His voice? Here we find meaning in imitating the life of the saints, our predecessors in the faith. The saints who bravely lived the faith are those who have truly heard and followed the voice of the Good Shepherd. Therefore, as we learn from their way of life and try to live up to that model, we can begin to follow the path of listening to the voice of the Good Shepherd as they did.

As we receive today the gift of the statue of Blessed Justo Takayama Ukon, I believe it is appropriate that it coincides with the celebration of Vocation Sunday. Let us learn from Justo Takayama Ukon, who heard the voice of the Good Shepherd and followed Him and we pray for his intercession that like him we may also hear the voice of the Good Shepherd.#

Last Word from Archbishop Kikuchi:

“During today’s Vocation Sunday Mass, a statue of Blssed Takayama Ukon donated by our Filipino friends in Manila was blessed. Grateful to our Filipino community in the Archdiocese.”

世界召命祈願ミサの中で、マニラの方々から寄贈された福者高山右近の像を祝福しました。寄贈にあたって協力くださった東京教区内のフィリピン共同体の皆さんに感謝いたします。

Dr. Ernesto A. de Pedro
Takayama Trustee

Jesuit Music Ministry Composes New Tagalog Hymn for Blessed Takayama

►🎼🎵🎶 •♫**• With lyrics by Fr. Tim Ofrasio, SJ (who is celebrating his 40th sacerdotal anniversary this Sunday) and music by Dom Joseph Bulan, SJ, it is the FIRST Takayama Tagalog hymn to reach us this year. •♫**• 🎶🎵🎶

►JMM Director Mendiola writes: “We can record this through ‘Himig Heswita’ or our other Jesuit choirs.”

“Mabunying Samurai” (Awit kay Justo Ukon Takayama)
By Tim Ofrasio, SJ – Dom Bulan, SJ

*****

►1. Sumikat na araw sa bukang liwayway
Nagsabog ng liwanag sa kalupaan
Justo Ukon Takayama, maginoong banal
Daimyo’t samurai na kahanga-hanga.
►2. Di nag-atubiling lahat ay talikdan
Mawala pati yaman, dangal ng ngalan,
Kanya mang iwanan bayang niliyag
Pagka-Kristiano niya’y tunay na ipahayag.
KORO: Nawa’y buong tapang din naming harapin
Lahat ng pagsubok sa buhay namin
Tulad ng halimbawang lingkod ng Ama
O dakilang Justo Ukon Takayama.
►3. Mistulang martir na nagbuwis ng buhay
Alang-alang kay Kristong tagapag-akay
Huwarang Samurai na matapang at tapat
Kay Kristong Hari gantimpala’y ganap.
KORO: Naway buong tapang din namin harapin
Lahat ng pagsubok sa buhay namin
Tulad ng halimbawang lingkod ng Ama.
O dakilang Justo Ukon Takayama. #

►The Jesuit Music Ministry (JMM) – an arm of Jesuit Communications Philippines (JesCom) directed by Fr. Emmanuel Alfonso, SJ — is a producer and publisher of music for use in the liturgy of the Roman Catholic church. It was established in response to Vatican II’s “Sacrosanctum Concilium” which urged the entire congregation to actively participate in the liturgy that includes singing. JMM songs are now sung in churches not only in the Philippines but throughout the world.

By 1965, JMM began composing songs in the Filipino idiom. Many well-remembered compositions followed throughout the 70’s, resulting in what could be called “classics” of Filipino Liturgical Music: “Ama Namin (Our Father),” “Ang Puso Ko’y Nagpupuri (Magnificat)” and “Pananagutan.” 1981 saw the release of “Himig Heswita,” an album celebrating 400 years since the arrival of the Jesuits in the Philippines.
JMM has built on this splendid track record since then.#

Music by Dom Bulan, SJ

►The composer, Dom Joseph Bulan, SJ [Dom Bulan], writes: “It was really a fruit of collaboration since we received the request to come up with the hymn from Lester Mendiola of Jesuit Music Ministry. (It was actually one of your emails where you attached some prayers and information about his life).

“I asked Fr. Tim if he could come up with the lyrics for the hymn, and he gladly came up with it.

“I was the one who wrote the music for the piece, and in the process solicited some suggestions from Fr. Manoling Francisco, SJ (of the Jesuit Music Ministry, who has composed over 150 songs that are sung all over the world) and Fr. Arnel Aquino, SJ., Assistant Professor of Systematic Theology, who has written 18 songs for the JMM, among them,“Pagsibol” and “Ito Ang Araw.”

Lyrics by Fr. Tim Ofrasio, SJ

►The lyricist, Fr. Tim Ofrasio. SJ, writes: “I was requested by Fr. Manoling Francisco, SJ, the renowned Jesuit composer — for lyrics for a proposed song for Blessed Takayama.

“I had no inspiration whatsoever, but still tried to research his life history. I prayed to him to help me write verses on his life and sacrifice. The inspiration I received was about the Jesus Christ as the true rising Sun, and the fidelity of this noble samurai to his Lord, the true rising Sun. I was also touched by Takayama’s willingness to turn his back from his lofty position and earthly honors in order to stand for his faith in Jesus Christ, to the point of leaving his homeland in order to remain faithful to his Lord.

“In this sense, he faced martyrdom, albeit unbloody, but nonetheless painful. Thus the lyrics of the hymn.”

First Sung at the PGH Chapel

Another Jesuit waiting in the wings for this Takayama hymn is Fr. Marlito G. Ocon SJ, SJ, head chaplain of the UP/PGH Chapel. As arranged with Fr. Provincial Primitivo Viray Jr. and Fr. Emmanuel Alfonso, Director of Jesuit Communications Philippines, the Prayer Warriors of Blessed Takayama have delivered a Takayama altar-statue — sponsored by former PGH Nurses led by Mrs. Charito Llamas Hall, of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada — to the Immaculate Conception Chapel of the Philippine General Gospital (PGH).

Can the Takayama hymn be sung at its installation (whose date is not yet set)?

Dr. Ernesto A. de Pedro
Takayama Trustee

Who Was Blessed Takayama – Japanese Martyr Who Died in Manila?  

►The story of the celebrated “Samurai for Christ” — Dom Justo Ukon Takayama (1552-1615) — is of enduring interest for all people of faith. Why has this Japanese Christian samurai of heroic virtue resonated so well among so many devotees across the world?

Here’s a brief that accompanies every Takayama statuette:

►One of the greatest heroes of the martyr Church of Japan is undoubtedly the Catholic lay apostle, Justo Ukon Takayama, or “Justus Ucondono” as he was usually called by Jesuit missionaries. Although he greatly desired to shed his blood for Christ, he was not granted this honor, yet he sacrificed everything on three separate occasions for his Divine Master, was exiled to a foreign land (the Philippines) for the sake of his Faith, and died in Manila as a result of the hardships endured on the voyage to his exile.

Ukon Takayama was one of the greatest men of his era. He was an able ruler (as Daimyo, or feudal governor of Takatsuki from age 21, and later, of Akashi), a great general, an ingenious strategist, a master of the tea ceremony, a harmonious personality, and above all, an exemplary and saintly Christian.

He preached the Gospel among Japanese Buddhists — (which the Takayama family professed until their conversion and baptism in 1564) – better than many of the Jesuit missionaries. His amiable and attractive personality and, more striking, his blameless life, attracted numerous souls to the fold of the Good Shepherd. Not only did he convert his vassals and subjects to the Catholic Faith, but a number of the greatest personalities of his era were also won over by his entreaties and example to the cause of Christ. The Daimyos Gamo Ujisato, Kuroda Yoshitaka, and Lady Hosokawa Gracia were the most outstanding of them — but there were many others whose number and identity is known to God alone.

Ukon’s unblemished chastity was so generally admired even his adversary, Toyotomi Hideyoshi (豊臣 秀吉, 1537–1598), who ruled Japan 1583-1598) could not but admire it.

‘Samurai of Christ’

As a samurai-daimyo devoted to Christ, Ukon Takayama professed his Faith openly — fighting battles under the Sign of the Cross.

When the hegemon Oda Nobunaga (織田 信長, 1534–1582; r. 1574-1582) threatened to massacre all Christians and destroy their churches — unless Ukon handed over to him the strategic castle of Takatsuki (in Osaka Prefecture), the heroic champion of Christ, without hesitation, renounced his domain and betook himself to Nobunaga, with shaved head — ready to die with the missionaries and Christians. Doing this, he fully realized the terrible danger to which he exposed the lives of his only son and his little sister, who were held as hostages by his suzerain Araki Murashige. God deigned to save Ukon’s life, spare his hostages and secure for him Nobunaga’s admiration and good graces.

When Toyotomi Hideyoshi (who succeeded Nobunaga) suddenly turned persecutor in 1587, Ukon Takayama was called upon either to deny his Faith, or lose his fief, and he gladly gave up everything rather than turn traitor to his Divine Master.

For several years, his life and the lives of his family were in grave danger – because of hatred for the Faith. Even after Hideyoshi’s wrath had cooled, he never again became a ruling daimyo but lived in relative obscurity as a guest samurai-general of the Daimyo Toshiee Maeda in Kanazawa. For the next 26 years, Takayama devoted his time sharing the Gospel, striving to be a worthy channel of God’s grace, It was in 1590 that Pope Sixtus V heard of Ukon’s plight. In a rare gesture, the Pope sent his Apostolic Blessings to Takayama, enjoining him to hold on to the Faith – and be an example to other oppressed Christians,

In 1614, Tokugawa Ieyasu (徳川家康, 1543 – 1616) resolved to exterminate Christianity — “that evil foreign religion” — and Ukon Takayama was again among the first targets. Since the tyrant could not hope to make him apostatize, he exiled him to a foreign land, calculating that he would not long survive the rigors and hardships of the voyage. The fact that Ukon died a few weeks after his arrival at Manila shows most clearly that Ieyasu’s calculation has been only too correct. Thus Ukon Takayama had the satisfaction of giving up his life for the Divine Master.

In the estimation of his contemporaries, Ukon Takayama was a saintly man. After he had been deposed as Lord of Akashi (in 1587), he was now freer to preach the Gospel — ready to be killed for his Faith. When he visited Kyushu, the Christians there venerated him as a martyr.

Exiled to Manila

In Manila, he was welcomed with religious enthusiasm, for everyone was well aware of the honor of giving hospitality to a renowned Confessor of the Faith. His premature death on Feb. 3, 1615 caused general mourning and regret that Manila had been deprived of the presence of a man of God. His funeral in Intramuros, accorded by Church and State, was a great tribute to him, underscoring that an outstanding Servant of God had passed to a better life.

‘Son of Manila’

The Archdiocese of Manila (as the diocese where Takayama died, or where he was “born to Heaven”) first presented to the Vatican a petition for the beatification of Ukon Takayama in 1630 — only 15 years after he died. This was the FIRST EVER petition for sainthood sent to the Vatican from the Philippine Church!

Many who have remembered this heroic champion of Christ across the centuries continue to pray fervently that Ukon Takayama would someday be raised to the honors of the Altar, and thus be set as a model for young people.#

Ukon’s last sunset in Kanazawa was on Feb. 13, 1614. He departed with 350 Christian exiles from Nagasaki for Manila on Nov. 8, arriving in Manila on Dec. 21, 1614

Takayama’s Timeline in the Philippines

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

1615 – (Feb. 3) – Death of Ukon in Intramuros, Manila at the Jesuit/PLM Compound.

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

1937 – (Feb. 3) – The 33rd International Eucharistic Congress in Manila (Feb. 3-7, 1937) passes resolution supporting the Beatification Cause of Takayama.

1942 – (Sept. 20) – Takayama Memorial Mass in honor of Takayama — a symbol of Philippine-Japanese friendship and amity in time of war — is celebrated at San Marcelino Church – with Japanese military and Philippine government officials in attendance.

1963 – (April 24) – Manila Cardinal Rufino J. Santos endorses to the Japanese Church the Cause of Takayama.

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

1992 – (Nov. 17) – Takayama Memorial is declared a National Monument by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP).

1994 — (June 5) – The “Samurai of Christ” is declared “Servant of God.”

2016 – (Jan. 21) – Decree of Martyrdom issued by Pope Francis, declaring Takayama, a “layperson … from Japan [who] died from the hatred of the Faith on Feb. 3, 1615 in Manila, Philippines.”

2017 — (Feb. 7) — Beatification of the “Servant of God” Justo Ukon Takayana as a Beatus (“Blessed”).

2017 – (March 28) — Takayama Shrine established at the Thomas Aquinas Research Complex (TARC), home of the UST Graduate School.

2018 – (Feb. 3) — Liturgical feast day of Blessed Takayama in Japan and the Philippines.

2018 – (Dec. 21) — Manila City Council issues a Resolution declaring every December 21 – as “Blessed Takayama Ukon Day” in Manila.#

Manila-Based Trustees of Takayama’s Memory

►The Manila-based “Blessed Takayama Canonization Movement” relies on Social Media to promote (in English) the canonization of the “Jesuit samurai” – Blessed Justo Takayama (Osaka 1552-Manila 1615).

Takayama died in Intramuros, Manila on Feb. 3, 1615 – only 44 days after he and 350 Japanese Christian exiles arrived in Manila. Because, under Church rubrics, “where a person dies, is where one is born to Heaven,” the Manila Archdiocese proposed this “Son of Manila” for sainthood at the Vatican on Oct. 5, 1630 – the first candidate EVER proposed by the Philippine Church.

Pope Francis issued a ‘Decree of Martyrdom’ on Jan. 21, 2016, declaring Lord Takayama, a “layperson … from Japan [who] died from the hatred of the Faith on Feb. 3, 1615 in Manila, Philippines.”

Servant of God Justo Ukon Takayama was beatified on Feb. 7, 2017. He is thus the Philippines’ THIRD Blessed – and 436th venerated martyr of Japan.

How Did Filipinos Get Involved in this Japanese Cause?

►With funding from Buddhist and Protestant admirers of Lord Takayama, a group of Filipino and Japanese history buffs in Manila decided to send Dr. Ernesto A. de Pedro to visit the Vatican Archives in 1986, to research on Vatican archival materials about Lord Justo Ukon Takayama (whose Memorial at Plaza Dilao was erected in 1977). The Archives Director was puzzled why a Filipino researcher was interested in the Japanese “Samurai of Christ” — Ukon Takayama.

De Pedro explained that Takayama died in Manila in 1615 – and there was a flow of Japanese pilgrims visiting Manila to trace Takayama’s footsteps – and wanted to know more about the “historical Takayama.”

When De Pedro visited the Jesuit Curia, the Jesuit General Postulator, Fr. Paolo Molinari, SJ, — who was in charge of the “Beatification Cause of Takayama” (an “ancient cause” pending since 1630) — handed over a carton-box-full of xerographed documents submitted by the CBCJ Historical Committee in 1975 — to support the “Cause of Beatification” of Takayama. Could De Pedro undertake to translate the documents into English within two years? (The CBCJ had submitted the documents in 1975 – and all the while that Catholics in Japan were fervently praying for the beatification of Takayama for 11 years, these papers were actually “dormant” at the Jesuit Postulator’s office – as the German, Portuguese and Japanese text that some chapters were written in were not considered official Vatican languages. The papers could not be studied – unless all text was in an official Vatican language – like Italian, English, Latin or Spanish.)

De Pedro accepted the pro-bono assignment. When he completed the one-volume ‘Positio’ — “Justus Takayama Ukon, Servus Dei” (1994, 648p) — the Jesuit Postulator General, Fr. Paulo Molinari, acknowledged: “Thanks to your much appreciated collaboration, all the essential materials for this important ‘Cause’ are by now available.”

De Pedro and the supportive “Prayer Warriors of Blessed Takayama” have promoted  the “Cause of Takayama” ever since.

Spreading the Word

►To spread info about Blessed Takayama, we run the website: https://www.takayamaukon.com/ – As this is the only Takayama website in English – it is the ‘de facto’ aggregator of Takayama info.

►On Facebook, we promote the ‘Takayama Cause’ on the FB Page: //http://www.facebook.com/justotakayamaukon

►Promoter’s FB account: https://http://www.facebook.com/drernestodepedro/

►Email: ernestodepedro@gmail.com

We implore your prayers and support for the “Cause of Blessed Takayama” which – at this stage – is waiting for ONE “intercessory miracle” required for final canonization.#

Dr. ERNESTO A. DE PEDRO
Takayama Trustee

Takayama 12-Inch Replicas for Home-Altars Now Available through St. Paul’s Network

Pope Francis is presented with a resin-fiberglass figurine of Blessed Takayama available in Tokyo from the Catholic Bishops Conference of Japan

►Among the first to be presented with a resin-fiberglass statuette of Blessed Takayama was Pope Francis, who had issued the “Decree of Martyrdom” on Jan. 21, 2016, declaring the “Servant of God,” Dom Justo Ukon Takayama (1552-1615), as a “layperson … from Japan [who] died from the hatred of the Faith on Feb. 3, 1615 in Manila, Philippines” – thus laying the groundwork for Takayama’s beatification in Osaka on Feb. 7, 2017.

Blessed Takayama died (i.e., “was born into Heaven”) in Intramuros, Manila – and was the FIRST Manila Catholic to be proposed for sainthood at the Vatican by the Manila Archdiocese on Oct. 5, 1630. Dom Justo was Japanese, not Filipino (as we understand the term today) – but certainly a “Philippine saint.”

►The same resin-fiberglass figurine presented to Pope Francis is sold in Tokyo for ¥20,000 (₱9,471.17). Our Manila-sourced exports — in hard case — to Takayama devotees in Japan remain at only ¥5,000.

►The FIRST to be presented with a Takayama figurine made in Paete, Laguna was Nagasaki Archbishop Joseph Mitsuaki Takami, SS – during the concelebration of the Takayama pre-Feast Day Mass (with five other Japanese bishops) on Feb. 2, 2018 at the San Fernando de Dilao Parish Church (Paco Catholic Church).

Nagasaki Archbishop Joseph Mitsuaki Takami — with Pope Francis

Philippine Distribution

In Manila, we started domestic distribution in December 2017 at ₱2,400 – and as volume grew across the months, were able to drop it to ₱1,600 ex-Manila.

Our problem was DELIVERY. The cost of delivering anything outside Manila was prohibitive.

►TWO DIFFERENT APPROACHES — Takayama Trustees have been ● DELIVERING the parcels to home addresses – by courier service.

Takayama Trustees Aida and Dr. Ernesto de Pedro met with St. Paul’s Logistics Team: ● Fr.  Botavarara, ● Fr. Tayag, and ● Ms. Oliva

►St. Paul’s Logistics Team — ● Fr. Leopoldo Vizcarra Botavarara III, SSP, Logistics Manager, ● Fr. Brian Paul Lising Tayag, SSP, Asst. Logistics Manager, and ● Ms. Mary Jean Quidato-Oliva, Logistics Chief — presented a no-fuss deal. With St. Paul’s signed on, the Customer ● PICKS UP the Takayama figurine  from the St. Paul’s store of his choice — in 27 locations throughout the Philippines, from Angeles City to Davao City.

St. Paul’s carries a large range of religious supplies. Blessed Takayama will be in the company of many saints. (Because of logistical expenses and inventory considerations — prices at St. Paul’s retail outlets may vary.)

►We will now concentrate on producing the standard model — which will now be priced at ₱1,800, to align this with St Paul’s prices. Which means that whether you visit St. Paul’s or PM us, the price will be the same ₱1,800.

For our direct sales through Takayama Trustees during parish sorties in Manila, we will continue to honor the 20% discount given to cancer patients — and to members of mandated Catholic organizations.

St Pauls Network

◘ ST PAULS Superstore
7708 St. Paul Road, San Antonio Village, 1203 Makati City
Tels. (02) 896-6702 / 895-6861
Trunk line: 895-9701-04 loc. 700 to 705
superstore@stpauls.ph

Branches

◘ ST PAULS Ali Mall
2nd Flr., Phase 2, Ali Mall Complex, Cubao, 1109 Quezon City
Tel. (02) 441-2137 or (02) 912-7841

◘ ST PAULS Gateway Mall
Space No. 311, Level 3, Gateway Mall, Araneta Center,
Cubao, 0810 Quezon City
Tel. (02) 911-3380 or (02) 376-6536

◘ ST PAULS SM Mall of Asia
No. 294, 2nd Flr., Entertainment Mall Bldg., SM Mall of Asia, Bay Blvd., 1304 Pasay City
Tel. (02) 556-0251 or (02) 823-1373

◘ ST PAULS SM Megamall
Unit 109, G/F, Bldg-A, SM Megamall, Julia Vargas Ave., 1554 Mandaluyong City
Tel. (02) 634-1295 or (02) 631- 0536

◘ ST PAULS SM Megamall
Unit 109, G/F, Bldg-A, SM Megamall, Julia Vargas Ave., 1554 Mandaluyong City
Tel. (02) 634-1295 or (02) 631- 0536

◘ ST PAULS SM Megamall
Unit 109, G/F, Bldg-A, SM Megamall, Julia Vargas Ave., 1554 Mandaluyong City
Tel. (02) 634-1295 or (02) 631- 0536

◘ ST PAULS SM Southmall
Unit 1083-0084 Lower Ground Flr. Zapote Road, Alabang,
Las Piñas City
Tel. (02) 806-6867 or (02) 511-0941

◘ ST PAULS Ayala Malls South Park
Unit G051-G052 Ground Flr. Ayala Malls South Park, Alabang,
Muntinlupa City
Tel. (02) 792-9953

◘ ST PAULS SM Bicutan
Unit A021, Lower G/F, SM City Bicutan, Doña Soledad Ave., cor. West Service Rd., Bicutan, 1631 Parañaque City
Tel. (02) 836-9758 or (02) 511-1762

◘ ST PAULS SM Manila
Unit 005, Lower G/F, SM City Manila, Conception St., cor. Arroceros & San Marcelino Sts., 1004 Manila
Tel. (02) 522-8233

◘ ST PAULS SM City North Edsa
2nd Flr., SM West Mall, SM City North Edsa, 1106 Quezon City
Tel. (02) 929-4925 or (02) 441-4263

◘ ST PAULS SM San Lazaro
Unit 069, Lower G/F SM City San Lazaro, F. Huertas cor. A.H. Lacson Sts., Sta. Cruz, 1003 Manila
Tel. (02) 353-4823 or (02) 353-1238

◘ ST PAULS SM Sta. Mesa
G/F, SM City Sta. Mesa, Sta. Mesa, Aurora Blvd., 1016 Manila
Tel. (02) 716-1559 or (02) 353-0794

◘ ST PAULS Fairview Terraces
Space 2090, 2nd Floor, Fairview Terraces, Ayala Malls,
Quezon City, Tel.  (02) 426-5491

South Luzon Branches

◘ ST PAULS SM Bacoor
Unit 12, Lower G/F, SM City Bacoor, Bacoor, 4102 Cavite
Tel. (046) 417-2346 or (046) 417-1529

◘ ST PAULS SM Dasmariñas
Unit E 020-021, Lower G/F, SM City Govenor’s Drive, Brgy. Sampaloc 4114
Dasmariñas, Cavite
Tel. (046) 416-1278

Central Luzon Branches

◘ ST PAULS SM Pampanga
Unit 153, G/F, SM City Pampanga, San Fernando & Mexico, 2021 Pampanga
Tel. (045) 455-3380

◘ ST PAULS Marquee Mall
Space 1054 Level 1 Marque Mall, Francisco G. Nepomuceno Ave., Pulong Maragul, Angeles City
Tel. no.(045) 304-1011

◘ ST PAULS Harbor Point Mall, Subic
Near Manila Avenue Entrance, Ground Level Harbor Point, Subic Bay Freeport Zone 2009 Subic, Zambales
Tel. (047) 251-1051

Central Visayas Branches

◘ ST PAULS Ayala Center Cebu
Stall #306 3rd Level, Archbishop Reyes Ave., Ayala Center Cebu, 6000 Cebu City
Tel. (032) 231-7486

◘ ST PAULS SM Cebu
SM City Cebu, North Reclamation Area cor. San Jose dela Montana & MJ Cuenco Sts., 6000 Cebu City
Tel. (032) 232-0760

◘ ST PAULS Bohol
Department Store Area, Island City Mall, Dao District, 6300 Tagbilaran City, Bohol

◘ ST PAULS SM Seaside Cebu
No. 3095,  3rd Flr., SM Seaside City, Cebu City
Tel. (032) 232-1407

Western Visayas Branches

◘ ST PAULS SM Iloilo
Unit 49, Upper G/F, SM City Iloilo, Benigno Ave., Mandurriao, 5000 Iloilo City
Tel. (033) 320-8251

◘ ST PAULS SM Iloilo
Unit 49, Upper G/F, SM City Iloilo, Benigno Ave., Mandurriao, 5000 Iloilo City
Tel. (033) 320-8251

◘ ST PAULS Marymart
Marymart Center III Iloilo, Valeria St., 5000 Iloilo City
Tel. (033) 335-0636

Northern Mindanao Branch

◘ ST PAULS Cagayan De Oro
Ground Floor West Concourse, Lim Ket Kai Mall,
Limketkai Center, Lapasan, Cagayan De Oro City
Tel. (088) 856-1904

Southern Mindanao Branches

◘ ST PAULS SM Davao
Unit 165, G/F, SM City Davao, Quimpo Blvd., Ecoland, Matina, 8021 Davao City
Tel. (082) 282-2881

◘ ST PAULS South Cotabato
Department Store, KCC Mall, Lagao St., 9500 General Santos City, South Cotabato

With Prayer Cards

Each Takayama figurine is accompanied by six prayer cards (estampitas) — plus a xerographed (not yet printed) backgrounder on Blessed Takayama.

Before anything else, you have to have your parish priest — or your Bishop — bless the Takayama figurine. Pope Francis, Manila Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, Osaka Cardinal Thomas Aquinas Manyo Naeda have the same Takayama figurine.

►If you know why you’ve chosen Blessed Takayama as your intercessor with God, join us in praying the intercessory prayer for a healing miracle, granted by God through the intercession of Blessed Takayama – in the Name of Jesus.  (A saint does NOT perform miracles. Only God does that. You can implore God yourself, as when we cry out in despair, but it is better to have an intercessor: Mother Mary or — a new Blessed imploring God for a miracle — to prove he is in God’s heaven.

When you pray, don’t address your prayer “To all the Saints in Heaven, and the Angels too – and the new Blessed Takayama who’s in need of a validating miracle!”

An intercessory prayer does not work that way! Fervently, ask God to show His Grace and Favor by making a miracle — through the intercession of Blessed Takayama. The saints are NOT jealous of each other. They all bask in the presence of God.#

Dr. Ernesto A. de Pedro
Takayama Trustee

Photo Album on ‘First Mass’ in Birthplace of Ukon Takayama – in Toyono-cho, Osaka

►For the  first time since the “Samurai for Christ,” Blesseed Justo Ukon Takayama (高山右近, 1552-1615) was born in Takayama Village, in Toyono-cho, Osaka Prefecture — the Municipal Government of Toyono-cho (a 100% Shinto-Buddhist town) invited Osaka Cardinal Thomas Aquinas Manyo Maeda to celebrate Mass there.  Cardinal Maeda – the lone Cardinal in Japan’s Catholic hierarchy – brought six priests to concelebrate with him – as well as parishioners (including nuns) from ● Ashiya, ● Kishiwada, ● Nigawa, ● Osaka-Umeda. ● Sakai, ● Sennan, and ● Shukugawac — who wanted to participate in the historic occasion.

The program was hosted by ● “Honor-Ukon-Takayama-Couples-Gathering” — in collaboration with the Buddhist-based ● “Ukon Takayama Canonization Promotion Committee.”

It was both a civic celebration — and a Catholic special event

On behalf of the municipal government, Welcome Remarks were delivered by Hon. Isao Ikeda, Toyono Town Mayor.

The Opening Remarks were followed by the presentation of a Plaque of Appreciation & gifts
Handbell performance by students of the Assumption School.

Cardinal Maeda Composed Four ‘Haiku’ for the Occasion

►The “haiku” is a traditional Japanese short poem (with 5-7-5 syllables) — practised by both Lord Justo Ukon Takayama and Cardinal Thomas Aquinas Manyo Maeda. A multi-faceted artist, Takayama Ukon is said to have mastered the three forms of Japanese poetry: ◘ the song (“waka”), ◘ the linked verse (“renga”), and ◘ the epigram (“haiku”). ~ Heinrich Dumoulin, 2005

A celebrated ‘Haiku’ poet, Cardinal Maeda composed four ‘Haiku’ to mark  the Special Event.

► Cardinal Maeda’s message after the awarding of plaque of appreciation:

豊能町

高山右近

致命祭

Toyono-chou
Takayama Ukon
Chimeisai

In Toyono Town
Oh Ukon Takayama
Feast of the martyrs

高山の

右近夫婦や

冬の虹

Takayama no
Ukon fuufu ya
Fuyu no niji

Ukon and his wife
Both hailed from Takayama
Rainbow of winter

► During Cardinal Maeda’s homily:

右近忌の

主君はイエス

平和かな

Ukon-ki no
Shukun wa Iesu
Heiwa ka na

With Ukon’s passing
Jesus was his Master
This is peace indeed

剣に変え

十字架を手に

右近忌や

Tsurugi ni kae
Juujika wo te ni
Ukon-ki ya

Instead of a sword
Held a crucifix at hand
Passing of Ukon #

First Eucharistic Mass in Toyono-cho was celebrated on Feb. 16

Cardinal Maeda enters the “Ukon-no-Sato” (Takayama community center)
The “Ukon-no-Sato” (Takayama community center) is a multi-purpose venue for events

►The visit of Osaka Cardinal Thomas Aquinas Manyo Maeda on Feb. 16, 2019 to “Ukon-no-Sato” (Takayama Community Center in Takayama Village, Toyono-cho was NOT a “return to Christianity” – Christianity never took root there, not even in Ukon’s time (1552-1615). It has remained Shinto-Buddhist till today although the town’s most celebrated son is Ukon Takayama, a revered Christian Samurai..

In the first feedback from a Buddhist official of Toyono-cho, Megumi IMAIZUMI, who sent in some photos, shares: “The ceremony went well, the Mass was solemn and moving…”

A large number of the congregation lined up to receive Holy Communion — from three priests. For a community hearing Mass for the first time, how could that be? It turns out that parishioners (including nuns) of Shukugawa Catholic Church and six other parishes attended the Toyono-cho “First Mass.”

Toyono-cho — and the Ukon Takayama Couple

►In 2016, townmates built granite statues to honor Lord Ukon Takayama and Lady Justa Kuroda Takayama in Toyono-cho (Osaka), birthplace of Ukon Takayama (1552-1615). This is the first representation seen of Mrs. Takayama.

The granite statues serve as backdrop for many Special Events, particularly the yearly reenactment of the wedding of Ukon to Justa Kuroda

Though Ukon spent his boyhood years — as “Takayama Hikogorō (彦五郎) in Takayama Village — the Takayama family had moved to Sawa Castle when his father Takayama Tomoteru (1531–1596) became the castle-lord of Sawa Castle in Haibara-cho, Nara Prefecture. In Sawa Castle, Hikogorō – now 12 — joined his father and other members of their family in converting to Christianity.

The Sawa Castle castle was situated at the summit of the mountain southwest of Mt. Inasa as the headquarters for the Sawa Family, which supplied one of the three leading generals of the Uda district between 1346-1370.  But, as the stone marker shows, its importance as a medieval-age castle comes from its having been the boyhood residence of the Christian daimyo (feudal clan lord), Takayama Ukon, as written in “History of Japan” by the Portuguese missionary, Luis Frois, SJ (ca. 1532-97). All that remains of Sawa Castle is a historical marker — with Ukon’s name engraved on it.

Toyono-cho marker — with name of Ukon Takayama engraved

Maria Leona Nepomuceno, currently the attaché and director for West Japan of the Philippines’ Department of Tourism (DOT) in Osaka, who brought the first two Toyono-cho pilgrims to Manila in 2017 and 2018, was invited to attend the Feb. 16 ceremonies. She was warned that it would be very cold and was told to wear snow boots. February is the coldest month in Japan.

Four Seasons in Toyono-cho, Osaka

A look back at a snow-covered hut in vegetable field
Stillness overlooking rice fields
A path with morning dew
Covered with gentle sun light
Village in autumn … Buck wheat flower and cosmos
Candle night — on the night of Ukon’s festival in October

Memento Photo of ‘First Mass in Toyono-cho’ with Cardinal Maeda

This is the first of many groups who wanted to have a memento photograph with Cardinal Maeda

With the inspiring memory of Blessed Takayama guiding his townmates who are studying his long journey into exile, the quest for The Word is just now starting.

By Dr. Ernesto A. de Pedro
Takayama Trustee

Add Your Mite to the ‘Takayama Altar-Statue Fund’

Osaka Cardinal Thomas Aquinas Manyo Maeda viewing the first “new” altar-statue of Blessed Justo Ukon Takayama on Dec. 8, 2018, when he represented Pope Francis as Papal Legate to the 60th Jubilee Celebration of the Manila Cathedral

►As our Manila-based movement for the Canonization of Blessed Takayama distributes sponsored statues to 💒 cathedrals, 💒 churches, 💒 convents and 💒 shrines, it is costing a little something to produce, crate and ship out — but not much.

To add your “mite” to the “TAKAYAMA ALTAR-STATUE FUND,” please contribute the cost of a ramen lunch / or a burger to: ◘ MetroBank (Philippines) — for credit to “Blessed Justo Takayama Research Service” – Acct. No. #347-3-34757405-9. Please email a CP photo of your remittance to <ernestodepedro@gmail.com>. Acknowledgement will be made by PM or email. An official receipt will be issued — if a street or P.O. address is indicated.

Manila Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle — blessing a Blessed Takayama image to mark the celebration of the 404th anniversary of the arrival of Lord Takayama and 350 Christian exiles from Japan — on Dec. 21, 2018.

Whether your parish church is in the Philippines, Japan or the United States (where Takayama statues have been installed) – or any diocese where there is a devotion to Blessed Takayama – we will find ways to ship a replica of the Takayama Statue that was installed at the Manila Cathedral-Basilica on Dec. 8, 2018 — Feast of the Immaculate Conception of Mary and 60th Jubilee of the reconstruction and dedication of the postwar Manila Cathedral (1958).

Blessed Takayama is just ONE miracle away from Canonization. With your fervent prayers and your support – and if it be the will of God — we will have a new, singular intercessor for God’s grace in the name of Our Lord Jesus Christ — in this Christian samurai of heroic virtue who died a martyr in Manila on Feb. 3, 1615.#

Dr. Ernesto A. de Pedro
Takayama Trustee

Marian Shrine in Badoc, Ilocos Norte To Be Elevated to a Minor Basilica

Since 1620, “La Milagrosa Virgen de Badoc” has been the Mediatrix of Grace for the people of Ilocos Norte

►The Vatican has approved a request from the Laoag Diocese to elevate the St. John the Baptist Parish Church — also known as “the Shrine of La Virgen de Milagrosa de Badoc, in Ilocos Norte” — to minor basilica status, a privilege granted by the Pope.

“The Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments … very willingly bestows upon the parish church … the title and dignity of a Minor Basilica,” read the decree.

Bishop Renato Mayugba of Laoag confirmed in a circular in his diocese news of their church’s elevation.

Elevation of St. John the Baptist Church in Badoc, Ilocos Norte — to a Minor Basilica on Feb. 5, 2019

According to canon law, no church building can be honored with the title of basilica unless by apostolic grant. Today, only the Pope through the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments is authorized to grant the decree.

►The 40-day preparation for the elevation of the Shrine of La Virgen Milagrosa de Badoc to a Minor Basilica in February has begun.

Laoag Bishop Renato Mayugba said it was important for the faithful “to be spiritually prepared for the big celebration.”

►The Vatican’s Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments approved the request of the Diocese of Laoag to elevate the nearly 400-year-old Marian shrine to a Minor Basilica on November 30, 2018.

“We shall be celebrating the 400th anniversary of the presence of Our Lady of Badoc, the Japanese Madonna, in 2020. It was found floating on the sea in Barangay Dadalaquiten between Sinait, Ilocos Sur and Barangay Paguetpet in Badoc Ilocos Norte in 1620 with a large crucifix,” Bishop Mayugba said.

It is a symbol of the continuing mission of the Catholic Church to spread the Good News of the Lord and defend the faith especially in finding the image in conjunction with the persecution of Christians in Japan.

“With the elevation of the church in Badoc into a Minor Basilica and since the connection of Japan is very clear I feel a desire to share the faith back to Japan,” Bishop Mayugba said.

San Lorenzo Ruiz (c1600-1637) is the first canonized saint of the Philippines

◘ San Lorenzo Ruiz de Manila (c1600-1637) was a sacristan (altar-server) at the Dominican Church in Binondo, Manila (now renamed Minor Basilica of Saint Lorenzo Ruiz in Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary Parish; this church was founded by Dominican priests in 1596 to serve Chinese converts to Christianity). Joining Dominican missionaries on a mission to Japan, Ruiz was tortured and killed in Nagasaki, Japan on September 28, 1637 with other missionaries — after he refused to abjure his Catholic faith. According to the record of his death, his last words were, “I am a Catholic and wholeheartedly do accept death for God. Had I a thousand lives, all these to Him I shall offer. Do with me as you please.”

Blessed Justo Ukon Takayama (1552-1615) — who died in exile in Manila on Feb. 3, 1615 — is venerated as the Philippine Church’s third “Blessed.” St. John the Baptist Parish Church in Badoc, Ilocos Norte is the first church outside the Manila Archdiocese to enshrine his altar-statue.

◘ Likewise, Blessed Justo Ukon Takayama (1552-1615), the celebrated Japanese Christian samurai who was considered a pillar  of the Catholic faith in Japan, was deported to Manila – along with 350 other Christians after refusing to abjure their Catholic faith. Ukon settled in Intramuros,  Manila – but died on February 3, 1615 —  only 44 days after arriving in the country.

Official poster for two chapels—to be dedicated to two Martyrs: ● San Lorenzo Ruiz and ● Blessed Justo Takayama

Two Side Altars – to be dedicated to San Lorenzo (1637) and Blessed Takayama (1615)

Two side altars — in the Minor Basilica — will be simultaneously blessed with both San Lorenzo Ruiz and Blessed Justo Ukon Takayama recognized as the two enduring bridges that bind the Christians of the Philippines and Japan.

Two side altars—to be dedicated to two Martyrs: ● San Lorenzo Ruiz and ● Blessed Justo Takayama

On December 27, 2018, the Laoag Diocese launched a 40-day preparatory celebration in St. John the Baptist Parish as the Minor Basilica.

Bishop Mayugba said that spiritual preparation explains to devotees the meaning of the Minor Basilica — and its contrast to ordinary Churches.

“That is the catechetical, spiritual and pastoral preparation,” Bishop Mayugba said.

The Laoag Bishop invites devotees to participate in the celebration which will be held on February 5, 2019.

Laoag Bishop Renato Mayugba meets Pope Francis at the Vatican

The official start of the day’s celebrations will be at 9:00 AM, Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019 – with the Papal Nuncio to the Philippines, Archbishop Gabriele Giordano Caccia, reading the Decree of Concession of the Vatican’s Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments raising the St. John the Baptist Church in Badoc, Ilocos Norte to a Minor Basilica — after nearly four centuries dedicated to “La Milagrosa Virgen de Badoc.”

The Eucharistic Mass will be presided by Cotabato Archbishop Emeritus Orlando Beltran Cardinal Quevedo and Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle — with Cardinal Tagle delivering the homily.

The installation of the side altar for Blessed Takayama will be made by Osaka Archbishop Thomas Aquinas Manyo Cardinal Maeda. The installation of San Lorenzo Ruiz will be by Cardinal Quevedo, assisted by Davao Archbishop Romulo Valles, president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP).◘

Dr. Ernesto A. de Pedro
Takayama Trustee

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 (April 24) – 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 5) — 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

Manila Declares Dec. 21 Every Year ‘Blessed Takayama Ukon Day’

The first boatload of 350 Japanese Christians fleeing religious persecution in Tokugawa Japan arrived in Manila on Sunday, Dec. 21, 1614. As they disembarked at “Postigo del Palacio” in Intramuros within sight of Manila Cathedral (III), the bells of Intramuros’ six churches rang, the cannons of Fort Santiago roared in welcome. After 43 days at sea, the Japanese reached their new home at last!

RESOLUTION DECLARING THE 21ST DAY OF DECEMBER OF EVERY YEAR AS “BLESSED TAKAYAMA UKON DAY”
— in commemoration of the exile from Japan and arrival of Lord Justo Takayama Ukon in Manila on December 21, 1614.

Principal Authors: Hon Louisito N. Chua and Hon. Rolando M. Valeriano, Minority Floor Leader

►WHEREAS, Japan ordered the deportation of Lord Justo Takayama Ukon for his refusal to renounce his Catholic religion, resulting in his forced exile and arrival in Manila on December 21, 1614;

►WHEREAS, Lord Justo Takayama Ukon, as well as his followers found refuge and acceptance in Manila as a land of religious freedom, which led to their local integration and the birth of the early stages of Philippine-Japanese relations;

►WHEREAS, Lord Justo Takayama Ukon, considered as an adopted “Son of Manila,” died a devout Catholic which led to his beatification;

►WHEREAS, consistent with the policy of maintaining ties between Manila and Japan, the Manila City Council expresses its unanimous and genuine support for the declaration of December 21 of every year as a special day of commemoration of Blessed Takayama Ukon;

►NOW THEREFORE, be it resolved by the City Council of Manila to declare, as it hereby declares, the 21st day of December every year as “Blessed Takayama Ukon Day” in commemoration of the exile from Japan and arrival of Lord Takayama Ukon in Manila on December 21, 1614.

Presided by: Maria Sheilah “Honey” Lacuna-Pangan, MD, FPDS / Vice Mayor and Presiding Officer, City Council Manila

►This Resolution No. 273, Series of 2018, was adopted by the City Council of Manila at its regular session on December 10, 2018.

ATTESTED: Josue R. Santiago, MPMG / City Government Assistant Department Head III / Assistant Secretary of the City Council #

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Message from Cardinal Maeda

Even before he received news from Manila about its unanimous city council resolution, Cardinal Maeda sent a message to ◘ Manila Mayor Joseph Marcelo Ejercito Estrada and ◘ Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle:

✠ May the peace of the Lord be with you.

Osaka Cardinal Manyo Maeda – before the new Takayama altar-statue, donated by the Trustees of the Blessed Justo Takayama Canonization Movement, headed by Dr. Ernesto A. de Pedro

Greetings on the 404th Anniversary of Justo Ukon Takayama’s landing in Intramuros.

Blessed Justo Ukon Takayama was exiled to Manila by the Edo Shogunate’s order prohibiting the Christian religion in 1614. He then died in Manila on the 3rd of February of 1615. His footsteps of forty-four (44) days still remain in Intramuros. For preserving and maintaining Intramuros in its splendid state, I am grateful, first, to the Manila City Mayor, and also, to the Archbishop of Manila.

After Ukon Takayama’s beatification in Osaka on February 7, 2017, we continue to look forward to your continuous love and support for him.

I pray that the merciful God bless all of you abundantly.#

✠ Thomas Aquinas Manyo Maeda, Archbishop of Osaka

Manila City Hall

Posted  by: Dr.  Ernesto A. de Pedro
Takayama Trustee