The Japanese “Servant of God” Justus Takayama Ukon (1552-1615) was beatified this afternoon, 7 February 2017, by Cardinal Angelo Amato, SDB, Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, on Pope Francis’ behalf, in Osaka, the prefecture of Takayama’s birth.
Blessed Takayama is now one step away from full sainthood.
Among Japan’s 42 Japanese Saints and 394 Blessed, only the Cause of Blessed Takayama Ukon was processed individually – a first instance in Japanese church history. All other Japanese Saints and Blessed are group martyrs, processed by the Vatican in four batches.
The Takayama Ceremony is the fifth Japanese beatification since the beatification of the Twenty-Six Martyrs in 1627.
The Beatification Rites began at 12 Noon, Tuesday, February 7, 2017 at the Osaka-jo Hall of Osaka (Osaka-jo 3-1, Chuo-ku, Osaka), the mass was celebrated by Cardinal Amato, with Manila Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle concelebrating. Two Cardinals, thirty Archbishops and Bishops and three hundred priests from around the world attended the event.
The celebration drew some 10,000 pilgrims who came to share the joy of the Blessed Takayama Ukon. Among those attending were devotees from Japan, the Philippines, Korea and other Asian countries.
The 1,000 member choir sang the Filipino offertory hymn “Salamat sa Iyo” (Tanging Alay) with a full orchestra accompanying the voices.
In Manila where Memorial Masses have been celebrated since 1989, the Takayama Thanksgiving Mass was offered by Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo at the University of Santo Tomas Chapel on the same day. He also presided at the installation of a bronze plaque on the Takayama statue that stands at the entrance of the Thomas Aquinas Research Complex in the UST Campus.
By Dr. Ernie A. De Pedro, Managing Trustee
Lord Takayama Jubilee Foundation