Samurai for sainthood

Vatican considers cause of Takayama Ukon

The Vatican is considering the cause for sainthood of a 16th-Century samurai who suffered for his adherence to his Christian faith.

Japan’s conference of Catholic bishops has reportedly submitted a 400-page report on the life of Takayama Ukon, the son of a wealthy landowner born in 1552 who was later baptised by a Jesuit missionary. When, in 1587, Japan began to persecute Christians, Takayama was faced with the choice of clinging to his faith or losing his inherited lands during the crackdown. He, along with his father, chose to sacrifice their property and keep to their Christianity. Later, when Christianity was outlawed, Takayama went into exile in The Philippines, where he died in 1614.

“Since Takayama died in exile because of the weakness caused by the maltreatments he suffered in his homeland,” the bishops explain, "the process for beatification is that of a martyr.”
If Takayama is accepted as a martyr, he will not need a miracle before being beatified.