Saint Paul Miki

c. 1564–1597

Saint Paul Miki, c. 1564–1597
February 6

Saint Paul Miki came from a wealthy Japanese family. He wanted to become a priest. While he was studying to be ordained, he convinced many people to become Christian. The ruler of Japan was afraid that Christians would take over, so he had Paul and twenty-five others tied to crosses and then stabbed. Through his suffering, Saint Paul shared in the Paschal Mystery of Christ. As he hung on the cross, he talked about Jesus. He wasn’t afraid to die, because he knew that death was not the end, but the beginning of life forever with God in Heaven.

Discuss: How does offering up something you don’t like to do help you share in the Paschal Mystery?

Paul Miki is a patron Saint of Japan. He was a Jesuit priest known for his teaching. During his last sermon, while on the cross, he forgave his executioners. When Christian missionaries came to Japan 200 years after Saint Paul Miki’s death, they found a community of people who had kept the faith in secret for all that time, inspired by the work of Miki and his companions.

Is It the End?

Baptized into Jesus’ Death and reborn as sons and daughters of God, we are often able to see our own lives as a series of endings and new beginnings. Helping your child connect the Paschal Mystery with her/his own life will help her/him find greater meaning in the endings and beginnings of life.

  • To get your child thinking, call out various situations, and invite her/him to respond whether it would be considered a beginning or an ending. Following are some examples:
    • Baptism
    • movie credits
    • a ringing phone
    • the school bus arrives
    • a dog's tail
    • a new book
    • Concluding Rites
    • colorful leaves floating to the ground
  • Note that some situations might fall under either category. Ask your child to explain his/her answer(s). In some cases, you might want to provide another point of view.
  • Emphasize the importance of remembering that as Catholics, death is not the end for us, but the beginning of life forever with God.