28th September – Ss Lawrence Ruiz & Companions, Martyrs

Today is the memorial of St Lawrence Ruiz and Companions, martyrs. He was born in st-lawrence-ruizManila of a Chinese father and Filipino mother. He was married and had three children. He joined a Dominican missionary expedition to Japan in order to escape arrest for a crime of which he was accused. He was arrested by the Japanese authorities in Nagasaki, tortured and executed in September 1637. He is the first Filipino martyr.

Another martyr Lázaro of Kyoto was a Japanese layman. He contracted leprosy and was deported to the Philippines with other lepers. In 1636 he joined Antonio González as his guide and interpreter. Unable to endure the torture he apostatized for a few hours, but then repented and died for Christ together with the others.

This is part of the imperial decree under which these martyrs were executed. The followers of Christ, arriving unexpectedly in Japan, without any permission, have spread and propagated their wicked law, destroying the good and legitimate one and plotting to overthrow authority in the country. This is the beginning of great calamity, which we should avoid by all means. All these Christians should be eliminated without any delay. If anyone dares to contravene this order, he will be put to death.

When we think of such martyrs, we see the ultimate act of self-surrender, a descent into utter vulnerability and poverty. What underpinned their resolve? It is possibly expressed by the following quote of St John Paul II: “Have no fear of moving into the unknown. Simply step out fearlessly knowing that I [Jesus] am with you, therefore no harm can befall you; all is very, very well. Do this in complete faith and confidence.”

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I recently signed this online petition by clicking on the below link.

Chinese authorities have arrested and temporarily exiled Roman Catholic Bishop, Peter Shao Zhumin. Bishop Shao was appointed as Bishop in 2007 by Pope Benedict XVI, without the formal approval of the Communist-Party-controlled “Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association”. Bishop Shao’s detention and exile is a regrettable and retrograde step where religious freedom is concerned!

To be admitted to the “Developed World” of human rights, China needs to seriously consider its stand on freedom of religion. After 30 years of economic liberalisation, it is now time to liberalise the marketplace of ideas and belief. Releasing and reinstating Bishop Shao would be a good start.

http://em.citizengo.org/dc/1Xt7NwYwwKzhv8_RIXnCODGdHPzgvpRkTNnDDLRPTOkOPnF1dj8xfzy8CDU14k2BBg3EKa_MIvRDFgtMtLFnjahXzxrVOfY5gdOS1zXSv1k3AUNdoN_BFTPXfLloo0FMqDfG8yQk0oEfo9JsaxHTdM57mSL_Kd4trlQMlw0tfc_EA-ghkmkKSsR-32vZsRFYIhHetDA5Foxli5TlWlGLE1TSr_0Smb0QOU2lwFDEYYs=/LL23YD00h08x0Oek80R0N0X

 

 

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