Readings for the Memorial of
Paul Miki and Companions

Martyrs
February 6
+1597

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MASS


From the Common of Martyrs: For Several Martyrs
COLLECT
O God, strength of all the Saints,
who through the Cross were pleased to call
the Martyrs Saint Paul Miki and companions to life,
grant, we pray, that by their intercession
we may hold with courage even until death
to the faith that we profess.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.


FIRST READING          Galatians 2:19-20
Brothers and sisters:
Through the law I died to the law,
that I might live for God.
I have been crucified with Christ;
yet I live, no longer I, but Christ lives in me;
insofar as I now live in the flesh,
I live by faith in the Son of God
who has loved me and given himself up for me.


RESPONSORIAL PSALM Ps. 126:1-2, 2-3, 4-5, 6
Qui seminant in lacrimis, in exsultatione metent.

R./ Those who sow in tears shall reap rejoicing.
When the LORD restored the fortunes of Zion,
then we thought we were dreaming.
Our mouths were filled with laughter;
our tongues sang for joy.
R./ Those who sow in tears shall reap rejoicing.
Then it was said among the nations,
"The LORD had done great things for them."
The LORD has done great things for us;
Oh, how happy we were!
R./ Those who sow in tears shall reap rejoicing.
Restore again our fortunes, LORD,
like the dry stream beds of the Negeb.
Those who sow in tears
will reap with cries of joy.
R./ Those who sow in tears shall reap rejoicing.
Those who go forth weeping,
carrying sacks of seed,
Will return with cries of joy,
carrying their bundled sheaves.
R./ Those who sow in tears shall reap rejoicing.


ALLELUIA          Mt. 28:19a, 20b
Euntes docete omnes gentes, dicit Dominus: ego vobiscum sum omnibus diebus usque ad consummationem saeculi.
Go and teach all nations, says the Lord
I am with you always, until the end of the world.


GOSPEL          Matthew 28:16-20
The Eleven disciples went to Galilee,
to the mountain to which Jesus had ordered them.
When they saw him, they worshiped, but they doubted.
Then Jesus approached and said to them,
"All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me.
Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations,
baptizing them in the name of the Father,
and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit,
teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.
And behold, I am with yon always, until the end of the age."

Liturgy of the Hours
Paul Miki and companions

From the Common of Several Martyrs, except the following:

Office of Readings

From an account of the martyrdom of Saint Paul Miki and his companions, by a contemporary writer
(Cap. 14, 109-110; Acta Sanctorum Febr.1, 769)


You shall be my witnesses

The crosses were set in place. Father Pasio and Father Rodriguez took turns encouraging the victims. Their steadfast behaviour was wonderful to see. The Father Bursar stood motionless, his eyes turned heavenward. Brother Martin gave thanks to God’s goodness by singing psalms. Again and again he repeated: “Into your hands, Lord, I entrust my life.” Brother Francis Branco also thanked God in a loud voice. Brother Gonsalvo in a very loud voice kept saying the Our Father and Hail Mary.

Our brother, Paul Miki, saw himself standing now in the noblest pulpit he had ever filled. To his “congregation” he began by proclaiming himself a Japanese and a Jesuit. He was dying for the Gospel he preached. He gave thanks to God for this wonderful blessing and he ended his “sermon” with these words: “As I come to this supreme moment of my life, I am sure none of you would suppose I want to deceive you. And so I tell you plainly: there is no way to be saved except the Christian way. My religion teaches me to pardon my enemies and all who have offended me. I do gladly pardon the Emperor and all who have sought my death. I beg them to seek baptism and be Christians themselves.”

Then he looked at his comrades and began to encourage them in their final struggle. Joy glowed in all their faces, and in Louis’ most of all. When a Christian in the crowd cried out to him that he would soon be in heaven, his hands, his whole body strained upward with such joy that every eye was fixed on him.

Anthony, hanging at Louis’ side, looked toward heaven and called upon the holy names – “Jesus, Mary!” He began to sing a psalm: “Praise the Lord, you children!” (He learned it in catechism class in Nagasaki. They take care there to teach the children some psalms to help them learn their catechism).

Others kept repeating “Jesus, Mary!” Their faces were serene. Some of them even took to urging the people standing by to live worthy Christian lives. In these and other ways they showed their readiness to die.

Then, according to Japanese custom, the four executioners began to unsheathe their spears. At this dreadful sight, all the Christians cried out, “Jesus, Mary!” And the storm of anguished weeping then rose to batter the very skies. The executioners killed them one by one. One thrust of the spear, then a second blow. It was over in a very short time.


RESPONSORY          See Gal. 6:14, Phil 1:29
We must glory in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ;
in him is our salvation, life and resurrection.
 - Through him we are saved and set free.
This grace has been given to you,
not only to believe in Christ, but also to suffer for his sake.
 - Through him we are saved and set free.


COLLECT
O God, strength of all the Saints,
who through the Cross were pleased to call
the Martyrs Saint Paul Miki and companions to life,
grant, we pray, that by their intercession
we may hold with courage even until death
to the faith that we profess.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.


The English translation of Psalm Responses, Alleluia Verses, Gospel Verses from Lectionary for Mass © 1969, 1981, 1997, International Commission on English in the Liturgy Corporation (ICEL); the English translation of Antiphons, Invitatories, Responsories, Intercessions, Psalm 95, the Canticle of the Lamb, Psalm Prayers, Non-Biblical Readings from The Liturgy of the Hours © 1973, 1974, 1975, ICEL; excerpts from the English translation of The Roman Missal © 2010, ICEL. All rights reserved. Used with permission.



 
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