CATHOLIC NEWS OF THE WEEK . Saturday, 17 November 2018

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Philippine bishop requests image and relic of Japanese blessed

MANILA (UCAN): Bishop Renato Mayugba of Laoag wants an image of Blessed Justo Takayama Ukon, a Japanese candidate for sainthood, to be enshrined in his church in the town of Badoc in the northern Philippine province of Ilocos Norte. 
 
Blessed Takayama, who was a kirishitan daimyo and samurai, died in Manila in 1615 after fleeing the persecution of Christians in Japan.
 
He speaking to visiting Japanese bishops on February 3, he said, “I would like to request the bishops of Japan grant me the privilege of having Blessed Takayama enshrined in my parish.” 
 
The church also hosts the image of the La Virgen Milagrosa de Badoc (Miraculous Virgin of Badoc), which said to have Japanese features and was found by fishermen in the 1600s during the persecution of Christians in Japan.
 
The image has since remained in the parish church and continues to draw people to the town.
 
Bishop Mayugba also asked for a relic of Blessed Takayama that he would place on the church’s altar “in recognition that our faith in Ilocos was ... deepened by the Virgin coming from Japan.”
 
On December 6, the Vatican granted the image of La Virgen Milagrosa de Badoc the privilege of being crowned as mandated by papal authority on May 31.
 
The cause for the sainthood of Blessed Takayama was sent to the Vatican in 1630. He died only 40 days after his arrival in the Philippines and is considered a symbol of friendship between Japanese and Filipino Christians.
 
His statue stands in Plaza Dilao, in Paco, Manila, an area where around 3,000 exiles lived following their expulsion from Japan in the 1600s.
 
Pope Francis beatified Blessed Takayama in February 2017.

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