St. Francis Xavier

Was Jesus a Secularist?

Did Jesus legitimize the concept of a secular state? Many people, including well-intentioned Christians in today’s polite society, seem to think so. The “proof-text” they point to is Christ’s famous retort in St. Matthew’s Gospel, “render unto to Caesar that which is Caesar’s, but render unto God that which is God’s.” Yet a closer examination, [...]

What Have We Learned from Universities?

The recent news that Pope Francis has appointed a commission of prelates to reevaluate a former Pontifical university in Peru has elicited a few sardonic remarks, and perhaps even some earnest hopes, that the Vatican might take a similarly incisive interest in the condition of certain Catholic institutions in the United States. As unlikely as [...]

St. Paul Miki and the Rise of Japan’s Hidden Christians

On February 5, 1597, by order of Toyotomi Hideyoshi, the regent and de facto military ruler of Japan, 26 Christians were crucified in the port town of Nagasaki. Six Franciscan missionaries (from Spain, Mexico, and India), three Japanese Jesuits, and seventeen Japanese laymen comprised the group, known as the First Martyrs of Japan and commemorated [...]

Lessons Drawn from the Japanese Martyrs

Christianity came to Japan in 1549. The Land of the Rising Sun must have been ready to hear the good news when St Francis Xavier first set foot on its shores. By the time he left, just two years later, there were three thousand Japanese Christians. Over the next forty years that number increased to [...]

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