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August 14

St Domingo Ibáñez de Erquicia - August 14

Saint Domingo Ibáñez de Erquicia
Priest, Missionary, Martyr
(1589 – 1633)

“Let us have no concern for this world, for it is our exile and separates us from God who is our total good.”

Saint Domingo Ibáñez de Erquicia

His Early Years

Domingo was born on February 1689 in Régil, Guipúzcoa, Spain. In 1605, he joined the Dominican Order at the convent of San Telmo in the city of San Sebastián, Spain.

Missionary in Phillipines and Professor

Having completed his theological studies, Domingo left Spain in 1610 for the Philippine mission by way of Mexico. He arrived in Manila in 1611.
In 1612, Domingo was ordained. He worked as missionary to Pangasinan, Philippines in the north of the island of Luzon. Then, he continued his missionary work at Binondo, Phillipines, a settlement for Chinese immigrants who had converted to Catholicism.

At the Colegio de Santo Tomas, Domingo taught philosophy.

Missionary in Japan

By 1622, the number of Dominican missionaries in Japan had declined due to the anti-Christian persecution. In response to requests for assistance, in 1623, Domingo departed for Japan disguised as a merchant. Not long after his arrival, a decree was issued banning Spaniards from residing in the country.

Domingo worked incognito among the Christians for about ten years, comforting them, reconciling the apostates, and administering the sacraments in painfully difficult circumstances. Mostly at night, he conducted his ministry while never remaining long in one place.

In 1625, Domingo was appointed provincial vicar. For two years, he stayed in the north of the country. The persecutions increased and many Christians fled to the mountains.


Constantly sought by the authorities, Domingo was denounced to government officials by a Christian apostate in July 1633. In Nagoya, Japan, he was imprisoned.

Domingo was aided in his missionary efforts by Saint Francis Shoyemon, a Japanese layman. Saint Francis Shoyemon served as a catechist and translator. Then, Shoyemon was imprisoned with Domingo. While they were in prison together that Domingo received Francis into the Order of Preachers as a Dominican Cooperator Brother.

His Death

On August 13, 1633, Domingo and Francis were taken to Nagasaki, Japan. There, Domingo refused to renounce his faith. So, Domingo was placed in the torment of gallows and the pit. This torture was where Domingo was hung upside down from gallows with the upper half of the body hanging into a fetid hole. The next day, on August 14, 1633, Domingo died a martyr’s death in Nishizaka, Nagasaki, Japan. His body was burned and his ashes were scattered.

Some of the Letters from Saint Domingo Ibáñez de Erquicia have been presereved.

Born :                   February 1589 in Régil, Guipúzcoa, Spain

Died:                    August 14, 1633 age 44 in Nishizaka, Nagasaki, Japan

Beatified:            February 18, 1981 by Pope John Paul II

Canonized:         October 18, 1987 by Pope John Paul II

Feast Day:          August 14

Patron Saint:     None



Saint Domingo Ibáñez de Erquicia is remembered for his missionary work in Japan during a period of intense persecution against Christians. Despite facing significant challenges, including the risk of persecution and martyrdom, he continued to preach, mainly at night, demonstrating his courage and conviction in the pursuit of convert individuals to Christianity. His story serves as an inspiration for those who value pursing our Christian beliefs, even in the face of formidable challenges.

While you may not die in a far-off foreign land becoming a martyr, what “small acts” of daily sacrifice and giving can you do today to follow Jesus taking up his cross?


Saint Domingo Ibáñez de Erquicia, 

You faced adversity with unwavering courage as a faithful servant of God and a tireless missionary, spreading the light of Christ in times of darkness.

In the land of Japan, where challenges abounded, you stood firm in your commitment to the Gospel, bearing witness to the love of our Lord.

Strengthened by your faith, you endured trials, facing persecution with a heart full of trust.

Intercede for us, O humble servant of God, as we pray for courage in our times of difficulty, that we may emulate your steadfast devotion.

May your example inspire us to live our faith boldly.

May your prayers guide us on our spiritual journey, so that we may be faithful disciples of Christ, and share His love with the world.

Saint Domingo Ibáñez de Erquicia, pray for us. Amen.

Saint Links 

All Saints & Martyrs – Martyrs of Japan

Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines – ‘Be modern-day martyrs through small acts’

Catholic Online – St. Domingo Ibanez de Erquicia

CatholicSaints.Info – Saints of the Day – Paschal Baylon by Katherine I Rabenstein

Domincan Sisters of Malta – Saint Dominic Ibanez de Erquicia, Saint James Kyushei Tomonga, Saint Lawrence Ruiz, and Companions, Martyrs

Irish Dominicans – Saint Dominic Ibanez de Erquicia and companions

Vatican – Lawrence Ruiz, layman , Dominic Ibáñez de Erquicia, O.P., James Kyushei Tomonaga, O.P.
and 13 companions, Philippines, martyrs in Japan

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