Home     A - Z    Calendar   Puzzles

Patrons    Subscribe to Newsletter

Find The Saint

February 6

St Paul Miki and Companions

​Saint Paul Miki and Companions


(1562 – 1597)

“The only reason for my being killed is that I have taught the doctrine of Christ…
I thank God it is for this reason I die.
I want to say to you all once again:
Ask Christ to help you to become happy.
I obey Christ. After Christ’s example I forgive my persecutors. I do not hate them. I ask God to have pity on all, and I hope my blood will fall on my fellow men as a fruitful rain.

Saint Paul Miki

Saint’s Life Story

Born in Japan

Paul Miki was born around 1562 in Tsunokuni, Japan to a wealthy family, the son of Miki Handayu, a military leader. He was baptized at five and educated by the Jesuits at Azuchi and Takatsuki in their missionary seminary.

Jesuit Novice

At age 22 in 1580, he joined the Society of Jesus, the Jesuits, as a novice. Paul was famous as a preacher and an evangelist converting many to Catholicism. He had completed 11 years of training and would have been the very first Japanese priest.


However, Paul was arrested in December 1597, forty-five years after St. Francis Xavier had evangelized much of Japan, by Toyotomi Hideyoshi, the taiko or commanding general of Japan. Their arrest and subsequent martyrdom was spurred on by a Spanish captain’s foolish statement that the missionaries, like Paul and his companions, were paving the way for the Spanish and Portuguese conquest of Japan.

Marching and Singing

As a spectacular intended to impress the Japanese population, Paul and his companions were forced to march almost 600 miles (966 kilometers) from Kyoto to Nagasaki. During their march through the cold winter, they joyfully sang Te Deum and other psalms and hymns.

Protomartyrs of Japan

Paul and his companions were led up to a hill in Nishizaka, outside of Nagasaki, that is now called “the Hill of the Martyrs”.  They were bound to crosses and had their sides pierced with lances in the same way as Jesus. From his cross, Paul gave his last sermon and forgave his persecutors telling the people to ask Christ to show them how to be truly happy. With their canonization in 1862, they became the protomartyrs of the whole Far East.

Paul’s Companions

The other 25 companions along with Paul are knowns as the Martyrs of Nagasaki and include 2 Japanese Jesuits, 6 Franciscans (four of whom were Spanish), 1 Mexican (that actually became the first Mexican Saint), 1 Indian, and 15 Japanese laity including a soldier, a physician and altar boys:

Cosmas Takeya
Peter Sukejiro
Michael Kozaki
James Kisai
Paul Ibachi
Leo Ibachi
Louis Ibachi
Pedro Baptista
Martin de la Ascuncion
Felipe de Jesus
Goncalco Garcia
Francisco Blanco
Francisco de San Miguel
Thomas Kozaki
Joachim Sakakibara
Francis Kichi
John Kinuya
Gabriel Jusuke
Paul Suzuki
John Soan de Goto

Beatified:            September 14, 1627 by Pope Urban VIII

Canonized:         June 8, 1862 by Pope Pius IX

Feast Day:          February 6

Patron Saint:     Japan



Faith, such as that of the 26 martyrs, is needed today as much as in 1597. Think of the suffering of Christians in Sudan, in Iraq, in Afghanistan or in other parts of the world. Like Saint Paul Miki and his companions, Christians over 400 years later face similar persecution. Inspire in us the same love of God and man so that we too can know, love, and serve God in the heroic fashion that made you so brave and composed in the face of intense suffering.

What Christians throughout the world do you know of today that are encountering persecution? Pray to God to provide strength to all Christians living their faith while facing adversity.


Prayer to St Paul and Companions

O proclaimers of the faith
even unto death,
death on a cross,
you who have followed
in the way of our Lord
so completely,
loving your enemies
even as they killed you,
encouraging your brothers
even with your last breath –
may the blood you shed not be forgotten
by those of the nation in which you preached
and by all souls who seek God;
may it nourish the land
and bring it to bear much fruit
unto Heaven.
Pray that we who are so fearful here
may find the faith and courage
you displayed
and so be blessed with the same grace
that imparts the peace of the kingdom.

Source: St. Paul Miki and Companions: Martyrs (

Saint Links 

America Magazine – Whose Companions? Feast of Paul Miki: 3 Jesuits, 23 Franciscans

AnaStpaul – Saints of the Day – 6 February – St Paul Miki & Companions -26 Martyrs of Nagasaki

Catholic Exchange – St. Paul Miki and Companions (Martyrs)

Catholic Fire – St. Paul Miki and Companions: Martyrs

Catholic Ireland – Feb 6 – St Paul Miki and companions d 159

CatholicSaints.Info – St Paul Miki 

Franciscan Media – Saint Paul Miki and Companions

Independent Catholic News – St Paul Miki and Companions

Loyola Press – Saint Paul Miki and Companions Feast Day February 6

My Catholic Life – Saints Paul Miki and Companions, Martyrs

Newman Connection – Saint Paul Miki and Companions

Saints, Feast, and Family – Saint Paul Miki and Companions’ Story

Saint Mary’s Press – Saint Paul Miki (d. 1597)

Saints Resource – St Paul Miki

Soul Candy – Feb 6 – St Paul Miki, SJ & Companions; Christian Martyrdom? Is it really about death?

uCatholic – St. Paul Miki and Companions

Wikipedia – Paul Miki

Video Link

St. Paul Miki and Companions – YouTube Video (Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network – USA)