Prayer for the 150th Anniversary of the discovery of the hidden Christians
By Msgr. Takami Mitsuaki, Archbishop of Nagasaki
O merciful and all-mighty God,
You created each one of us, gathering us in one community by calling us to participate in the death and resurrection of your only Son, our Savior Jesus Christ, all through our lives, you carry us.
You gave us a community of believers in the Lord, also here in Japan. More than half a century later, the rulers of the country forbade the people to have faith in Christ.
Nevertheless, numerous missionaries and faithful, strengthened in your Spirit, witnessed their faith until death.
Some of the faithful, by your providence, clandestinely preserved their faith at the risk of their lives, handing it down from generation to generation. While the faithful, invoking the intercession of Santa Maria, waited for the priest who would be sent by the Pope, seven generations passed. Then, the faithful from Urakami village met a priest at Oura Church and confessed their faith that was handed down to them.
It was the beginning of total revival of the Japanese Church which survived under the persecution that continued for 2 and a half centuries.
We count a hundred and fifty years from then. We, the Church in Japan, remember this encounter in joy and thanksgiving to start our journey anew.
In our tendency to be tossed about by different values, without the certainty of the absolute, we are urged to turn a look on our faith, because we know of the martyrs, the resilient living of faith, thanks to those who went ahead of us, who risked their lives to keep faith alive through generations.
O God, all things in heaven and on earth truly are yours. Your providence is limitless, even when we reach its ends, we are still in you.
You who realize much more than what we ask for or contemplate, by your power that works in us, lead us to deepen our faith, live joyfully, and participate in the grace of God’s love together with all the people.
In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
The Lord’s prayer