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Filipino bishop wants future Japanese saint for his diocese

Tells visiting prelates from Japan blessed Justo Takayama Ukon is a symbol of friendship between countries' Christians

Filipino bishop wants future Japanese saint for his diocese

A medal shows the image of Blessed Justo Takayama Ukon, a Japanese candidate for sainthood. (Photo courtesy of takayamaukon.com)

 

February 6, 2018

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A Catholic bishop wants an image of Blessed Justo Takayama Ukon, a Japanese candidate for sainthood, enshrined in a church in the northern Philippine province of Ilocos Norte.

Bishop Renato Mayugba of Laoag made known his request during a visit by Japanese bishops to the country on Feb. 3.

"I would like to request the bishops of Japan grant me the privilege of having Blessed Takayama enshrined in my parish," said Bishop Mayugba.

The prelate's church in the town of Badoc also hosts the image of the "La Virgen Milagrosa de Badoc" or the "Miraculous Virgin of Badoc."

Bishop Mayugba also asked for a relic of 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."

Fishermen found the image of the "La Virgen Milagrosa de Badoc," said to have Japanese features, 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.

On Dec. 6, the Vatican granted the image of the "La Virgen Milagrosa de Badoc" the privilege of being crowned as mandated by papal authority on May 31.

The proposal for the sainthood of Takayama, who died in Manila as an exile fleeing persecution in Japan, was sent to the Vatican in 1630.

Takayama, who died 40 days after his arrival in the Philippines, is considered a symbol of friendship between Japanese and Filipino Christians.

Pope Francis beatified Blessed Takayama in February 2017.
 

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