"To be actively pro-life is to contribute to the renewal of society through the promotion of the common good. It is impossible to further the common good without acknowledging and defending the right to life, upon which all the other inalienable rights of individuals are founded and from which they develop." ~ Pope John Paul II, The Gospel of Life, n.101
Everything is grace, everything is the direct effect of our Father's love.Everything is grace because everything is God's gift.Whatever be the character of life or its unexpected events -- to the heart that loves, all is well.
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"Jean of Catholic Fire...provides so much informative content. She posts about pro-life issues and events, what happened 'on this day', biographies of saints, prayer intentions, and lots more each day. No matter what she's posting about, I can always come away each day feeling uplifted...and that's saying a lot for me, as I'm someone who often tries to avoid thinking about some of the political and other issues that she posts about. It must be her strong faith and trust in God, as well as her love, shining through her posts, that inspire me." Margaret Mary Myers , Reflections, Catholic BVI Readers, VIP Homeschooler.
St. Paul Miki (1565?-1597) and his companions were martyred in Japan at the end of the sixteenth century. A native Japanese, Paul entered the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits) as a young man. He worked as a missionary brother, along with St. Leo Karasuma (a Korean layman), and six Franciscan missionaries from Europe, led by St. Peter Baptist of Spain.
Building on the earlier work of St. Francis Xavier (December 3), the missionaries preached the Gospel around the city of Nagasaki, and were initially very successful. However, the captain of a visiting Spanish ship foolishly (and falsely) boasted that the missionaries’ efforts were paving the way for a Spanish and Portuguese invasion of Japan.
The Japanese shogun (warlord) Hideyoshi, already envious of the missionaries’ success, used this as an excuse to begin a severe attack on all foreign influences, including Christianity. Many Christians were martyred, including Paul Miki, John Goto, and James Kisai of Japan; Peter Baptist, Martin de Aguirre, Francis Blanco, and Francis-of-St. Michael of Spain; Philip de las Casas of Mexico; Gonsola Garcia of India, and seventeen Japanese lay people. These were all crucified and pierced with a lance. While hanging on the cross, Paul Miki spoke to the Japanese gathered below: “As I come to this supreme moment of my life, I am sure none of you would suppose I want to deceive you. And so I tell you plainly: There is no way to be saved except the Christian way. My religion teaches me to pardon my enemies and all who have offended me. I do gladly pardon the Emperor and all who have sought my death. I beg them to seek baptism and be Christians themselves.”
The only reason for my being killed is that I have taught the doctrine of Christ. I thank God it is for this reason that I die. I believe that I am telling the truth before I die. I know you believe me and I want to say to you all once again: Ask Christ to help you 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.