Pilgrimage to Japan to find Hidden Martyrs

The Pilgrimage...

StFrancis Xavier for front page 600St. Francis Xavier 

October 8-16, 2023, about thirty-two travelers joined Canon Raphael Ueda, Rector of the Institute of Christ the King apostolate in San José. on a tour titled “Discover Christ in the Land of the Rising Sun.” 

This trip was organized by Sacred Heart Tours under the experienced guide of Ms. Caroline Syversen. Several joined the tour from the Institute of Christ the King apostolates across the United States (Bridgeport, Detroit, Oakland, Saint Louis, San José, Tucson, Milwaukee and Wausau) along with others not affiliated with the institute. 

The Traditional Latin Masses were celebrated everyday by Canon Ueda, who was assisted by altar servers from the group. Canon also led us in daily rosaries.

2 Mass in Tokyo

During the trip, we visited many sites connected to history of the Catholic Church in Japan. This almost-forgotten history has in recent years been drawn to the attention of the Japanese people but is little known outside the country. Children in Japan are now taught Catholic history in school, and as we saw firsthand students visit these sites on field trips during school vacations. 

For a better understanding of the history of Catholicism in Japan, you might want to check out this timeline: link

3 in Nagasaki 600

The tour took us first to Tokyo for a full day. Next, we flew to Nagasaki, a beautiful port city where we stayed for the rest of the tour. Nagasaki City is the mostly very hilly capital city of the Nagasaki Prefecture, located in the westernmost part of Japan, and it is where the Catholic faith took root most deeply in Japan. Nagasaki was also where large numbers of Kakure Kirishitans (Hidden Christians) held onto their faith during centuries when the Catholic faith was banned. 

8 view from Nagasaki 600

Nagasaki City also was where the second atomic bomb was dropped on August 9, 1945. The bomb was the immediate cause of the end of the war in the Pacific, with the surrender three days later, on August 15, the Feast of the Assumption. During the tour we learned about several other important events in the Catholic history of Japan that occurred on August 15.

Jesus said, “I have set thee to be the light of the Gentiles: that thou mayest be for salvation unto the utmost part of the earth.” May St. Francis Xavier, patron of Catholic missions, XVI Century Apostle of the Indies and Japan intercede for the missions in the Far East Asia!!! 

~written by a pilgrim of the tour


Diary of Pilgrimage: Part I, Part II


Photo Gallery of Pilgrimage