Martyrs In Japan


13. Missionaries Unable To Enter Japan, The Dutch, The Late Discovery Of Christians, Conclusion

AFTER the martyrdom recorded in the last chapter, the Japanese Church was in a most deplorabIe state of destitution. It became, however, impossible for the most devoted missionaries to supply the place of their martyred brethren, for a law was made by which at every landing-place of the empire, the sacred symbol of the Cross was placed, and officers were appointed with the strictest orders to oblige every foreigner who might attempt to disembark, to trample upon the Cross in sign of hatred of the Christian faith. Any one refusing was arrested, or at least forbidden to land. Besides this, another edict obliged every subject of the emperor to wear publicly an idol, or some other evident sign of heathenism, by which all the members of the prescribed religion might be immediately recognised. These measures, stringently carried out, deprived Christians of all hope of obtaining a fresh supply of priests. They were left without sacraments or Sacrifice, to the mercy of their bitter enemies. Active persecution for some time continued. The climax of all was reached in the year 1638, and the sun of Christianity appeared then indeed to sink for ever, and dark night to become universal over the whole land. Owing to the tyranny and exactions of the governors of the province of Arima, the population rose in rebellion, and with hope of alleviating their hard lot the Christians, numbering still, in spite of the bitter persecution, many thousands, joined the rebel forces. They took refuge in a strongly fortified place called Phimabara which was besieged by the imperiaV army, and though a gallant resistance was made for 102 days, the garrison was at last overpowered and an indiscriminate slaughter ensued. In this siege the Dutch rendered considerable assistance to the imperial army by lending artillery and ammunition. The number of those massacred is given by the Dutch general as amounting to 40,000, and among them all the Christian auxiliaries.

After the failure of this Japanese " Pilgrimage of Grace" little is known of the history of the Christian population. In 1640 the Portuguese despatched an embassy to the emperor with the hope of making such arrangements as would enable them once more to enter the empire for trade, but the ambassadors were murdered at Nagasaki, and their remains, enclosed in a chest, were sent back to Macao, with the following inscription : " As long as the sun continues to shine on the earth, let no Christian dare to enter Japan, and let every one understand that if the king of Spain himself, or the God of the Christians, or even the great Xaca (one of the principal deities of Japan), should violate this law, they shall be punished with death." This insolent inscription, truly diabolical in the intensity and folly of its blasphemy, was put up on notice boards all over the empire, at landing-places, ferries and in other public positions for the space of two hundred years as a constant protest against the proscribed religion.

To render it impossible for any Christian native to remain undetected, a new national festival was instituted under the title of "The Feast for Trampling on the Image." All the inhabitants, especially in regions where the Christian religion had chiefly flourished, were required to join in this abominable ceremony, which consisted in trampling on the Cross and a likeness of our Lady and her Divine Son. At Nagasaki the festival lasted for four whole days afler the beginning of each new year, which commences in Japan on February 19.

After the murder of the Portuguese ambassadors in 1640 none but Chinese and Dutch ships were allowed to trade with Japan, and these were only permitted to enter the port of Nagasaki. The Dutch were no more considered to be Christians than the Chinese. The Japanese argued very sensibly that a man who would trample on the Cross could not belong to the religion of the Crucified. The Dutch merchants were treated in the most ignominious manner, but they willingly endured insults of every kind in order to secure some commercial advantage. They were confined to one small island, connected with Nagasaki by a bridge, and the gates were carefully locked at night and guarded by native soldiers. No Dutchman was allowed to have a light in his house at night, and each ship was visited on its arrival by officers, who carried away the sails, guns, and rudders, which were retained until the departure of the ship. They were likewise strictly forbidden to hold any kind of religious service. Even as late as the year 1855, when some French vessels of war were lying in the harbour of Nagasaki, the chief man of the Dutch factory being invited by the officers to dinner, returned this answer : " I would willingly accept your invitation, but they will not allow me."

In the year 1709 a devoted Sicilian priest named Sidotti was determined to enter Japan, and accordingly landed upon the open coast. He baptized a few converts, but was captured almost immediately, and was shut up in a little hole, in which miserable den he lingered, preaching to such as visited him, till released by death.

There is one more matter of praiseworthy labour recorded of the ancient Catholic missionaries that is mentioned by Dr. Casartelli, which ought to be noted here. In the midst of their work and sufferings they found time to study the language and to write books of philology. "Protestant writers have recorded with astonishment the fact that whilst the Dutch, favoured as they were by the Japanese Government, did nothing in the cause of science, it is to the Catholic missionaries, in spite of the terrible times of persecution, that Europe owes the earliest works relating to the Japanese language and literature." Father J. Rodriguez, who reached Japan in 1583, published many important works from 1590 to 1 6 10, and in 1595 the Jesuits in Amahusa printed a Portuguese-Latin dictionary. "The Dominicans rivalled the Jesuits in their literary zeal. Diego Collado was a Dominican, whose dictionary and grammar of the Japanese language appeared in Rome in 1632. Three years before, the Dominicans of Manilla had printed a Spanish translation of the Jesuit dictionary A number of religious works in the Japanese language for the use of native Christians were compiled and published by the Christian missionaries. Bishop Serqueryza, a Jesuit, composed a work on moral theology. One of the Franciscan fathers was a native Japanese, who besides translating the Flos Sanctorum into his mother tongue, published also a Japanese grammar and a Spanish-Latin-Japanese dictionary."

From 1638 until the middle of this century there is nothing to record, but in 183 1 a vessel was wrecked on the coast of the Philippine Islands, and the Japanese sailors who manned it were found wearing Christian emblems, declared themselves to have been baptized and to have been instructed in the Christian religion by the tradition of their ancestors. In 1846, the Sovereign Pontiff Gregory XVI. appointed M. Augustus Forgade, a member of the Society of Foreign Missions, first Vicar Apostolic of Japan and the isles of Loo-Choo; but no entrance was effected into the empire till 1856, in which year there was a renewal of the persecution against the native Christians. Owing to the treaties between France and the Japanese Government, two priests of the Foreign Missions were able to build a church at Yokohama, a town near the city of Yeddo. Communication with the natives was strictly forbidden, the church being only tolerated for the use of Europeans. In the year 1863 the two missionaries, MM. Furet and Petitjean, collected funds for a church in Nagasaki, which was dedicated under the patronage of S. John the Baptist. This church was the scene of a wondrous event. On March 17, 1865, certain Japanese presented themselves to the missionaries, and announced that they were Christians, and that in the village to which they belonged, thirteen hundred still remained faithful to the true religion. The joy which filled the hearts of the missionaries at this intelligence was increased almost daily by the fresh discoveries they made of Christian congregations, numbering 2,500 in the country round Nagasaki, and thousands more in different parts of the Empire. These Christians, though none of them had ever seen a priest or heard a Mass, were found to be well instructed in the essential doctrines of religion, and were familiar with many of the prayers in common use among the faithful.

This fact must be acknowledged to be one of the strongest proofs on record of the divine vitality of the Catholic faith. The first introduction of Christianity into the Empire and its rapid spread among the people were sufficient of themselves to establish the identity of the religion that had such mysterious power over the heathen Empire of the extreme East in the sixteenth century, with the religion that conquered the old Roman Empire in the first ages of Christianity. But the conquest of heathen empires, the civilization of barbarous nations, by the introduction of Christian faith and Christian morals is a common event in the history of the Church, and only a token of God's ordinary providence. What is so extraordinary a manifestation of God's power and of the fatherly care with which He watches over His Church, is the fact of these poor Japanese persevering in the true faith and remaining fervent Catholics, though for more than two hundred years they have lived without priests, without Sacraments and Sacrifice, without schools and books, and threatened with the most terrible penalties if they manifested their secret belief. This is a work as purely supernatural, as much beyond human power as the raising of the dead to life, and it reveals, in the clearest possible light, the Divine origin and life of the Catholic Church. All human agency is here removed, and we stand face to face with the direct work of God for His Church. A rapid glance over the Christian annals of Japan will enable the reader to estimate this fact more justly.

The first missions in Japan, begun by St. Francis Xavier, were crowned with the most brilliant success. In spite of prejudice, hatred of foreign influence, love of ease, strong adherence to ancient customs, and dearly-cherished superstitions, the Christian faith, though doing violence to all these, was no sooner proclaimed than it spread over the whole Empire, and took the deepest root in the hearts of the people. The country seemed ripe for conversion. Men of every class professed and practised Christianity, from the princes and governors on their thrones to the lepers that lay neglected on the roadside. Churches were opened, the public service of the Church was fully carried out, Mass was sung by Japanese ecclesiastics, and processions moved in state through the streets of Nagasaki. Colleges were founded to supply a native priesthood, hospitals arose for the sick and for the care of foundlings ; confraternities, as those of the Rosary and the Holy Name, registered thousands of native converts amongst their members. Religious Orders also found Japan a genial soil, and houses were springing up in all parts - convents of the Friars of S. Dominic, S. Francis, and S. Augustine, and colleges of the sons of S. Ignatius. Everything seemed to foretell that before long Japan would be a Catholic nation.

What interrupted this happy prospect ? What instrument was employed by the evil spirit to stir up persecution against this Church, so young, yet of such fair promise ? In Japan, as elsewhere. Protestantism was the arch-enemy of Christianity. But for the Reformation there seems every reason to suppose that Japan would now be a Catholic empire, and that native bishops of Nagasaki and Yeddo would have sat in the General Council of the Vatican. Partly through commercial jealousy of the Spaniards, partly through fanatical religious hatred, the Dutch Protestants excited the emperor against the missionaries. The same spirit that caused the Dutch to torture the martyrs of Gorcum, the French Huguenots to throw forty Jesuit missionaries into the sea on their voyage to Brazil, care to make it a capital crime to say is the fact of these instigated the sectaries the true faith and remain. They succeeded, though for more than two have lived without priests, without excited and Sacrifice, without schools and perrsecutions threatened with the most terrible penalties, of the manifested their secret belief. This is purely supernatural, as much beyond hunman power as the raising of the dead to life, aiiy it reveals, in the clearest possible light, the Divine origin and life of the Catholic Church. All human agency is here removed, and we stand face to face with the direct work of God for His Church. A rapid glance over the Christian annals of Japan will enable the reader to estimate this fact more justly.

The first missions in Japan, begun by St Francis Xavier, were crowned with the most brilliant success. In spite of prejudice, hatred of foreign influence, love of ease, strong adherence to ancient.

In many points this persecution bears strong resemblance to that which raged in England after the Reformation. In Japan as in England political necessity was pleaded as a justification of measures which had for their object the extinction of the Catholic faith. From their insular position the Governments of both countries derived considerable assistance in their design, as it enabled them in great measure to enforce the law by which the entrance of missionaries was forbidden.

The heathen in the one country and the heretic in the other for many years employed fire and sword to extirpate the Christian faith. For a time the powers of darkness seemed to hold undisputed sway, and in England and Japan it was the boast of the Government to have purged their realms of all popish taint. But in neither country did the boast prove true. Catholics have remained in each, in spite of the efforts of their foes. But the difference between the two countries lay in this, that the Japanese, owing to their empire being remote and inaccessible to Europeans, were able more completely to exclude missionaries, and therefore we should have expected that very few Catholics would be found remaining. There never was a period when the Church in England was entirely without pastors. But for nearly two hundred years no priest said Mass in Japan. In England the Catholic faith had been for centuries the established religion, the whole nation had belonged to its communion, its traditions were firmly rooted in the oldest institutions of the country. In Japan the faith had never been more than a foreign intrusion preached by strangers, and involving a complete revolution of thought and action in any native who embraced its teaching. Yet in Japan, large numbers by God's grace have preserved their faith intact, and these Christians who have had no priest among tiiem for two centuries, are not only on their guard against idolatry, but are fully aware that there are spurious Christians, wolves in the clothing of sheep, who seek to disperse the fiock. They know also the test of the true faith. The French missionaries tell us that one of the questions they ask is the following :

" ' Your kingdom and that of Rome, are they of one mind ? '

" ' Have you been sent by the great Chief of the kingdom of Rome?' On receiving answers in the affirmative they seemed greatly pleased."

What is this but expressing in their simple way the same rule of faith as that given by the learning of S. Ambrose, Ubi Petrus, ibi EccUsia ?

The other points upon which they anxiously questioned the missionaries were as to their celibacy as priests, and the honour they paid to the Blessed Virgin. Having obtained satisfactory answers on these subjects, they joyfully recognized in M. Petitjean the successor of their ancient apostles.

The catechists or baptisers in the different Christian villages were examined by the missionaries, and it was ascertained that they had preserved the form of baptism with the utmost accuracy.

What explanation can be offered for this wonderful fact? Without the direct assistance of God, and the pleading of the martyrs' blood, it would have been impossible. It bears the strongest testimony to the truth of the Catholic Church, which can thus sustain its life, drawn from a Divine source, under circumstances that must crush any religion of human origin. No religion ever professed on earth can present a fact so astounding and so significant The veil must indeed be closely drawn over the eyes of those who do not recognize in this the finger of God. " By their fruits you shall know . them," is the touchstone given to us to discover the teachers of truth ; and in Japan the good seed scattered by the missionaries two centuries ago is still bearing ample fruit, in spite of the persevering efforts of the heathen to uproot it.

Traces of the different religious Orders which sent missionaries to Japan are still visible in the names of villages and of individual Christians. S. Francis Xavier and S. Clare are two of the Catholic settlements, and one of the most fervent catechists had received the name of Dominic.

A picture of the fifteen mysteries of the Rosary was held in great veneration, as tradition points it out as the property of the early missionaries, and it has been instrumental in keeping alive the faith in the events of our Lord's life.

Pius IX. with joyful thanksgiving for so wonderful an event established a feast, under the Utle of " The Finding of the Christians," which is celebrated in all the Catholic churches of Japan every year on March 17, the day on which in 1865 the hidden Christians manifested themselves. In 1866 the same Pontiff appointed Father Petitjean the first Vicar Apostolic of Japan. During the next year 1867 the new bishop erected a statue in honour of " Our Lady of Japan," and in the same year Pius IX. beatified two hundred and five of th^ Japanese martyrs, both European and native, as will be seen from the list of the Dominican martyrs at the end of this volume. .

Not yet however were the days of persecution for this much suffering and long enduring Church at an end. The cup of its sufferings had not been drained to the last bitter dregs. The newly discovered Christians were soon again under persecution for professing a religion still forbidden under pain of death, and they showed the same heroic spirit which had animated their martyred forefathers. The government, while allowing a church to be built in Yokohama, had shown its old hatred for the faith by stipulating that it must be used exclusively for the benefit of Europeans. When it was found that the Christian natives were in communication with the missionaries and refused to recognize the bonzes, an active persecution arose. In 1868 a fresh edict was displayed on the public notice boards which declared that *' The evil sect called Christian is strictly forbidden. Suspicious persons should be reported to the proper officers^ and rewards will be given/' Hundreds of Christians were dragged before the judges, interrogated as to their rdigion, and after boldly confessing their faith were thrown into prison and sent into exile. According to one account a body of Christians amounting to three hundred were condemned to death, and being taken out in a ship, were thrown into the deep sea.

From this date 1868, the very year in which Japan adopted in so wonderful a manner western ideas and manners, until 1873 when all persecution ceased, though the severity of the persecution could not be compared to the ancient one, still it was by no means merely nominal. According to trustworthy statistics many thousands of Christians were persecuted by imprisonment and exile, and many were so tortured that nearly two thousand gave their lives for the love of Christ

When the intelligence of this state of affairs reached Europe, it roused deep sympathy for the sufferers, and Pius IX. sent letters to encourage these Christian confessors to be valiant and to walk fearlessly in the footprints of their heroic forefathers. The Powers also remonstrated with the Japanese government, but for some time with no success, the answer being that the missionaries were disturbers of the public peace, and the Mikado seemed, in spite of his adoption of Western civilization in the material order, to be determined to follow the example of his ancestors, and to wage war to the death against Christianity. But a brighter day was near, and in 1873 ^^ Mikado, who had introduced constitutional government into the empire and had abolished the Shogunate, began to tolerate Christianity and released all who had lost their liberty for their faith, and at once the persecuted Church began to revive. Though there were only three missionary priests in i860, the number in 1891 had risen to eighty-two, and nuns of different Congregations had been introduced, and before long many natives joined their ranks and have been professed. '* The first native nun, at least in modern times, and also the first to die, was Agatha Kataoka Fuku, in religion Sister Margaret, the the sister and daughter of martyrs, who herself died quite young from the effects of the ill-usage she had endured as a child in gaol, when she saw her father perish under the blows of the executioner."

In 1891, by an apostolic Letter of June 15, Pope Leo XIIL created a hierarchy consisting of one archbishop with three suffragan sees for the empire of Japan. The capital city of Tokio, the residence of the Emperor, is the see of the archbishop; while the Bishop of Hakodate has charge of all north of the archdiocese including the " curious aboriginal race, the Ainas, of Yezo, the evangelization of whom was seriously taken in hand by Bishop Berlioz in 1893." '^^^ Bishop of Nagasaki has spiritual charge of a large part of south Japan, containing more than 31,674 Catholics; and the diocese of Osaka comprises what was formerly the vicariate of Central Japan.

In the first edition of this little volume are the words, " Protestant missionaries are unheard of in Japan," but the writer ventured then to foretell that directly the empire was in a safe condition and persecution had ceased, " we shall no doubt be informed, as was the case when Dr. Smith went to China, that the first herald of the Gospel has started for Japan." Since the Buddhist religion has been disestablished and all persecution has ceased, Japan has been invaded by Protestant missionaries of every sect. But times have changed, and feeling towards the Catholic Church has changed with them, for instead of ignoring or abusing the Catholic missions, Mr. Cobbold, the author of a short but interesting work called Religion in Japan speaks in high terms of the work past and present of the Catholic missionaries.

" Turning now/' he writes, " to the condition of Christian missions at the present day, it seems right to commence with those of the (Roman) Catholic Church. Not only has the (Roman) Catholic Church in Japan a history which extends over three hundred years, but it reckons at the present time considerably more than double the number of adherents claimed by any other Christian body. Its influence has been particularly successful in the Goto Islands, in the neighbourhood of Nagasaki, where the devoted labours of the missionaries have won over a considerable portion of the population." f In the appendix will be found some statistics of the Catholic missions at the present time.

Mr. Cobbold proceeds to speak of the work of the Catholic missionaries by saying that **it is commended on all sides ; a prominent feature in their methods being a consideration for and adaptation to the habits and prejudices of the people that greatly facilitate their progress, especially among the poor of the country districts."

The whole number of Catholics amounts at present to something over 45,000.

There are now missionaries of the Russian schismatic Church, who have erected a Cathedral in Tokio and number about 20,000; of the Protestant Church of England presided over by by an Anglican Bishop ; of the Protestant church of America, and of most of the Protestant nonconformist sects, among them *' American and Canadian Methodists, Baptists, Swiss Protestants, American Friends, Scandinavian Church and Unitarians, raising the sum total of Protestant sects of all denominations to about 34,000 according to their own statistics/'

These gentlemen of the various missionary societies are no doubt animated with the best intentions. It is a curious fact, however, to notice how courageously they have flocked to Japan now that ail persecution has ceased and everything is perfectly safe. None of them can boast of a single martyr. And what is the inevitable effect of their presence and their hopeless differences of "religious opinion" on the clever Japanese? Evidently it must make Christianity ridiculous and suggest the very simple retort: - Before coming so many thousand miles to teach us, you had better agree among yourselves as to what Christianity is and what you believe yourselves.

That this strikes intelligent Protestants themselves can be easily proved by one or two extracts from recent works on Japan.

Miss Bickersteth, the sister of the late Protestant missionary Bishop in the empire, writes on this subject as follows : " It was impossible not to be struck with the present complication of religious matters in the country as compared with the days of Xavier. Then, on the one side, there was the Buddhist-Shinto creed, undermined by no Western science, still powerful in its attraction for the popular mind, and presenting a more or less solid resistance to the foreign missionary ; and on the other hand, Christianity," as represented by Roman Catholicism, imperfect truly, but without a rival in dogma or ritual. Now the ranks of Buddhist-Shintoism are hope, lessly broken ; the superstition of its votaries is exposed by the strong light of modem science, and their enthusiasm too often quenched in the deeper darkness of Atheism. Christianity, though present in much greater force than in the days of Xavier, is, alas, not proportionally stronger. The divisions of Christendom are nowhere more evident than in its foreign missions to an intellectual people like the Japanese. The Greek, the Roman, the Anglican churches, the endless splits of Nonconformity must present to the Japanese mind a bewildering selection of possibilities in religious truth."

Bewildering indeed and likely to make Christianity a mockery to the heathen. " At the best," chimes in Mr. Cobbold, "so long as Romanists, Orthodox, Anglicans and Sectarians adhere to the positions they at present occupy, so long must any real unity of action be impossible ; neither can peace be sought by surrender or compromise of principle. But, meanwhile, there is of course a lamentable want of compactness among the converts. As a recent writer in the Japanese Mail remarked, ' they are more like scattered groups of soldiers than an army,' while the perplexity occasioned to those we are seeking to convince is terrible and great."

This then is one of the most formidable obstacles to the conversion of Japan, producing a " terribly great perplexity in the heathen mind, owing to the hopeless divisions among the teachers." Protestantism and the Protestant principle of private judgment is the cause of those divisions ; therefore Protestantism is, by the confession of its own friends, the greatest and most terrible obstacle to the spread of Christianity. In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries the Protestants helped the persecutors; in the nineteenth they form the most formidable obstacle to the work of the Catholic Church by making Christianity a byword for hopeless dissension and discord.

Another lamentable check to the conversion of Japan is the present indifference of the people to all religion. They are engrossed in the idea of material prosperity. The Buddhist religion has lost or is losing its hold upon their minds, and they desire to substitute no other in its place. Mgr. Cousin, the present Bishop of Nagasaki, complains in sad tones of " the evergrowing indifference of the population in regard to religious matters. This indifference is produced by books, newspapers, the official education, and the thirst for material well-being for which the extension of of commerce and relations with the outer world have opened up new resources."

Mr. Cobbold also complains of the same indifference, for in his Religion in Japan we learn on page 109 that ^*a dull apathy as regards religion has settled down on the educated classes of Japan. The gods of heathenism have crumbled to nothing before modern science and civilization, and the glimmer of light and truth to which they pointed has gone as well."

But the blood of such a noble army of martyrs that has been shed in Japan cannot have been poured out in vain. In spite of indiflference, in spite of Protestantism and all other obstacles, surely the truth will in the end prevail. For this must we pray. English Catholics especially should pray for the foreign missions, and make every sacrifice to help them, even if they can contribute only a mite to the good work. We are members of an immense colonial empire, on which the sun never sets. If our nation had retained the faith, that colossal empire would have been Catholic. But the history of foreign missions since the Reformation proves only too clearly that Protestantism has been one of the most fatal obstacles to the conversion of heathen nations. We shall therefore bring down the blessing of God on England by striving our utmost by fervent prayer and liberal alms to undo this work of evil, and to spread the faith in Japan and the other infidel nations.

It is earnestly to be hoped that before long the various Religious Orders that two hundred years ago furnished so many zealous apostles and heroic martyrs to the Japanese Church, may again be represented in the Empire, and that houses of Jesuits and Augustinians, Franciscans and Dominicans, may once more appear at Nagasaki and Tokio. The loud cry arising from the blood of so many martyrs now raised to the altars of the Church cannot remain unheard. With God's blessing the Confraternity of the Rosary will again number thousands of Japanese among its members, and Friars of S. Dominic will preach to the people, reminding them of the days they have heard of from their fathers, when Alphonsus Navarette and his companions carried the light of the true faith into Japan, and witnessed to its truth with their blood.

Appendix: The Present Condition Of The Church In Japan

If any of our readers desire a full and authentic account of the history of the Cathoh'c Cimrch in Japan, especially in recent times, they will find it in a book lately published in France. Its title is, La Religion de Jesus ressuscille au Japon dans la seconde moitie du siecle, par Francisque Marnas, missionaire apostolique, Vicaire General Honoraire du Diocese d'Osaka. (Paris: Delhomme et Briguet.) At the end of the second volume some interesting statistics will be found giving the state of the infant Church in 1895, and the progress made since i860. In those thirty-five years, in spite of every difficulty and with very slender means, much has, thank God, been accomplished. In i860 all that can be recorded is that there were in Japan a prefect apostolic and two missionaries. The first vicar apostolic from 1866 to 1884 was Bishop Petitjean, to whom the hidden Christians made themselves known in 1865. This wonderful event is described in full detail by M. Marnas. In 1880 there were two vicars apostolic and one auxiliary bishop, assisted by forty missionaries, twenty-seven nuns and thirty-eight catechists. The number of churches and chapels was eighty, and of schools and orphanages sixtyseven with 3,139 pupils, *the number of the faithful being 23,909.

The hierarchy was established in 1891. In 1895 there were an archbishop and three bishops. These prelates were then assisted by eighty-eight European missionaries, and twenty Japanese priests, and 304 catechists. The number of churches and chapels had risen to 169, the schools and orphanages to 70, containing 5,479 pupils, while the Catholic population amounted to 50,302. Besides this there was a seminary for the training of native priests with forty-six students. A leper hospital had been established in Tokio containing seventy patients, and three other hospitals besides fifty-nine other medical centres. There were also twenty-five religious called in French " Marianites.''

M. Marnas informs us (vol. II., p. 567) that the Trappist monks are going to form three establishments in Japan, and by this time they have probably begun their work. This is a special source of joy to any who have read of the magnificent work these monks have achieved in Africa. May their labours in Japan be crowned with a like success.

In 1895 numbers in the Protestant missions amounted by their own statistics to 39,419, but these were divided into thirty-four different sects !

M. Marnas asks on page 567 (vol. II.) the momentous question, of such interest to all who love God, " What future has the Catholic Church before her in this country, where such extraordinary changes have taken place in so short a time? Evidently we can only form conjectures. But if we consider what has happened in Japan during the last thirty years, in a religious point of view only, we are surely justified in hoping for a magnificent development for the true faith."

A French lady, who will not allow her name to be published, has built a fine church at Nagasaki on the site of the great martyrdom.