Mary, Fearless Noble Japanese Lady, Rebukes the Apostate King of Bungo

December 17, 2020

Ōtomo Sōrin, also known as Fujiwara no Yoshishige

The tyrant [apostate King of Bungo] by these first acts of cruelty inspired the Christians with great fear; when, however, they heard of the noble death of Joram and of other Christians [please link to the preceding story], especially of that of another Christian named Joachim, who had also been put to death by the king, instead of being intimidated they appeared publicly with the rosary around the neck, testifying thereby that far from fearing death they had a longing for it. A woman named Mary, to whom the king before his apostasy had made a present of a rosary, had the courage to wear it in the palace before his very eyes. The prince having asked the reason why she did so, she answered: “Sire, the presents of kings must be highly esteemed; it was Your Majesty who gave me this rosary, and I glory in wearing it.” The tyrant seeing the Christians so resolute, and fearing that a tumult might arise, was content for the present to conceal the hatred that he bore them, in order to revenge himself at a more favorable time.

Rev. Eugene Grimm, ed. Victories of the Martyrs, vol. 9, The Complete Works of Saint Alphonsus de Ligouri (New York: Benzinger Brothers, 1888), 318.

Short Stories on Honor, Chivalry, and the World of Nobility—no. 757

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