Martyrdom of Joram Macama, Fearless Warrior

March 11, 2021

Funai Castle, a 16th-century castle, located in Ōita city, Ōita Prefecture, Japan. It was built by Ōtomo Sōrin in 1562, who owned much of the surrounding Kyūshū island. . Photo by 663highland.

The persecution begun by the emperor in 1587 became about three years afterwards very sanguinary in the Christian kingdom of Bungo; and the first victory that I find described in Japan is that of a good old man of Funai, named Joram Macama. He was a soldier when he embraced Christianity, and afterwards converted his whole family; he subsequently  spent his time in instructing the pagans and aiding the faithful. The King of Bungo having apostatized, commanded three of his officers to put him to death. They went in search of him; but fearing the valor of which Joram had given proofs in war, they took with them by way of precaution an escort of one hundred men. Anticipating their arrival, Joram took leave of his wife and children, sent them to another place and remained alone in the house, preparing himself for death. He did not even wish to keep his sword near him, and the night in which he was to die he spent in prayer before the crucifix.

Towards midnight the soldiers approached the house to see whether he was armed. The saintly old man, perceiving them, told them that they had nothing to fear, because, far from fleeing from them, he was waiting for them. He then took a cross in his hand, placed a rosary around his neck, and having knelt down gave thanks to God for allowing him to die for his name, and even thanked the soldiers, because by the death-blow they were going to give him they would procure for him eternal happiness. Then having received three stabs in his breast, he presented his neck, and while pronouncing the names of Jesus and Mary three blows of the scimitar deprived him of life. The faithful hastened to take away his body and to bury it. This so enraged the king that he put to death the wife and children of the valiant martyr, as also many other Christians.

Rev. Eugene Grimm, ed. Victories of the Martyrs, vol. 9, The Complete Works of Saint Alphonsus de Ligouri (New York: Benzinger Brothers, 1888), 317–8.

Short Stories on Honor, Chivalry, and the World of Nobility—no. 768

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