“I Will Not Abjure the Faith to Marry a Princess—Not Even for the Whole World”

April 15, 2021

Kagoshima Castle, is a castle in Kagoshima, Japan. It had been the government office of Kagoshima Clan (Kagoshima Han) during the Edo period. Photo by Sakoppi.

During the persecution of which we have just spoken, a youth, who was a Christian, named James Sacoiama, and only fourteen years old, had gone with his mother to live in the kingdom of Saxuma. As he was of fine appearance and possessed much intelligence, the king grew very fond of him, and even thought of giving him as wife a princess of his family. One day the king communicated to him what he intended to do; but only on condition that the young man would renounce the Christian religion. The young man, who already held a situation at court, answered that he would not abjure his faith for the whole world. The king tried another method in order to seduce him: he sent to his mother four of his trusty servants, in the hope that she would influence her son to yield to the wishes of his prince. This virtuous woman courageously declared that she could not in conscience lend herself to carry out such a design. The king became so enraged at this that all were expecting a terrible revenge. The mother and the son thereupon retired the following night to the oratory, which they had in their own house, in the expectation of death. But the king fearing that his violence might displease the emperor, who at that time (1604) was yet favorable to the Christians, restrained himself for the present. It is not known what subsequently became of them.

Rev. Eugene Grimm, ed. Victories of the Martyrs, vol. 9, The Complete Works of Saint Alphonsus de Ligouri (New York: Benzinger Brothers, 1888), 336–7.

Short Stories on Honor, Chivalry, and the World of Nobility—no. 773

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