6 February 2024: The 26 Martyrs of Nagasaki

Saint Paul Miki crucified – from Elogios by António Francisco Cardim, 1650
26 Martyrs monument on Nishi-zaka, Nagasaki, with Saint Luís Ibaraki in center (photo by William Underwood)

Four hundred twenty-seven years have passed since Toyotomi Hideyoshi, the Taikō of Japan, crucified the 26 Martyrs atop Nishi-zaka, the steep western slope of the mountain overlooking Nagasaki Bay. Although all of them experienced great suffering during their 27-day via crucis from Kyoto to Nagasaki, each one of them held in his heart the bright promise God gave them through Saint Paul in his first Epistle to the Corinthians:

But, as it is written: That eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither hath it entered into the heart of man, what things God hath prepared for them that love him. (1 Cor. 2:9)

Armed with Christian courage and patience throughout their ordeal, they won eternity—a prize they can now help us win with their intercessory prayers.

Here are links to some of my stories about them, with more stories of individual martyrs to come.

1) in the National Catholic Register:


2) in Crisis Magazine:


3) on my website:



Luke O’Hara