Bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki

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73 years ago Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombs were dropped. And our priest’s still said mass on the next Sunday in the bombed out Cathedral. The atomic bomb named “Fat Man” dropped from a B-29 into the heavily populated city of Nagasaki. The epicenter of the blast was the Urakami district, the heart and soul of Catholicism in Japan since the sixteenth century.

Another interesting fact is that four Jesuit priests stationed in Hiroshima at the Church of Our Lady of the Assumption, which was only blocks from the epicenter of the Hiroshima explosion, were spared when virtually everyone around them was killed. The miraculous nature of their preservation was widely explained as due to their solid devotion to the Blessed Mother, manifest by faithfulness to praying the Rosary.

During the dark days of 1945, when the people worried of being firebombed, school girls had been taught by the principal nun to sing, “Mary, my Mother, I offer myself to you.” Remarkably, after the bombing, though many of the Junshin girls were instantly killed, Nagai heard several reports of different groups of Junshin girls who had been working in factories, fields and other places, singing, “Mary, my Mother, I offer myself to you.” Many would be dead within days, but they were heard singing. Nagai now knew what he must say to the people:

“At midnight that night, our cathedral suddenly burst into flames and was consumed. At exactly the same time in the Imperial Palace, His Majesty the Emperor made known his sacred decision to end the war. On August 15, the Imperial Rescript, which put an end to the fighting, was formally promulgated, and the whole world saw the light of peace. August 15 is also the great feast of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary. It is significant, I believe, that the Urakami cathedral was dedicated to her. We must ask: was this convergence of events, the end of the war and the celebration of her feast day, merely coincidental, or was it the mysterious Providence of God?

The difference between the two cities of people is still noticeable today at the annual A-bomb anniversaries in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. One of the regular participants in 1985 expressed the difference in this way: “Hiroshima is bitter, noisy, highly political, leftist and anti-American. Its symbol would be a fist clenched in anger. Nagasaki, the Catholic influenced region, is sad, quiet, reflective, nonpolitical and prayerful. It does not blame the United States but rather laments the sinfulness of war, especially of nuclear war. Its symbol: hands joined in peace.”

SS. Donatus and Hilarinus

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SS. Donatus, Bishop of Arezzo in Tuscany, and Hilarinus, Martyrs

BEING illustrious for sanctity and miracles, as St. Gregory the Great assures us, he was apprehended by Quadratianus, the Augustalis, or imperial prefect of Tuscany, in the reign of Julian the Apostate. Refusing to adore the idols, he suffered many torments with invincible constancy, and at length finished his martyrdom by the sword in 361. His relics are enshrined in the cathedral of Arezzo. At the same time and place St. Hilarinus, a monk, received the like crown, being beaten to death with clubs. His relics were afterwards translated to Ostia. See the Martyrologies.

Rev. Alban Butler (1711–73). Volume VIII: August.
The Lives of the Saints. 1866.

St. Cejetan, God’s Champion Against the Lutheran Heresy

St. Cejetan, God’s Champion Against the Lutheran Heresy

After a brilliant course of study and taking the title of doctor at the university of Padua, St. Cajetan went to Rome: when he was twenty-five years of age. His intention was to lead a hidden life. But his virtues and talents were not slow to raise the veil under which he wished to lie concealed. Pope Julius II. desired to see him. Observing in him the marks of an eminent sanctity, he kept him at his court; and, in order to attach him thereto, appointed him protonotary–an important post. But the Lord had other views over His servant: these views were indicated by the very date of Cajetan’s birth. As we have said, it took place in 1480, three years before that of Luther. To the champion of error, the Lord had opposed a defender of truth.  Continue reading

St. Cajetan

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St. Cajetan, Founder of the Theatine Order

St. Cajetan, founder of the holy order, whose members are called Theatines, was born in 1487, at Vicenza, in Lombardy, of noble and pious parents. Immediately after his baptism, his mother consecrated him to the Blessed Virgin, humbly begging her to guard him and take his spiritual welfare under her motherly protection. His entire after life proved how effectual his mother’s prayers had been. He was never, even in his most tender years, like other children; his greatest pleasure consisted in praying, building small altars, giving alms to the poor, and being most perfect in his obedience to his parents. His whole conduct was such, that even in childhood, he was called a saint. He afterwards went to the University, and always made it his greatest care to preserve his innocence unspotted among so many temptations. Having received, at Padua, the degree of civil and canon laws, he repaired to Rome, where he was ordained priest, and preferred by Pope Julius II. to a high ecclesiastical position.  Continue reading