Saints of the Society of Jesus: Blessed Leonard Chimuka

14 March; Martyr

The Blessed Leonard Chimura was a laybrother, which rank in religion he chose from humility. He was of the same name and family as the first convert baptized in Japan by Saint Francis Xavier. Being asked by his judge why he remained in Japan contrary to the decree of banishment of his Order, he replied, “To preach the Gospel of Christ.”

In prison he converted a great number of persons, with whom he led a life of strict religious discipline, as if they were in a monastery. He was seen at the stake, when the fire had consumed his bonds, covering his head with the burning embers as with flowers; and singing aloud the Laudate Dominum, he passed triumphantly into heaven.