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Kirishitan Women Testify Today from Japan’s Christian Century, 1549–1650

Rev. Haruko Nawata Ward, PhD, Professor of Church History at Columbia Theological Seminary, is leading a fascinating seminar this week at OMSC entitled: “Kirishitan Women Testify Today from Japan’s Christian Century, 1549–1650.” Here are some pictures of today’s session below (click the photo below to see slide show). 

This seminar introduces several Kirishitan women. These include Hibiya Monica, Blessed Hayashida Magdalena, Lady Hosokawa Tama Gracia, and Kiyohara Ito Maria. Most intriguing were women evangelists. Naitō Julia founded a society of active women catechists around 1600, who helped convert about 6,000 persons until 1614, when they were expelled from Japan. Julia’s community included Pak Marina and other Korean-born hostages of war. The community relocated to Manila. During the fierce period of persecution, numerous Kirishitan women became martyrs, of whom the Catholic Church has canonized two as saints and beatified a hundred fifty.

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