In a letter to Japanese CLC and Catholic friends, Fr. Hanafusa, S.J., Ecclesiastical Assistant of CLC in Japan, asked that everyone join in the Novena from March 17, the Memorial Day of the discovery of Japanese Catholics’ in Nagasaki, to March 25, the Feast of the Annunciation and the World CLC Day.As Jesuits and people around the world continue to pray for the victims of this disaster and for all those providing rescue, relief and support to those impacted by this crisis, a Japanese Jesuit has begun a novena for the people of Japan.
Following is Fr Hanafusa’s letter.
Dear Friends in the Lord,
I really appreciate your concern and prayer. Although the present situation is still tense and unpredictable, many suffering people are very calm and many people try to help them with all their strength. I can see many positive side of humanity. I got some consolation.
I asked many Japanese CLC members and Catholic friends to pray together. We start Novena today. If you are interested, please join us. Novena prayer from March 17 (the Memorial day of Japanese Catholics’ discovery in Nagasaki) to March 25 (the Feast of the Annunciation and the World CLC Day) with the following 3 Intentions:
1) The victims (550,000 people) may get sufficient support.
2) The deceased people (the number is more than 5,000. It has been getting bigger day by day) may have eternal peace in Heaven.
3) The radioactive leak may stop as soon as possible.
The contents of prayer is free: Rosary, Stations of the Cross, Meditation, whatever you can do. I suppose hundreds Catholics join this Novena prayer. Please join us. Even only one day or two days are O.K.
Let me explain about today’s memorial day. It is very special day for Japanese Christians. Almost 400 years ago the Japanese Government persecuted Japanese Catholics very severely and estimated 200,000 Catholics were martyred in heroic ways. They thought all Christians were terminated at that time but they continued to prohibit Christianity very strictly. After the old Government was ruined and new modern Government started about 150 years ago, many foreigners came to Japan. One Catholic priest came in order to take care of them. When he prayed in the chapel on March 17, several Japanese farmers entered the chapel. They asked 3 questions to that priest, “Do you venerate St. Mary, Our Mother?”, “Do you respect the Pope as a leader of the Church?”, “Are you single?”. He said, “Yes”. Then they said, “You and we have the same heart”. Japanese Christians appeared suddenly.
It was really big surprise that they kept their faith completely in secret one generation to the next for 250 years. Without any priest and the Holy Eucharist they baptized their kids, said Catholic prayers, celebrated Christmas and the Passover every year. They could survive as a group in spite of the severe suppression of the Government. That priest thought this is one of the Holy miracles in Catholic Church. This is the reason why we Japanese celebrate this miracle today. Yes. We Japanese never give up any difficulty.
+ God, our Father, You are the true ruler of this World. We praise your holy name. Please have mercy on the miserable people in Japan who suffer from Earthquake, Tsunami, and radioactive pollution. Lord, have mercy on us. Please give us peace, hope, and courage to overcome these difficulties. We totally trust in you. Though we are sinners, we cannot help but trust you. You are the only refuge and security. Please give courage and strength especially to those who are engaged in rescue and help directly. We believe you can help us. In the name of the Lord. Amen.
Ei-chan Hanafusa, S.J.
E.A. of Japan CLC