D. at Nagasaki, Feb. 5, 1597
Peter Baptist and Twenty-five Companions , SAINTS, d. at Nagasaki, February 5, 1597. In 1593 while negotiations were pending between the Emperor of Japan and the Governor of the Philippine Islands, the latter sent Peter Baptist and several other Franciscans as his ambassadors to Japan. They were well received by the emperor, and were able to establish convents, schools, and hospitals, and effect many conversions. When on October 20, 1596, a Spanish vessel of war, the "San Felipe", was stranded on the isle of Tosa, it became, according to Japanese custom, the property of the emperor. The captain was foolish enough to extol the power of his king, and said that the missionaries had been sent to prepare for the conquest of the country. The emperor became furious, and on December 9, 1596, ordered the missionaries to be imprisoned. On February 5, 1597, six friars belonging to the First Order of St. Francis (Peter Baptist, Martin of the Ascension, Francis Blanco, priests; Philip of Jesus, cleric; Gonsalvo Garzia, Francis of St. Michael, lay brothers), three Japanese Jesuits (Paul Miki, John Goto, James Kisai) and seventeen native Franciscan Tertiaries were crucified. They were beatified September 14, 1627, by Urban VIII, and canonized June 8, 1862, by Pius IX.