In 1549, Father Francis Xavier and two fellow Jesuit priests became the first missionaries to Japan, where most people belonged to the Buddhist religion. These three priests and the other Jesuits and Franciscans who joined them told people about Jesus and about 500,000 people became Christians. One of the new Christians was Saint Paul Miki, the son of a Japanese military leader. He became a priest, too. But 1n 1957, Christianity was banned. Saint Francis Xavier, Saint Paul Miki and 24 other Christians were martyred.
Even though the Japanese martyrs last their lives, they still brought the piece of Christ to Japan. 400 years after their death, their devotion to Jesus was celebrated with a big Mass shown on television nationwide. Today, use Origami, the Japanese art of paper folding, to make adove of peace in honor of these martyrs.