Samurai who 'chose the path of non-violent resistance' may be Catholic saints

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According to Japanese Cardinal Stephen Fumio Hamao, a number of samurai warriors are among 188 mostly lay Japanese martyrs expected to be beatified in November. The samurai, despite their fierce reputation and fighting skills, chose the path of non-violence.

Cardinal Hamao...says he expects Pope Benedict XVI to soon approve beatification of the martyrs and that the ceremony will be held in Japan. Hamao, 77, played a central role at a meeting of 20 cardinals and archbishops at the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints to discuss the martyrs' cause, UCA News reported Wednesday.

The cardinal, the only Asian in the group, in appealing for beatification said "they were put to death not for political reasons, not because they were political opponents, but by reason of their Christian faith." He stressed that "though many were samurai and knew how to fight, they nevertheless chose the path of non-violent resistance, and that is also very significant for people today."

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