Painting of Our Lady From 1600s Survived Persecution of Church in Japan

UCANews: Japan’s prohibition of Christianity began in the early 1600s and raged on for centuries. A painting of the Virgin Mary which is thought to date from the earliest days of this punitive era has finally – after a long and winding journey – found its way back to Japan. In a ceremony last month at Nagasaki’s Nakamachi Church, Father Georges Colomb, Superior General of the Foreign Missions Society of Paris, presented the painting to Archbishop Mitsuaki Takami of Nagasaki. The painting, which measures about 42 by 60 cms, portrays the Virgin Mary with St Francis of Assisi and St Anthony of Padua below her, and St Clare of Assisi and two other holy women in the lower foreground.

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