Saint Thomas Tzugi, also known as Thomas Tsujii, was a Japanese martyr who lived during the Tokugawa period. He is venerated as a saint by the Catholic Church and is the patron saint of Japanese Catholics.
Thomas Tzugi was born in Nagasaki, Japan in 1572, during a time when Christianity was outlawed in the country. Despite the danger, he became a Catholic at a young age and was known for his piety and devotion to the faith. He was educated by the Jesuits whom he joined in 1589. Thomas was known to disguise himself as a merchant and knocked door to door, as he was secretly spreading Christianity. Unlike the European Jesuits who could only do ministry in the night, Thomas went about constantly, sometimes dressed like a gentleman, sometimes like an artisan. Eventually, he was caught, arrested and imprisoned for his beliefs along with his wife and two children.
While in prison, Saint Thomas Tzugi was subjected to torture and refused to renounce his faith. He was burned to death at the stake around 1627 in Nagasaki, Japan, and was canonized as a saint by Pope Pius IX on June 8, 1862, along with 25 other Japanese martyrs. His feast day is celebrated on September 6th each year.
Saint Thomas Tzugi's story is a testament to the strength of faith and the power of perseverance in the face of persecution. His life and martyrdom continue to inspire Catholics around the world, particularly in Japan where his legacy is celebrated.
Saint Thomas Tzugi is an important figure in the history of Japanese Catholicism and a symbol of hope and courage for Catholics around the world. His legacy serves as a reminder of the power of faith and the sacrifices that have been made in the name of Catholicism throughout history.