"The blood of martyrs is the seed of Christians."
--Tertullian, 2nd century
"There is not in the whole history of the Church a single people who can offer to the admiration of the Christian world annals as glorious, a martyrology as lengthy, as those of the people of Japan"
--Catholic Encyclopedia online, entry on "Japanese Martyrs"
"I do not think there is any other nation living under its own laws and not subject to the king of Portugal as to which we may hope that the Christian religion will take root and remain firm and lasting. As far as I know, the Japanese nation is the single and only nation of them all which seems likely to preserve unshaken and forever the profession of Christian holiness if once it embraces it; but this will doubtless not be without great sufferings and heroic conflicts. . . . "
--Letter from St. Francis Xavier to St. Ignatius Loyola Jan. 29, 1552
Now, as St Leo remarks, on the glorious solemnity whose octave we are keeping [that of St. Laurence]. . . . no one is more wise than the martyr, no eloquence can instruct the people so well as his. It is by this excellent manner of teaching that, as the Church tells us today [and as it may say of Tecla Hashimoto as well], 'Laurence enlightened the whole world with the light of his fire, and by the flames which he endured he warmed the heart of all Christians. By the example of his martyrdom. faith is enkindled and devotion is fostered in our souls. The persecutor lays no hot coals for me, but he sets me on fire with desire of my Saviour.'"
--Dom Prosper Gueranger, The Liturgical Year, Vol. XIV, p. 326