August 9th, 1945
Mugenzai No Sono and the days after the atom bomb in Nagasaki
In the hill-country of Nagasaki, safely outside the initial devastation of the atomic bomb sits Mugenzai No Sono. The Franciscan Monastery was founded by Saint Maximilian Kolbe and is known by Catholics as the Garden of the Immaculata.
Inspired by the Lourdes-like grotto on the site Kolbe chose to found his monastery in the green hillside of Nagasaki. The Polish priest returned to Europe before the outbreak of World War II and ultimately died in a concentration camp at the hands of the Nazi regime.
His legacy lives on in Nagasaki, however. The monastery’s location made it an ideal place to shelter survivors from the fallout of the atomic bomb, and as a result, many lives were saved in the days after the bomb.
Nagasaki’s tourism industry is built around and interwoven with Catholicism. A decidedly Catholic place, Nagasaki is home to the memorial of the Twenty-Six Martyrs of Japan, the Franciscan Monastery of Mugenzai No Sono, and several beautiful churches. It’s a breathtaking place filled with charming people who have lost so much and yet care greatly for others.
The Atomic Bombing of Nagasaki
We must never forget
2020 marks the 75th anniversary of the A-bomb. As a Catholic, Nagasaki holds a special place in my heart. As a member of humanity, it stands as a reminder of both our resilience and our capacity for evil. May we never forget what happened there and may we never repeat the tragedies that occurred during the bombings of Nagasaki and Hiroshima.
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