Fr. Momoy Borromeo
June 4, 2023
Takayama Ukon was a martyr of Christ who died on Philippine soil. He was one of the greatest men of his era. He was an able ruler (as Daimyo, or governor of Takatsuki and later of Akashi), a great general, an ingenious strategist, a master of the tea ceremony, a harmonious personality, and above all, an exemplary and saintly Christian. He was one of 300 Japanese who were banished from Nagasaki after refusing to renounce their faith as demanded by the shogun. He arrived in Manila in December 1614 and stayed in the Philippines for 44 days, cared for by Jesuits in Intramuros, before his death in 1615. His remains were buried at the San Ignacio Church in Intramuros, and this made him the only daimyō (great feudal lord) to be buried on Philippine soil.
Takayama’s cause for canonization was first submitted to the Vatican by the Manila Archdiocese in 1630, the first Catholic of heroic virtue to be proposed as a saint by Manila. Bypassing the prescribed second step – Venerable — Takayama was beatified on Feb. 7, 2017 in Osaka (the prefecture where Takayama was baptized) – as the 426th Japanese Martyr venerated in the Roman Catholic Church and the third Blessed of the Philippine Church. Then Archbishop Tagle, was invited to concelebrate Takayama’s beatification rites.
Cardinal Tagle delivered a homily in 2015, two years before Takayama was beatified, at the 400th Takayama Anniversary Mass in Kobe, Japan. He said that a “bridge of faith and martyrdom” inextricably links Ukon Takayama with San Lorenzo Ruiz (1600-1637), a Filipino protomartyr who was martyred in Nagasaki in 1637. “Martyrdom is the deepest link between our two churches,” said Cardinal Tagle.
Join a Japan pilgrimage “In the footsteps of Blessed Takayama Ukon” with Fr. Momoy Borromeo on June 4-9, 2023.
Your pilgrimage begins in Takatsuki, where Ukon became the lord of Takatsuki Castle at the age of 21. As a feudal lord, he ruled his land successfully. The population of the town then was about 25,000, and it is said that more than 70% were Christians. However, later on, Ukon renounced his status as daimyo, or governor of Takatsuki, for his faith. See the Higashi Otemon Gate, the most important outermost main entrance to Takatsuki Castle as it was in the Edo era. Visit the Takayama Ukon Takatsuki Tenshu Church, site of the theological school Ukon and his father, Tomoteru Takayama, built in 1574. It was the first center of Christian evangelism. A Christian cemetery has also been found here. Head for the Shiroato Park, built on the ruins of the castle, where Ukon’s bronze statue stands. Proceed to the nearby Shiroato History Museum where you will also find a rosary of Ukon and some reference materials about him. See Takatsuki Catholic Church, built in 1962, where stands a statue of Ukon made of Italian marble, presented to the church by the Claretians.
Depart for Kyoto for lunch. En route, pass by Takayama Village located in Toyono-cho Osaka Perfecture, birthplace of Blessed Justo Ukon Takayama (1552-1615). After lunch, transfer to the Kyoto Train Station for your Thunderbird Express train ride to Kanazawa where Takayama lived for three decades. Begin the day with a visit to the Kanazawa Catholic Church, which enshrines a relic of Blessed Takayama. Explore the Kanazawa Castle, built with the assistance of Takayama Ukon, a master castle builder during his time. Enjoy the city’s other famous sights such as the grand Kenrokuen Gardens (one of Japan’s three most beautiful landscape gardens) and Gallery Justo, a museum dedicated to Takayama Ukon tracing his fascinating life story. Walk through the ancient Samurai District, where visitors can imagine the days of Takayama strolling through quiet paved streets and admiring ancient homes.
Make a day trip to Toyoma to visit the Takaoka Castle ruins and the Takaoka Castle Park. The former castle stood for a few years during the Edo Period. The design of the castle was done by Takayama Ukon. Nowadays, the castle park boasts wide lawns, lush wooded areas with walking trails, and over a thousand cherry trees, which make the park a popular hanami spot.
Head further north to Wakura Onsen, a perfect off-the-beaten-path experience, and get to know the quiet streets of Wakura and the communities that surround it. While visiting the Takaoka region, guests can learn about the Kakure Kirishitan—Japan’s hidden Christians who were forced to flee when the religion was banned in the late 16th century. Strict persecution and frequent executions forced them into extreme hiding, similar to that of the islands of Nagasaki, until freedom of religion was restored following the Meiji Restoration.
Cap off your pilgrimage in the beautiful city of Osaka. Visit the Umeda Sky Building; drive through Shinsekai and Minami districts; visit the Osaka Castle; St. Mary’s Cathedral; and Shinsaibashi-Suji.
Join a Japan pilgrimage “In the footsteps of Blessed Takayama Ukon” (a martyr of Christ who died on Philippine soil) with Fr. Momoy Borromeo on June 4-9, 2023. Be inspired by the life of Blessed Justo Takayama Ukon, a man who chose to live and die for Christ.
The whole pilgrimage is a new and fulfilling moment in my life. It’s a nice feeling being with the Lord in His important day. And also, gaining new friends and becoming my new extended family is something I will treasure. I hope that this is just the beginning and we’ll continue to get in touch with one another despite the distance.Brenda
It was indeed a wonderful Pilgrimage: very rich in history, a thanksgiving of blessings, a spiritual renewal and nourishment, and finally ending in a test of Faith.
Thank you so much Pilgrim Leader, Ging Igual, for standing beside us up to the last stretch of our 13-day journey - more particularly in the handling of an unexpected situation (cancelled flight in Mexico and re-direction of flights to make sure the 38 Pilgrims reach LA for their respective flight bookings). Ging, you were an angel to us so blessed with energy, passion, love and Milagrosa. We really felt the presence of Our Lady of Guadalupe fielding angels every step of the way.
The Pilgrimage to California Mission Churches and Our Lady of Guadalupe gives me personal inspiration for the work and activities of the next chapter of my lifetime: farming with promotion of agriculture for millennials (inspired by the scenic view of farms in California), tourism (which is a major industry in all places we visited), and support for a favourite major seminary in Tagaytay and a scholarship fund for deserving individuals (thru a non stock non profit institution).
Thank you to my Co-Pilgrims and prayer partners for the prayer support, sharing of life experiences and friendships; Fr. Tony, thank you for your spiritual reflections and service; Fr. Jerry Orbos for an overflowing spiritual reflections and enabling us to have the needed personal encounter with Jesus and Mama Mary (it was like a 12-day Holy Retreat); and the Executive Resources for making a very nice pilgrimage package a part of our lifetime.Ms. Emma
Lord, we cannot find words enough to say how grateful we are to You. Our pilgrimage made us realize that Your love for us is more than what we deserve.
To all our co-pilgrims, thank you for making us feel we belong to this new family. To Fr. Dante, thanks for your prayers and pieces of advice for our spiritual nourishment. To Sis Lea, for taking care of each one of us. To Sis Joy, thanks for the contagious joys and laughters.
To our prayer partners, Sis Maribel, Melvy and Didick and Bro Mon and Sis Jot, thank you for your prayers. We will pray for you, too!
To The Pilgrim’s Center - Executive Resources, thank you for accommodating us in this Eastern Europe Pilgrimage.
God bless us all always!Albert and Adee
Dear Pilgrims' Center:
My husband Aldo & I would like to praise & commend our Pilgrim Chaplain Fr. Dante Venus & our Tour Leader Bro. Monty for the very successful & memorable pilgrimage to Italy & the Holy Land we were very fortunate to join on March 26-April 8, 2018.
It was very hectic to be sure, but still they managed our time very well that we were able to visit more places than was promised in the itinerary, and we are very appreciative of that. Likewise, the solemnity of the whole pilgrimage experience was still observed despite many of us in the group, myself included, often forgetting that we were pilgrims & not tourists 😉😉, taking photos, selfies, etc. instead of, or before focusing on what the local guide was explaining or on the scripture readings. I cannot fault us pilgrims on this because for many of us seniors, and I speak for my husband & I, that trip might be our first & last time to visit those places, so we made sure they were properly documented. Nonetheless, it was a truly spiritually uplifting & life-changing experience for us. We continue to thank our Lord for making that experience of a lifetime possible. Indeed, nothing is impossible for God! Thank you very much to Fr. Dante, Bro. Monty & to each of us pilgrims in the group for the prayers, love, care & concern shown to each other. Let us continue to pray for and with each other. It is my hope that we meet each other again soon, to strengthen our bonds of friendships.
Most sincerely, Leclec CabusoraLeclec Cabusora
My husband and I just came back from a wonderful trip to Israel - with Franciscan Fr Reu Galoy. Thank you Pilgrim Center for the arrangements. We are so happy and satisfied with all that you have done for us. Kudos to Yanyan and Monty from Pilgrim Center, and Fr Reu and Ronin for your caring services. It was a spiritual journey and we felt the abiding presence of the Lord all throughout.Ann Arguelles Cortes
Our pilgrimage was worth all the hardships (I was having leg pains). We had an excellent leader in the person of Adrian, two priests Fathers Val and Ron, who gave us very nice pieces of advice and homilies, and of course the members of the group who were all very nice. Looking forward to join another pilgrimage.Emily Bautista
It was the most profound experience I had in my whole life....Walking with the Footsteps where Jesus walked made my life more grateful and humble....My faith become stronger as I express it...A growing faith is a sharing faith....TO GOD BE THE GLORY!!! SHALOM!Carmen Nierra
Vir & I would like to express our gratitude for a wonderful pilgrimage we had from Sept 5-18. From checking-in last Sept 5 & all during the tour, we felt the care from a family. No words can ever describe how thankful we are.
I almost cried last Sept 8, (my birthday) when we (2 of us have the same birthday) were given a surprise mini celebration when after our dinner, we were given a cake. I really felt the love of a family then.
All these things made possible because of your capable coordinator Ms. Ging Igual. She's such a wonderful leader. Kudos to her.
Rest assured that i will refer your company to all my friends who are planning to go on pilgrimage .
Good day & may God always guide & protect all of you in the Pilgrims' Center/ Executive Resources, Inc.Cora and Vir Franca
I am honored to be included in this pilgrimage. The Pilgrims' Center has very good itineraries worth remembering. No hours wasted. They took very good care of us in spite of our big number of 47 people. The daily mass and homilies of Fr. Manny Cruz held in different shrines and churches were very inspirational and transforming. Accommodations were nice most especially the one on top of the Mountain with an awesome view built in 1909. It's like travelling back in time. I definitely would want to do it again with Pilgrim Center.Peter Joseph Mapua
The Pilgrims' Center always gives you the best. They let you feel like an Executive in terms of personal service & attention especially during pilgrimage. Their choices of pilgrimages and pilgrim chaplains are outstanding. You go back home very fulfilled and immersed...Marlene Silvestre
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1) A non-refundable US$ 300.00 deposit is required upon reservations together with a photocopy of a passport (valid for 6 months from date of departure) and Pilgrim’s Profile plus the visa fee.
2) Full payment in U.S. dollars is required before ticketing but in no case shall it be later than thirty (30) days before departure date.
3) The following cancellation charges will apply:
> 45 days before departure date – US$ 500.00
> 30 days before departure date – 50% of the Tour Cost
> 20 days prior to departure date – Full tour cost will be forfeited.
> Admin fee US$200.00 for any visa denial.
BASIC TOUR COST DOES NOT INCLUDE: Philippine Travel Tax PHP 1,620.00, airport taxes, visa fees and documentation expenses, insurance, hospitalization and other medical expenses, tours and transportation during free periods, porterage of extra pieces of luggage in excess of maximum allocation (23 kgs), drinks, and beverages taken during meals, items of personal nature such as laundry, telephone, fax, room service, and other expenses not mentioned in the itinerary terms and conditions.
EXECUTIVE RESOURCES, INC. has arranged for the various tour services to be performed under the responsibility of various contractors. Executive Resources, Inc., its employees or its subagents therefore only act as agents for the contractors providing the various services described in the tour and accept no responsibility or liability in connection with losses or accidental expenses due to delays of schedule, overbooking, defaults or “force majeure.” All tours and arrangements are subject to the general conditions specified by each contractor. Tour itineraries and prices are subject to change without prior notice. When making a tour booking, the passenger acknowledges and accepts the foregoing conditions.
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