To their amazement, they were visited one day by a Japanese man who was a Christian and who asked the priests three questions: whether they venerated Mary the Mother of God, whether they were married, and whether they followed the pope in Rome. When the answers proved satisfactory, a whole community of "hidden Christians" began with great joy to practice their faith openly.
I love the 3 questions. The Japanese Catholic community stayed faithful to church teaching, while in hiding, in persecution, for all those decades. Something our churches in the US could take a lesson from (and it seems our Pope is aware of this!).
“Kakure Kirishitans” or the “Hidden Christians” survived without priests for over 200 hundred years, seven generations, and passed on “orashayo”.
They celebrated Chistmas Eve with rice and sake for the Eucharist, they venerated Mary, the Mother of God, and baptised their children. All under threat of death.
A truly amazing story.