120 — Maximilian Kolbe in Japan — Kevin Doak

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By Thomas V. Mirus (bio – articles – email) | November 18, 2021 | In the Catholic Culture Podcast

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As unlikely as it may sound, Catholic fiction has some appeal in Japanese literature. Sono Ayako, one of Japan’s most famous novelists, wrote a novel about Saint Maximilian Kolbe titled Miracle, which has just been translated into English.

Miracle is a semi-autobiographical account of the author’s personal investigation into Vatican-approved miracles for the canonization of Kolbe. Her ambivalence towards his Catholic faith is called into question as she traces Kolbe’s stages from his childhood to his self-sacrifice at Auschwitz, his time in Japan lying in between as the ascetic melting pot that made him a saint.

Ayako writes: “Before he died, this priest threw a difficult question like a red-hot iron bar at the withered soul of modern man. The question was, “What does it mean for us to love each other?” “

Translator Kevin Doak joins the show to discuss Miracle, Catholic fiction in Japan (which extends far beyond that of Endo Silence), and … from Endo Silence.

Connections

Miracle https://www.wisebloodbooks.com/store/p114/miracles-sono-ayako.html

Kevin Doak, “Beyond Endo: The Hidden Renaissance of Japanese Catholic Novelists” https://benedictinstitute.org/2019/07/beyond-endo/

Musical theme: “Franciscan Eyes”, written and performed by Thomas Mirus.

Thomas V. Mirus is a pianist living in New York. He is the Podcast Director for CatholicCulture.org, hosts the Catholic Culture Podcast, and co-hosts Criteria: The Catholic Film Podcast. See the full biography.

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