Dated at Manila, on the third of August, 1634.
Fray Hernando, archbishop of Manila.
NEWS FROM FELIPINAS, JAPON, AND OTHER PARTS
By the last express the following news arrived in a letter which came from Manila, dated August 20, 634: “Father Manuel Cuello writes that he is in Camboja in disguise, in order to pass on to Japon, where the persecution is so bloody that it is publicly cried that five hundred pesos will be given to any person who makes known the whereabouts of any priest. In this way during four months sixteen of our fathers have been arrested, besides the brothers and dogicos who are being seized every day. While they were awaiting death, it happened that the emperor was bedridden, suffering with the leprosy for a long time; and he could find no remedy in his medicines, nor in the sacrifices to his idols. He heard many loud cries and wails in the garden, and commanded his people to learn what it was. When they came back, they said that the sounds proceeded from a large bamboo, a plant which is very plentiful in that country. They opened it and found within a cross, red as if dipped in blood, which caused them great wonder. They took it to the emperor, who was much more astounded because the day before he had seen a very brilliant cross in the air, although he had told no one of it; but, when this portent was found in his garden, he had his soothsayers called in to tell him what it meant. Some of them said one thing and some another; but the chief of them said that these crosses were from the fathers who, although blameless, had been put to death for teaching the veneration of the cross. This explanation was confirmed by a bonze, one of his favorites, who added that he believed that the leprosy which he suffered was owing to his having slain so many innocent people. When the emperor asked him [what he meant], he added: ’The fathers and Christians whom your Majesty ordered to be killed at Nangasaqui. I believe that your Majesty has already seen that with all our efforts we cannot cure you; and you should call upon the bonzes of Nanbamcas (as they call our fathers) and perhaps they may be able to grant and perform this miracle, as they do others.’