About Us I made it for the proof of the Faith.
I am Francis Tetsuya Kobayashi, a parishioner of the Tokorozawa Catholic Church in Saitama Prefecture
which is located in eastern Japan. I am a bachelor aged 42.
It has been more than 15 years since I stayed with gest house of Seitai Hoshikai for pilgrims in Akita Prefecture,
northeastern Japan, the site of the miracle of our Lady of Akita.
I stayed with them for one year, keep and reclaim the garden and serving the pilgrims.
After that, I joined the order of the Trappists but later left this order in light of unfortunate circumstances
related to seminary and family affairs.
I began my new life as a businessman, at the same time joining the Catholic Charismatic Renewal from 1998
and became part of a Sunday prayer group at SophiaUniversity in Yotsuya for four years.
It was indeed a fulfilling experience in which I seemed to have felt and been inspired by God's Wisdom.
During the one year I was with the Seitai Hoshikai nuns, I tried to find peace within myself.
I was not exactly a Marian devotee at the time, but during that period, I felt myself overwhelmed by God's mercy
and holiness. At present, I have my own office where I have become engaged in various businesses.
Having been inspired by the Akita miracle, I have always been thinking on what I could do to help spread the word
about it. I have not personally witnessed the miracle but I believe the miracle because of the stories of the other faithful.
I was especially reminded of the Miracle of Akita after watching the U.S. movie ''The Passion of the Christ'' which was released
in Japan last year. I feel very proud that this movie was produced by actor Mel Gibson, an avowed Catholic, and that the leading
role was likewise a devout Catholic. No major Hollywood producer was involved here; Mel Gibson made the production by shelling
out 3 billion yen from his own pocket.
I see the movie as an excellent produce which very much recreates Jesus Christ's Way of the Cross.
At the end of this film is this scene in which Mother Mary looks straight, as if looking straight through the audience and probing
into their hearts. I felt struck by this and was suddenly inspired by the true meaning of the miracle of Our Lady of Akita.
After the movie concluded with the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, I left the theater overwhelmed with emotions and gratitude toward
Jesus and Mary for what they did for the world's salvation.I was eating lunch alone at the time, but I remember how much I enjoyed it
as I kept my thoughts focused on that.
If Gibson was able to use his money for this end, I thought I should do something as well, even if I did not have as much assets,
and decided to embark on my long-cherished dream of creating a medal for Our lady of Akita.
I reread the episodes of Akita miracle and contemplated on it, with this renewedfeeling of inspiration on a certain aspect --the tears of
Our Lady of Akita. It is said that Mother Mary's tears are to wash away the insult and desecration against the ''new life'' which had been
gained from by Jesus' ultimate sacrifice -- something which seems to be forgotten by the world. Would not Mary cry over this?
She witnessed the suffering of her beloved Son for the redemption of mankind, and yet the world seems to have forgotten all of her
It was through this redemption that the world was made new and a ''new life'' was created for humanity.
With all these things in mind, I have decided to name my office''101 New Life Network.''
As for the medal, I designed it and asked a medal craftsman in Tokyo to do it and showed a sample of it in the form of an Italian medal
but was told that he was not sure if he could do it because of the precision that such work entails.
Add to that that there is apparently only a handful of people in Japan who are capable of undertaking this kind of work.
But the craftsman still decided to take charge of it and really put his soul in it. The first batch of medal was successfully produced on Sep 2004.