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The Third Konko-Sama

The Reverend Setsutane Konko

The third-generation Konko-Sama was born on August 5, 1880 as the eldest son of Konko Shijin-Sama, the second generation Konko-Sama. He was named Setsutane Kiyomasa Konko. At the tender age of thirteen his father died, leaving these final words, "Please use Setsutane. He is old enough to serve in the Main Worship Hall." Since then, the third Konko-Sama had devotedly served as Mediator for seventy straight years, until his passing at age eighty-three.

On a daily basis the third Konko-Sama would go to the Worship Hall before dawn, sit continuously at the Mediation Place all day and return home in the evening. He slept a brief three hours per night and ate only two meals a day. Although this became a permanent lifestyle, he maintained good health and a youthful complexion.

It has been said that the third Konko-Sama often told others, "Every day is a new day." When a minister went to greet Konko-Sama at his residence, prior to Konko-Sama's departure in the morning for the Main Worship Hall, Konko-Sama stated, "Though I have served for many years, I should remain diligent in my efforts, because every day is a new day, isn't it?" Upon hearing Konko-Sama's words, the minister was left deeply awestruck and full of reverence.

When the third Konko-Sama turned fifty-five, ministers throughout Konkokyo proposed to collect donations to express their appreciation for his forty-years of Service. Hearing of this, Konko-Sama was said to decline and requested, "Please stop this plan. Though my length of service is long, I have achieved little. It is enough for you to express appreciation to Kami-Sama." In response to Konko-Sama's humbleness, these ministers shed tears of gratitude. They were well aware that Konko-Sama had saved countless people. His virtue highly impressed them. They established a Faith Training Society, Onrei Shingyo Kai in appreciation to Konko-Sama. All ministers emulated Konko-Sama and served at their respective Mediation Place.

One day the third Konko-Sama instructed a minister who happened to take care of a church during the head minister's absence, as follows: "It is beyond man's power to know how the Universe works. Patience is the most important for faith. The Founder dispelled desires and accepted Kami's request. Shijin-Sama, following the Founder, sat at the Mediation Place day and night dispelling all desires for ten years, and then he died at an early age. I succeeded him and began to sit because I was told to just sit, although I knew nothing. At first, serving was so difficult and painful that I often cried. Keeping my father's teachings in mind, I kept sitting at the Mediation Place, tearful and patient. Before I realized it, thoughts and desires faded away. I tried hard to be grateful, yet no matter how many times I expressed my gratitude it was not enough. I apologized to Kami-Sama for my limited ability to express appreciation for Kami-Sama's blessings. I felt unworthy."

Having sat patiently at the Mediation Place since age thirteen, the third Konko-Sama faithfully practiced the Way of Ikigami Konko Daijin's Sacred Mediation initiated by his grandfather, the Founder, and succeeded his father Konko Shijin-Sama. The third Konko-Sama gradually came to be revered as "a Living Kami in the present generation."

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