Father Charles Spinola or Blessed Charles Spinola was born in Genoa in 1564, the son of the Count of Tassarolo, and the nephew of Cardinal Philip Spinola. He was educated in Spain and in the Jesuit school in Nola, Italy. He entered the noviatiate in 1584, and was ordained in 1594. In 1596, he received a letter appointing him to the missions in Japan. His journey was marked by shipwrecks and delays, which included captivity in England, and he reached his destination only in 1602, six years later. For twelve years, he worked at ministering to the growing Christian community in Japan. In 1614, all foreign missionaries were banished so Charles went into hiding, eluding capture for four years. After enduring four more years of captivity, he was burnt at the stake on September 10, 1622. Charles was declared Blessed in 1867, along with 30 other Jesuits, over half of whom were Japanese.

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