(16th to 19th centuries)
+ Through the missionary efforts of various religious communities, beginning in the sixteenth century and continuing until 1866, the Vietnamese people heard the message of the Gospel and may came to embrace the Faith despite severe persecutions and the thread of death.
+ In 1988, 117 people martyred during the eighteenth century were canonized. Among those honored were bishops, European and Vietnamese priests, and lay people from every walk of life.
+ Included in this group is the Vietnamese priest, Andrew Dung-Lac, who was one of a group of martyrs killed in 1839.
+ The memorial of these martyrs was extended to the Universal Church in 1989. They are honored as the patrons of Vietnam.
For prayer and reflection
“Our master bears the whole weight of the cross, leaving me only the tiniest, last bit. He is not a mere onlooker in my struggle, but a contestant and the victor and champion in the whole battle. Therefore upon his head is placed the crown of victory, and his members also share in his glory.”—From a letter by the martyr Saint Paul Le-Bao-Tinh
On this day we also remember Saint Chrysogonus, who was martyred in Aquileia, Italy, around the year 304. Although the details of his life have been lost (he is alternately presented in various traditions as a priest or as an official of the Roman Empire), Saint Chrysogonus is among the saints named in the Roman Canon (The First Eucharistic Prayer).
O God, source and origin of all fatherhood,
who kept the Martyrs Saint Andrew Dung-Lac and his companions
faithful to the Cross of your Son,
even to the shedding of their blood,
grant, through their intercession,
that, spreading your love among our brothers and sisters,
we may be your children both in name and in truth.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God, for ever and ever. Amen.
(from The Roman Missal)
Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.