(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 many came to embrace the Faith despite severe persecutions and the threat 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.
Also honored on November 24 is the priest and martyr Saint Chrysogonus. Although little is known of his life, his story is entwined with that of another early martyr, Saint Anastasia. Both saints were murdered during the persecution of the emperor Diocletian in the year 304 and are named in the Roman Canon (the First Eucharistic Prayer). Saint Anastasia is celebrated on December 25.
Although they go forth weeping,
carrying the seed to be sown,
They shall come back rejoicing,
carrying their sheaves. –Psalm 126:6
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,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
(from The Roman Missal)
Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.