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Saint of the Day

Martyrs of Vietnam

November 24
Between the arrival of the first Portuguese missionary in 1533, through the Dominicans and then the Jesuit missions of the 17th century, the politically inspired persecutions of the 19th century, and the Communist-led terrors of the twentieth, there have been many thousands of Catholics and other Christians murdered for their faith in Vietnam. Some were priests, some nuns or brothers, some lay people; some were foreign missionaries, but most were native Vietnamese killed by their own government and countrymen.

Record keeping being what it was, and because the government did not care to keep track of the people it murdered, we have no information on the vast bulk of the victims. In 1988, Pope John Paul II recognized over a hundred of them, including some whose Causes we do have, and in commemoration of those we do not. They are collectively known as the Martyrs of Vietnam (or Tonkin or Annam or the other older names of that country).

O Vietnamese Martyrs, with the Grace of God, you had victoriously implanted the mustard seed of Faith that grew into the Church of Vietnam. Your courageous sacrifice had reserved your Heavenly rest. United with you, we offer our gratitude and thanks to God and the Holy Mother, for all of your martyrdom and your lives that we now celebrate.

We beseech you, as your descendants, to follow your Faith in humility, charity and love. When we are in despair and danger, please aid and console us in fulfilling the Father's Will and carry our crosses to Eternal Glory. Amen.

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