Vietnamese Martyrs

Yesterday November 24, the Church celebrated the Feast of the Vietnamese Martyrs.

The Vatican estimates the number of Vietnamese martyrs at between 130,000 and 300,000. John Paul II decided to canonize those whose names are known and unknown, giving them a single feast day. The Vietnamese Martyrs fall into several groupings, those of the Dominican and Jesuit missionary era of the 17th century, those killed in the politically inspired persecutions of the 19th century, and those martyred during the Communist purges of the 20th century. A representative sample of only 117 martyrs — including 96 Vietnamese, 11 Spanish Dominicans, and 10 French members of the Paris Foreign Missions Society (Missions Etrangères de Paris (MEP)) — were beatified on four separate occasions: 64 by Pope Leo XIII on May 27, 1900, eight by Pope Pius X on May 20, 1906, 20 by Pope Pius X on May 2, 1909, 25 by Pope Pius XII on April 29, 1951.[citation needed] All these 117 Vietnamese Martyrs were canonized on June 19, 1988. A young Vietnamese Martyr, Andrew Phú Yên, was beatified in March, 2000 by Pope John Paul II.

The tortures these individuals underwent are considered by the Vatican to be among the worst in the history of Christian martyrdom. The torturers hacked off limbs joint by joint, tore flesh with red hot tongs, and used drugs to enslave the minds of the victims. Christians at the time were branded on the face with the words “ta dao” (左道, lit. “Left (Sinister) religion”)and families and villages which subscribed to Christianity were obliterated.

Check out a great short video on the Vietnamese Matryrs put together by seminarians at St. Patrick’s Seminary in Menlo Park, CA.

History of the Vietnamese Martyrs

Here is another short video on the Vietnamese Martyrs by the Apostleship of Prayer

Vietnamese Martyrs and Cardinal Nguyen Van Thuan

 

 

Vietnamese Martyrs

Vietnamese Martyrs

 

St. Andrew Dung-Lac

St. Andrew Dung-Lac

 

Vietnamese Martyrs

Vietnamese Martyrs

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