St. Andrew Dung-Lac and Companions
Today in the Church we lovingly remember Saint Andrew Dung-Lac and companions. Saint Andrew Dung-Lac and companions were martyred in the 19th century in Vietnam. Christianity was first brought to Vietnam by the Jesuits in 1615. From the 17th to the 19th century, some 130,000 Christians suffered cruel martyrdom. Included with the Vietnamese Catholics martyred were French and Spanish missionaries. Saint Andrew Dung-Lac's parents were Buddhist, but they allowed him to be brought up Catholic. Eventually, he became a Catechist and then he was ordained a priest when he was nearly 40 years old. Andrew worked in several parishes and the folks loved him. When he was arrested, members of his parish collected funds to bail him out of jail. In 1839 an edict was issued by the Vietnamese government to root out all Christians. Soon after that, Saint Andrew Dung-Lac and another Vietnamese priest, Fr. Peter Thi, were captured and then were executed in Hanoi. In 1988, along with the other martyrs of the time, he was canonized by Saint John Paul II. May God continue to bless and strengthen the Catholic Church in Vietnam.
You may recall our summer missionary appeal was the Catholic Church in Vietnam. Also, you may have noticed young men from Vietnam studying for the priesthood on our diocesan vocation poster. Over the summer I met one of them, Vincent, at Saint John Vianney. Vincent was living at the parish to improve his English. He’s doing a great job and is eager to share his culture. With that, I tried some of the spicy fish sauce they like to use on food. The sauce wasn’t bad. I thought it tasted like a spicy soy sauce. Saint Boniface in Cleveland has a large devoted Catholic Christian Vietnamese community. May God bless and strengthen them on this Saint Andrew Dung-Lac day. God bless and stay safe!
Fr. Steve Breck
Pastor, St. Mary Magdalene