FEAST OF SAINT ANDREW DUNG-LAC AND COMPANIONS
FEAST DAY – 24th NOVEMBER
On June 19, 1988, Pope John Paul II canonized 117 martyrs who suffered death for their Roman Catholic Faith in Vietnam. The group had 96 Vietnamese, 11 Spanish, and 10 Frenchmen. Eight of them were bishops, 50 were priests and 59 were lay Catholics. Among the priests were Dominicans, and Diocesan priests who belonged to the Paris Mission Society. One of the Diocesan priests was St. Theophane Venard.
These martyrs surrendered their lives not just for the Church but also for their country. They showed that they wanted to spread the gospel of Christ to secure the faith in their people and thus serve the people of their homeland. On June 1, 1989, these holy martyrs were included in the liturgical calendar and that of the Universal Church on November 24th.
The Vietnamese Church saw the most terrible persecution , in the long history of Christian martyrdom. Their memorial is November 24.
Andrew Dung-Lac, a Catholic convert who was ordained to the priesthood, was one of the 117 people martyred in Vietnam between 1820 and 1862. Members of the companions group gave their lives for Christ in the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries, and were beatifiied during four different occasions between 1900 and 1951. All were canonized during the papacy of Saint John Paul II.
Christianity was introduced in Vietnam by the Portuguese. Jesuits opened the first mission at Da Nang in 1615, which became permanent. They ministered to Japanese Catholics who had been driven from Japan. St. Andrew Dung-Lac, the representative of this group, was a Vietnamese Diocesan priest. He came from a poor, non-Christian family and was taught by a Christian lay catechist.
He worked with the missionary priests of the Foreign Mission Society of Paris. He suffered imprisonment and bore repeated torture during the persecutions of Minh-Meng, the emperor of Vietnam between 1820 and 1840. Minh-Meng was notorious for his persecutions of Christians. Along with the several Vietnamese and international martyrs who died along with Andrew Dung-Lac was Saint Peter Thi.
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, that through their intercession, we might spread your love among our brethren, and be your children both in name and in truth.
We lay this petition, humbly and fervently on your altar, 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
St Andrew Dung-Lac and Companions, pray for us.