Universalis
Monday 24 November 2014    (other days)
Saints Andrew Dũng-Lạc and his Companions, Martyrs
 (Monday after the Twenty-third Sunday after Trinity)

The Lord is the king of martyrs: come, let us adore him

Year: A(II). Psalm week: 2.

Saints Andrew Dũng-Lạc and his Companions
The evangelization of Vietnam began in the 16th century and was formally established with the setting up of two Vicariates Apostolic in 1659. There are now about 6 million Catholics in Vietnam, some 10% of the population.
  This growth comes partly from the fact that since the earliest times the seed of the Faith has been watered by the blood of the martyrs of Vietnam – the missionary clergy, the local clergy and the ordinary Christian people. They have all shared the labour of apostolic work and have together faced death to bear witness to the truth of the Gospel. In the course of the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries no less than 53 decrees, signed by the lords and emperors of the country from 1625 to 1886, launched one persecution of Christians after another, each one more savage than the last. Over the whole territory of Vietnam about 130,000 Christians were killed in these persecutions. Over the centuries the names of most of them have been lost, but their memory is still alive in the Catholic community.
  Since the beginning of the 20th century 117 of these heroes (those whose sufferings were cruellest and best documented) were beatified, in four groups. They were all canonized together by Pope John Paul II on 19 June 1988.
  Each one of them was a soul individually created and loved by God, with a life and gifts uniquely his or her own; but with such a huge crowd one can only classify. By nationality, there were 96 Vietnamese, 11 Spanish and 10 French. By status, there were 8 bishops, 50 priests, and 59 laymen and women. By mode of death, 75 were beheaded, 22 strangled, 6 burned alive, 5 torn to pieces while still alive, and 9 died of torture in prison.
  A description in French or Spanish can be found on the Vatican web site. An interesting and detailed history of the Catholic Church in Vietnam can be found in this blog entry. It includes an English translation of the Vatican text.

Mid-morning reading (Terce)Jeremiah 31:33 ©
This is the covenant I will make with the House of Israel when those days arrive – it is the Lord who speaks. Deep within them I will plant my Law, writing it on their hearts. Then I will be their God and they shall be my people.

Noon reading (Sext)Jeremiah 32:40 ©
I will make an everlasting covenant with them. I will not cease in my efforts for their good, and I will put respect for me into their hearts, so that they turn from me no more.

Afternoon reading (None)Ezekiel 34:31 ©
You, my sheep, are the flock I shall pasture, and I am your God – it is the Lord who speaks.

Scripture readings taken from the Jerusalem Bible, published and copyright © 1966, 1967 and 1968 by Darton, Longman & Todd, Ltd and Doubleday, a division of Random House, Inc, and used by permission of the publishers. For on-line information about other Random House, Inc. books and authors, see the Internet web site at http://www.randomhouse.com.
 
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