The first sowing of the Gospel of Christ among the Vietnamese people began at the start of the sixteenth century.  This seed grew through the blood of martyrs and the spiritual joy of the newly baptized faithful.  During the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries, particularly during the reign of the Emperor Minh-Mang (1820-1841) many Christians received the martyr’s crown; these included bishops, priests, men religious, women religious, and members of the laity.  All suffered torments of various kinds for their Christian faith and fidelity to the cross of Christ and bore witness to Christ’s Church and true religion.  Some were decapitated, others hanged, others burned or whipped to death.  Others died during their imprisonment.  Of these the Supreme Pontiff John Paul II declared one hundred seventeen martyrs to be among the ranks of the saints on June 19, 1988.

FEAST DAY: November 24