St. Andrew Dung-Lac and Companions
Christian missionaries first brought the Catholic faith to Vietnam during the sixteenth century. During the seventeenth, eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, Christians suffered for their beliefs. Many were martyred, especially during the reign of Emperor Minh-Mang (1820-1840). One hundred seventeen martyrs are in the group. They were proclaimed saints by Pope John Paul II on June 19,1988.
The group was made up of ninety-six Vietnamese, eleven Spaniards, and ten French. Eight of the group were bishops, fifty were priests and fifty-nine were lay Catholics. Some of the priests were Dominicans. Others were diocesan priests who belonged to the Paris Mission Society. One such diocesan priest was St. Theophane Venard. (We honor him also on November 6.) St. Andrew Dung-Lac, who represents this group of heroes, was a Vietnamese diocesan priest.
The martyrs of Vietnam suffered to bring the greatest treasure that they possessed: their Catholic faith.
These martyrs were able to endure the torture they were put through because of their belief that Christ was with them in everything.