St. Andrew Dung-Lac and Companions
Feast Day: November 24
Born: (around) 1785 :: Died: 1839
St. Andrew was born in Vietnam. He was a diocesan priest who worked with the priests of the Foreign Mission Society of Paris.
Christian missionaries from Portugal first brought the Catholic faith to Vietnam in the sixteenth century. Jesuit priest opened the first mission at Da Nang in 1615. They cared for Japanese Catholics who had been driven out of Japan.
All foreign missionaries in the kingdom were forbidden by the King and he tried to make Vietnamese Christians give up their faith by trampling on a crucifix. When they refused to obey they began to suffer for their faith and were killed.
Although the faithful offered hiding places to priests in their homes, many were martyred, especially during the reign of Emperor Minh-Mang (1820-1840). One hundred seventeen martyrs are in the group.
St. Andrew Dung-Lac, who represents this group of heroes 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.
The martyrs of Vietnam suffered to bring the greatest treasure that they possessed: their Catholic faith. They were able to endure the torture they were put through because they believed that Jesus was with them in everything.
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