ASIA NEWS REPORT: by J.B.Vu
A conference organized by the diocese of Saigon in memory of the martyrs canonized by Blessed John Paul II. Card. J.B. Phạm Minh Mẫn, "" The greatest miracle connected to the canonization of 117 martyrs of Vietnam is the existence and growth of the Church of Vietnam. "
ASIA NEWS REPORT: Ho Chi Minh City (AsiaNews) - Catholics in Vietnam are commemorating the 117 martyrs of their country canonized by Blessed John Paul II on 19 June 1988. A small part of the over 130 thousand Catholics killed for witnessing to their faith during the persecution carried out by Vietnamese kings. From November 21 to 26, the diocese of Saigon is holding a conference, attended by 180 people: 58 priests, 27 religious and 95 lay people in parishes. Before Mass celebrating the feast of the martyrs, on Nov. 24, Cardinal JB Phạm Minh Mẫn expressed his feelings to pilgrims, during a meeting at the seminary of St. Joseph: "The greatest miracle connected to the canonization of 117 martyrs of Vietnam is the existence and growth of the Church of Vietnam."
The cardinal said that "the blood of martyrs is the seed of faith that God has continued to pour on our country in many historical periods of difficulty and change. There is not only the blood of the martyrs, but also the sweat and tears of Catholic families, communities, and our ancestors in Vietnam. All you have sacrificed to serve God, the Church and society. Today we show our gratitude to the martyrs of Vietnam and our ancestors, and pray God for the Church today, asking God to give us water from the spring, the seeds for the growth of the Church and society in the present and future " .
Card. Phạm Minh Mẫn also spoke at the conference, stressing that "everyone should reflect on and identify the obstacles in the way of renewal, examine the root causes and find a way out of this vicious circle, that prevents communion from expanding both in the Church and society. The aim is to bring the Gospel values and human life in to family, social, economic and political life today. This is the way to take part in the mission of the New Evangelization, and accompany Jesus in service to life and the development of the human family. "
Auxiliary Bishop Peter Nguyễn Văn Khảm preached on the feast of the Martyrs of Vietnam. He emphasized that "commemorating the martyrs of Vietnam is not only a way to show respect for their sanctity, but also to promote a spirit of martyrdom like theirs. Being present means being brave martyrs, witnessing to the Good News of God and showing the love of Jesus in every circumstance. "