Memorial of Andrew Dung Lac and Companions

Scripture Readings: Rev 14:14-19;  Lk 21:5-11        

The Christians of Vietnam have carried the cross of persecution for over 400 years. The tortures they endured are among the worst in the history of Christianity.  Over 100,000 have been martyred.  Of the 117 that we honor on this memorial of St. Andrew Dung Lac, 76 were beheaded, 21 suffocated, 6 burnt alive, 5 mutilated and 9 died in prison.

In today’s office readings we heard one of them, Paul Le Bao Tinh, a seminarian, describe their sufferings.  He writes: “This prison is truly an image of eternal hell: to the cruelest tortures of all types, are added hate, vengeance, calumnies, obscene speech, quarrels, evil acts, swearing and curses. But God, who once freed three boys from the flaming furnace, is always with me.  …  Help me with your prayers so that I may ‘fight the good fight’ until the end, finishing my course happily.”  

But we, in our weakness for resentments, can hardly endure a rebuke, an insult, a humiliation without holding a grudge or breaking a relationship. May the example and prayers of these martyrs encourage us to bear the name of Christian worthily.