30 November, 2015 AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook            

Help AsiaNews | About us | P.I.M.E. | | RssNewsletter | Mobile

mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato

e-mail this to a friend printable version

» 03/30/2004
Martyred Priest revered by Christians and non-Christians alike

Bac Lieu (AsiaNews/Ucan) – Pilgrims came in droves to honor the tomb of a martyred priest who was killed with his parishioners on March 12 1946. The anniversary of the death of Father Francois Xavier Truong Buu Diep brought more than 30,000 Catholics, Protestants and non-Christians to Tac Say parish in the Bac Lieu province, 1,990 kilometers south of Ha Noi, to offer respect and gratitude to the holy man who many say is responsible for healing of physical ailments,  increased prosperity and good fortune. The current parish priest Father Jean Baptiste Tran Duc Hung led an outdoor anniversary Mass with 18 other priests, marking the day of Diep's martyrdom 60 years before.

Father Diep was born in 1897 and was ordained a priest in 1924, after completing studies at Phnom Penh Major Seminary in Cambodia. During his ministry as a priest in Vietnam, the country was torn with conflict between religious and political factions, and he was advised by an ecclesial superior to leave the area for a safer one. "I live among my flock and I will die among them. I will not go anywhere" the priest stated. Later, he and 30 lay Catholics were captured by enemy forces and held in a rice paddy storehouse. The priest's body was later found in a nearby pond, though authorities do not agree who killed him, and why.

Now pilgrims line up to touch his tomb and statue and give gifts of incense, candles, money, food and prayers. During the anniversary celebration, believers brought suckling pigs, roast pork, cake, flowers and fruit in place on tables in front of the shrine. Local boarding houses were filled to capacity, charging three times the regular price to the willing travelers. A 60-year old pilgrim from Ho Chi Minh City said that her 50-member group was fortunate to find a place to sleep on the steps of the rectory. "Father Diep cured me soon after I visited his tomb," she stated, referring to the severe arthritis that had previously prevented her from walking properly. Since then, she comes annually to thank him, bringing friends who also seek physical and spiritual favors.  Thousands of pilgrims have left expressions of gratitude for answered prayers with small stone slabs engraved with the words, "Grateful to Father Diep" to be placed on the walls surrounding the church. Many overseas Vietnamese also come and pray to the late priest. Father Hung said that the church has become a popular pilgrimage site in the region since the 1980's, after reports of answered prayers circulated among the people. It was officially recognized as a pilgrimage site by the diocese in 1996.

On February 24th, Bishop Emmanuel Le Phong Thuan of Can Tho celebrated Mass, to mark the beginning of construction of a 2,000 seat parish church to replace the current structure built in 1963. The Tac Say Catholic community, established in 1925 with 200 parishioners, now has 1,500 Catholics.

e-mail this to a friend printable version

See also
11/12/2004 VIETNAM
Protestant clergyman sentenced to three years in prison
11/08/2004 VIETNAM
New Ordinance on Religions does not provide freedom, says the Archbishop of Huê
09/07/2004 LAOS
Violence against Christians in Vientiane and Luang Phrabang
04/30/2005 VIETNAM
Hanoi frees prisoners of conscience on the anniversary of reunification
02/24/2005 INDIA
Hindu fundamentalists attack Christian meeting in Rajasthan

Editor's choices
Paris Massacre highlights the failure of Muslim integration in Europe
by Catherine FieldThe attack in the heart of France highlights the crisis of Europe’s model of coexistence. Social unrest, poverty and marginalisation feed youth extremism and radicalisation. A New Zealander journalist, expert on expertise in religion and interfaith dialogue, talks about it after undertaking a journey through the French Muslim world.
For Nîmes imam, Islam should not be held hostage by extremists
by Hochine DrouicheFrench imams condemn the Paris terrorist attacks and disassociate themselves from violence committed in "the name of our religion." At the same time, they ask Muslim communities to dare leading a life of dialogue and friendship with Europeans, without fear or arrogance. For centuries, Muslims have ruled out reason from their religious life. The vice president of French imams bears witness.
AsiaNews marks 12 years: Persecution and hope
by Bernardo CervelleraDespite a worldwide increase of ignorance, indifference and superficiality, many signs of love and hope resist even in the most gloomy situations: the Iraqi mother who gives birth to her child in a refugee camp and smiles even though she has nothing; the Indonesian Muslim mother who blesses her son who became a Christian and a priest; the Chinese Christian families that welcome children thrown away because of the one-child law.


Copyright © 2003 AsiaNews C.F. 00889190153 All rights reserved. Content on this site is made available for personal, non-commercial use only. You may not reproduce, republish, sell or otherwise distribute the content or any modified or altered versions of it without the express written permission of the editor. Photos on AsiaNews.it are largely taken from the internet and thus considered to be in the public domain. Anyone contrary to their publication need only contact the editorial office which will immediately proceed to remove the photos.