Hanoi (AsiaNews) - Vietnamese Catholics have answered Pope Francis's call by gathering in prayer for Sunday's hour of Worldwide Eucharistic Adoration. The faithful packed the country's cathedrals, churches and monasteries wishing to "become one in Christ," participating in the Eucharist with other families as "brothers and sisters", and giving a signal of "unity and spiritual closeness."
All the parishes of Vietnam prayed for the communion of the Church, dedicating a special thought to the solution of the economic crisis and for all those who suffer and are victims of war, slavery in the workplace, and human trafficking.
Last Sunday, the Catholic Church met in prayer at the same time but in different time zones around the world, gathered before the ostentorium in silence, singing, reading the Bible and reciting prayers written by the most recent popes, from Pius XII to Benedict XVI.
The Worldwide Eucharistic Adoration began at 5 pm, Rome time, and ended at 6. In Vietnam, it was 10 pm; yet, despite the late hour, cathedrals and churches were crowded with people.
In the Diocese of Lang Son, in northern Vietnam near the border with China, Bishop Joseph Dang Duc Ngan sent a pastoral letter to priests, religious and the whole community of faithful, asking them to join with devotion the prayers held in the cathedral.
Since many Catholics live in remote mountainous areas, priests in some of the diocese's parishes moved the celebration forward.
The same feeling of communion and spirit of participation accompanied the intentions of many of the faithful present, who gave Pope Francis a "special thanks".
A demand for "unity" and "growth" of faith for all Vietnamese Catholics was one of the intentions expressed in the country, which is still under state atheism characterised by discrimination and violence against religions.