» 09/25/2007, 00.00
VIETNAM - VATICAN
Card Van Thuan, from prison towards the altar
The news of the opening of the process for the canonisation was received with great joy. For 13 years in prison, he celebrated the mass with three drops of wine. An exemplary witness of the faith for his people and the entire Catholic world.
Hanoi (AsiaNews) – Vietnam has joyfully received the news that Benedict XVI approved the request for the opening of the process for the canonisation of cardinal Nguyen Van Thuan, who is consider in his own country as in the rest of the world and extraordinary example of loyalty to the Church and an man of justice and peace.
Those who knew him, remember him as a witness who sacrificed 13 years of his life in the prisons of his nation’s communist regime. A witness of faith in Christ, a protector of the Church. “I read – Fr. Franco tells AsiaNews – the book that the cardinal wrote in prison. Every day he spent there he celebrated mass by holding three drops of wine in his hands. His book – continues the priest – was translated into eight languages, so every make of person has the possibility of reading it. Personally, I conserve the image of a thoughtful person who worked hard, prayed deeply and forgave all those who threatened him or did him harm”.
“With his entire heart – adds Lan, a Catechist from the diocese of Saigon – he worked with enthusiasm and dedication for the Churches’ mission. Cardinal Nguyen Van Thun is an example of holiness for Vietnams’ Catholics and for the entire world”.
To all effects the Vietnamese Catholics’ are convinced that card. Van Thuan was a witness of faithfulness throughout his life. Even in prison oppressed by the communist regime, he always prayed and forgave these his “brothers”. His physical and spiritual sufferings are an example of Christian justice and peace. Even when he was president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace he helped the poorest parts of the world. The same council defined Cardinal Van Thuan “the Churches witness for the peace and hopes of peoples. He spent 13 years in prison, but during his life time he was lucid, wise and ardent”.
The announcement of the papal decision to allow the process for the canonisation of card. Van Thuan to be opened was given on September 9 the fourth anniversary of his death by his predecessor at the Council, card. Martino.
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The new group is set up to promote the Vietnamese cardinal's works and message of hope. He is expected to be beatified soon. Held in the capital in the presence of Redemptorist Fathers, the first meeting focused on the "challenges" young people face to become "human". Nothing is known about the authorities' attitudes towards the club. In the past, the government and the party tried to obscure the memory of the cardinal, a hero of the faith.
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