Ho Chi Minh City
(AsiaNews) - A Mass concelebrated by seven priests, with the participation of
more than two thousand faithful in the Cathedral in Ho Chi Minh City on the
10th anniversary of the death of Cardinal FX. Nguyen Van Thuan, was also attended
by some relatives of the late cardinal.
Father Joseph, of the cathedral of Notre Dame, recalled the cardinal who was head of the archdiocese of Saigon, "even in difficult situations, though he was not physically close to the faithful and the priests of the archdiocese, he always cared for our souls. Anyone who came into contact with him has been forever changed in the way they live".
Father Dominic Trương Kim Hương, who studied under the Cardinal at the major seminary Xuan Bich from 1964 to 1965 described how "the cardinal wanted to improve the lives of all. Although imprisoned for 13 years by the communist government he never blamed anyone, he hated no one and had no vindictive feelings towards 'our brothers.' His behavior profoundly impressed those who watched him and thanks to his loving care, some Communist officials have been baptized and have become good Catholics and good citizens. "
Father Joseph said that the cardinal's motto was "Gaudium et Spes, joy and hope." It is also the name of the Vatican II constitution, in which the Church clearly states that it does not see the world as hostile, dark, fearful, and neither excludes nor condemns it, but in which the Church opens to dialogue with all and in all social situations ".
Card. Van Thuan said that "dialogue means meeting and understanding one another, creating a path of hope and joy of life. That is why he chose the motto" Joy and Hope", because he was always able to see hope. Through dialogue, Christ helps us to hear the voice of God. "
The relatives of the cardinal described his good character: he was simple, sociable, interested in people and did not hate anyone. A Communist official said that "he was a living saint." He taught us that "when you go to church, pray, close your eyes and listen to the Word of God."
"The Cardinal - many young people told AsiaNews - was a holy person, a noble and virtuous pastor."