05/22/2010, 00.00
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In the month of Mary, Catholics pray for the unity of the Vietnamese Church

by J.B. VU
May is celebrated as the “flower month” of Our Lady. The faithful offer devotions, songs, traditional dances and music. Students are grateful for the support they received during their studies and pray for a “new life”. Vietnamese bishop says, “We need unity”.
Hanoi (AsiaNews) – In Vietnam, May is celebrated as the “flower month” of the Virgin Mary. Catholics prepare special devotions and each parish offers songs and flower bouquets, accompanied by traditional dances and music. In the month dedicated by the Catholic Church to the mother of Jesus, the faithful have prayed and continue to pray for “the communion of Catholics in Vietnam”.

In the month of May, before each Sunday Mass, Vietnamese Catholics give thanks to Our Lady. Last Sunday, the Seventh Sunday of Easter, more than a thousand students from Nam Dinh, in Bui Vhu Diocese, suffragan to the Archdiocese of Hanoi, staged a floral tribute to Mary. The students are from ten universities and institutions of higher learning scattered across the city. With this gesture, they wanted to thank Our Lady. They just completed their exams, after long hours of study and work, without taking shortcuts or cheating. Through their studies and with the help of the mother of Jesus, the students want to start a “new life”, taking care of their souls in order to “become beautiful flowers to offer the Virgin Mary.”

The students also prayed for Vietnam and the country’s Catholic Church. In doing so, they sought to highlight the value of “unity and mutual love” and “discussion and working together” because, as one of them wrote to AsiaNews, “no one can break our communion and unity with the Church”. God’s love is among us and, he added, “We do not fear the devil”.

Mgr Nguyen Chi Linh, bishop of Thanh Hoa and vice president of the Vietnam Conference of Catholic Bishops, spoke about the issue. In his view, the “first essential point is the communion of the Church,” with whom we are all called to work.

“We need unity because it is a positive value for the Church and for society,” the prelate said. “It is also the path we must take to face the crisis that is currently affecting the Vietnamese Church.”

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