Monday, March 1, 2010

St. Andrew Dung-Lac (1795 to Dec. 21, 1839)

I was only three or four-years-old at the time, so I didn't hear the Homily, but one day Father Lyons, our parish priest, said he supported the Vietnam War and if people didn't agree with him, they could move to Russia.
My mom waited for Mass to let out, and then confronted Father Lyons. She told him that those young men shouldn't be sent off to fight. That if he thought it was so wonderful, then he should go to Vietnam.
After that day in the late 1960s, I think my mom felt kind of uneasy around the priest but she also believed it was her duty to express her opinion, not just agree with Father Lyons because he was a member of the clergy.
I don't remember anything about the war, but in recent years, I learned that there are Vietnamese Roman Catholic saints, in particular, St. Andrew Dung-Lac who was born there in 1795.
He was a priest who was beheaded on Dec. 21, 1839. St. Andrew Dung-Lac is recognized with the Martyrs of Vietnam (1625 to 1886). Their feast day is celebrated on Nov. 24.

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