The Vatican estimates the number of Vietnamese martyrs at between 130,000 and 300,000 were killed. Pope John Paul II decided to canonize those whose names are known and unknown, giving them a single feast day.
The Vietnamese Martyrs fall into several groupings, those of the Dominican and Jesuit missionary era of the (17th century) and those killed in the Christian persecutions of the 19th century. A representative sample of 117 martyrs — including 96 Vietnamese, 11 Spanish Dominicans, and 10 French members of the Paris Foreign Missions Society (Missions Etrangères de Paris) — were beatified on four separate occasions:
The tortures these individuals underwent are considered by the Vatican to be among the worst in the history of Christian martyrdom. The torturers hacked off limbs joint by joint, tore flesh with red hot tongs, and used drugs to enslave the minds of the victims. Christians at the time were branded on the face with the hieroglyphics 左道, for heterodox doctrine, while their families and villages were destroyed.
List of names of the Vietnamese Martyrs
Jesus said, “All that you see here, the days will come when there will not be left a stone upon another stone that will not be thrown down.”
We are approaching the end of the liturgical calendar. December 1st will be the first day of the new liturgical year. At the end of the year, the Church reminds us of conflicts and destructions in the world.
I remember my own ending moments a few weeks ago when I took too much cough medicine. I thought I was dying. My heartbeat raised up. The world around me was spinning. My eyes could not concentrate and read. I thought I was standing in front of death, the ending of my life. I had a little worry. Who would say Masses for me? What happened to all my plans?
My own death verses to the death of the whole world. Today the Gospel invites us to reflect on the incidents and realities NOW. We need to look around and pray to see, to judge and to act appropriately and prophetically.
I see the Mother Earth is crying for help because the climate change heats up the glope.
Ms. Greta Thunberg, 16 years old, stated, “The climate and ecological emergency is right here, right now. But it has only just begun, it will get worse. 420 gigatons of CO2 left to emit on January 1st, 2018 to have a 67 percent chance of staying below 1.5 degrees of global temperature rise. And now that figure is already down to less than 360 gigatons. Our house is on fire, I am here to say our house is on fire. According to the IPCC, we are less than 12 years away from not being able to undo our mistakes.”
Jesus said, “By your perseverance, you will secure your lives.” How do we prepare for our eternal life? We cannot sit here to wait for death to come and destroy us. We should be active and alert to respond to the life that God has given us.
Ms. Greta Thunberg said, “This is the year 2019. This is not the time and place for dreams. This is the time to wake up. This is a moment in history where we need to be wide awake. You must not gamble your children’s future on the flip of a coin. Instead, you must unite behind the science. You must take action. You must do the impossible. Because giving up can never ever be an option.”
- Fr. Tat
November 9th, 1732 – 2019
St. Alphonsus Liguori and his first companions began the Redemptorists in response to the needs of those on the periphery of the Church and society, “the most abandoned, especially the poor.” Starting with the rural residents of 18th century Scala, Naples, the Redemptorists have continually sought to bring the joy of the gospel to all with whom they minister. The priests and brothers of the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer seek to build communities of conversion wherein people can encounter the plentiful redemption offered through Christ. While preaching Christ, the Redemptorists rely on and encourage devotion to Mary, our Mother of Perpetual Help. She is a mother of mercy and powerful intercession, pointing her devotees to life through her Son and the mysteries of his life, death, and resurrection.
As a new pastor at St. Gerard Majella Church, I would like to use this time and opportunity to journey side by side with all of you, especially the poor and the most abandoned.
Even though I cannot do everything to “bring back” the old St. Gerard Majella Church, I believe God continues to bless us all with surprises and blessings to build this church as a place of worship, family and community of love, peace and unity.
As the Redemptorists in the whole world celebrate our 287th birthday, I, a Redemptorist missionary, would like to dedicate one more time to renew my mission spirit to follow the example of Jesus Christ, the Redeemer, by preaching the Good News to the poor and most abandoned here in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
“Strong in faith, rejoicing in hope, burning with charity, on fire with zeal, in humility of heart and persevering in prayer, Redemptorists as apostolic men and genuine disciples of Saint Alphonsus follow Christ the Redeemer with hearts full of joy; denying themselves and always ready to undertake what is demanding, they share in the mystery of Christ and proclaim it in Gospel simplicity of life and language, that they may bring to people plentiful redemption.” (Constitution 20)
I would like to invite you to help me for the next four years to reach out to more people who need God’s redemption now and here. It is my privilege and honor to be here and accompany with ALL of you in faith.
In Christ our Redeemer,
Fr. Tat Hoang, C.Ss.R.