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