Holy Vietnamese Martyrs

Initially the Fullness of Truth Angels and Demons conference was to have been hosted by St. Mary Cathedral but, most likely because of limited on-street parking, the venue was changed to northeast Austin.

Holy Vietnamese Martyrs

The church was beyond gorgeous— eye candy for the mind, heart, and soul— so I made the most of my time between sessions and photographed everything in sight.

September 28-29, 2018

















Fullness of Truth






Lord, so great is our love for you that, even though we walk in a world where speaking your name can mean certain death, your faithful still speak it— and speak it all the louder.  Help us work for a world where all may speak their creeds and pray their prayers without fear of violence.  Hear the prayers of those who abide with you in dangerous times and in dark valleys and who die with your name on their lips.  Draw them quickly to your side where they might know eternal peace.  Amen (Catholic Relief Services).

My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going.  I do not see the road ahead of me.  I cannot know for certain where it will end.  Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think that I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so.  But I believe that the desire to please you does, in fact, please you.  And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing.  I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire.  And I know that, if I do this, you will lead me by the right road though I may know nothing about it.  Therefore will I trust you always, though I may seem to be lost and in the shadows of death.  I will not fear for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone (Thomas Merton).

O God, source and origin of all fatherhood who kept the martyrs, St. Andrew Dung-Lac and his companions, faithful to the cross of your Son even to the shedding of their blood, grant, through their intercession, that, spreading your love among our brothers and sisters, we may be your children both in name and in truth.  Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your son who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen (The Roman Missal).

Señor, tan grande es nuestro amor por ti que, a pesar de que vivimos en un mundo donde pronunciar tu nombre puede significar una muerte segura, tus fieles aún lo dicen— y lo dicen con más fuerza.  Ayúdanos a trabajar por un mundo donde todos pueden hablar sus credos y rezar sus oraciones sin miedo a la violencia.  Escucha las oraciones de los que están contigo en tiempos difíciles y en los valles oscuros y que mueren con tu nombre en sus labios.  Llévalos pronto a tu lado donde puedan conocer la paz eterna.  Amen (CRS).

January 2, 2019

“Intimacy with the Lord is not a matter of physical kinship; rather, it is achieved by cheerful readiness to do the will of God” (St. Basil the Great).

January 3, 2019

The gift of faith, which comes to us from God, is a sublime grace.  But we are not intended to keep it to ourselves— in effect, to bury it in the ground.  The apostolic fishermen were ordained to be fishers of souls and not custodians of an aquarium (Fr. George W. Rutler in Hints of Heaven).

January 5, 2019

My God, how great you are, how wonderful in all your works!  Teach me your will that I may begin and end all my actions for your greater glory (St. John Neumann).

April 9, 2019

This is the perfect will of God for us: You must be holy.  Holiness is the greatest gift that God can give us because for that reason he created us.  Sanctity is a simple duty for you and me.  I have to be a saint in my way and you in yours (St. Teresa of Calcutta in The Love that Made Mother Teresa).

January 1, 2020

Do what God has given you to do today.  That is enough.  That is your path to holiness; it is all you need (Fr. Timothy M. Gallagher, OMV, in Overcoming Spiritual DiscouragementThe Wisdom and Spiritual Power of Venerable Bruno Lanteri).

Links of interest…  Fullness of Truth: Angels & Demons / Why do Catholics do that…  Holy Vietnamese Martyrs church: facebook / Mass times / photos / website…  St. Andrew Dung-Lac & companions117 martyrs / about (more) / holy cardsNov 24 (more) / prayer / quote

WP posts…  Angels all around…  Angels keeping watch…  St. Austin Church…  St. Mary revisited…  St. Mary’s…  St. Michael chaplet…  Two angels…  Welcoming spirit

4 Responses

  1. Holy Vietnamese Martyrs. Never heard about them. Thank you for this interesting post and your gorgeous photos. Have a nice day.

  2. What a tragic story, but what faith and resilience, too. Thanks for your shared thoughts!

  3. This is the second church we have visited that is home to the Vietnamese people; the other was in Houston where we venerated the relics of St. Anthony, thanks to our dear friend, Father Mario, OFM from Padua, Italy. Both have been extraordinarily lovely and generous in their hospitality, offer a level of devotion that we too rarely experience, and display magnificent artworks in brilliant colors and styles that are breathtaking.

    Candy indeed! It was a pleasure to be there.

    The conference itself presented interesting subject matter but, as is usually the case, sales were vigorously pushed. And we received complete confirmation of the wisdom of Vatican II in modernizing the rituals of the Mass and prescribing the use of the vernacular spoken by the community where Mass is said.

    The Saturday morning service was an Old Latin High Mass, a step more archaic than the Latin Rite celebrated at times. The priest had his back to the people and whispered the consecration so that no one could hear. The formal epistle and the gospel were sung in Latin. We listened to a fire-and-brimstone homily of punishment and damnation. And communion was given only on the tongue to those who knelt at the railing. No options provided!

    Mass was exclusionary, elitist, with a display of authoritarian power, clearly separating the clergy as higher and closer to God (in their opinion). So, the experience was neither uplifting nor inspirational.

    That aside, the church (parish) is a marvelous place. The stained-glass window depicting Jesus welcoming the Vietnamese features a boat in the center panel exactly like those I encountered in the South China Sea after the fall of South Vietnam.

    Between 1975 and 1997, refugees fled an oppressive regime, relying on the mercy of passing ships to rescue and deliver them to freedom. While in the Navy, I was privileged to help save multiple boatloads of these desperate people whose humility and gratitude remains an example for us all.

    Nevertheless, between two-hundred and four-hundred thousand were killed by storms, pirates, and sunken boats, as per United Nations estimates. Worth noting, too, was that many of the boat people converted their possessions into gold and sewed it into the lining of their jackets and trousers. So, when their boats sank, they drowned from the weight of their clothing.

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