Saturday, 25 August 2007

The Vietnamese show the way...


La Vang, over 150 thousand faithful for the feast of the Assumption
by JB. Vu
Priests and faithful from all over the country gathered at the Marian sanctuary to celebrate the Blessed Virgin, who "protects the country from the threats of materialism and consumerism".
Over 150 thousand people, among Catholics and Buddhists, gathered at the national shrine of Our Lady of La Vang, in the central province of Quang Tri, to celebrate the feast of the Assumption.
The place where the Virgin appeared in 1798 has been affected by years of conflict as well as typhoons.
Gun battles raged around thesanctuary grounds at the height of the war in the `70's, but the shrine is still standing, protecting the people of the Church and Vietnam.
On the feast day of August 15th, Archbishop Hue presided over a solemn mass at the sanctuary together with 126 priests from across Vietnam as well as abroad.
One of them Fr. Le Si Hien, told Asia News: "TheVietnamese Bishops council officially asked the government for permission to run the grounds on which the shrine stands.
We would like it to become one of the biggest pilgrimage sites in the entire world".One young Catholic who followed all of the festivity' celebrations says: "Our country is under the threat of materialism and consumerism.The sanctuary of Our Lady of La Vang helps us to fight this threat,which creates social injustice."
An associate who lived in Vietnam was astounded at the way religion was an intrinsic part of vietnamese life - a shrine in every buddhist home, an oratory in the majority of catholic houses where prayers and family rosaries are recited throughout the day - their devotion puts us all to shame.

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