Nov 24
St. Andrew Dung-Lac and his companions, martyrs (1745-1862) - Memorial

This feast day celebrates all of the martyrs of the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries (1745-1862) who shed their blood in the remote Far East, particularly in Vietnam. Many of the martyrs were priests of the Dominican order. Others belonged to the Paris Society for Foreign Missions, while still others, including Andrew Dung-Lac, were Vietnamese.

Paul Le-Bao-Tinh, a Vietnamese seminarian, wrote in a letter of 1843, shortly before his martyrdom:

"I, Paul, chained for the name of Christ, wish to tell you the tribulations in which I am immersed every day, so that you, inflamed with love for God, may also lift up your praise to God, 'for his mercy endures forever'. This prison is truly the image of the eternal Hell: to the cruelest tortures of all types, such as fetters, iron chains and bonds, are added hate, vindictiveness, calumny, indecent words, interrogations, bad acts, unjust oaths, curses and finally difficulties and sorrow. But God, who once freed the three boys from the path of the flames, is always with me and has freed me from these tribulations and converted them into sweetness, 'for his mercy endures forever.... 
Assist me with your prayers so that I may struggle according to the law, and indeed 'fight the good fight' and that I may be worthy to fight until the end, finishing my course happily; if we do not see each other again in this life, in the future age, nonetheless, this will be our joy, when standing before the throne of the spotless Lamb, with one voice we sing his praises, exulting in the joy of eternal victory. Amen."