Andrew of Phú Yên

Blessed Andrew of Phu Yen (1624 – 26 July 1644)[1] is known as the "Protomartyr of Vietnam." Baptized in 1641, he was a dedicated assistant to Jesuit missionaries and was thus arrested in the purge of Christians launched in 1644. After refusing to abjure the faith, he was put to death in Ke Kham. Andrew was beatified by Pope John Paul II on March 5, 2000.[2] His feast day is July 26.

Blessed Andrew of Phu Yen
Andrew of Phu Yen
Protomartyr of Vietnam
Born1624[1]
Phú Yên Province, Vietnam
Died1644 (aged 19)
Ke Kham, Vietnam
Beatified5 March 2000, Rome by Pope John Paul II
FeastJuly 26

Biography

Bl. Andrew came from the province of RanRan (Phú Yên), today in Vietnam, and was gifted with intelligence and a good heart. On the insistence of his mother, Fr. Alexandre de Rhodes, a French Jesuit missionary, agreed to include him among his students. Andrew soon surpassed his fellow pupils. Together with his mother, he received Baptism in 1641. He would have been about 15 years of age, having been born in 1625 or 1626. At the time of his death in 1644, he was 19 or 20. In 1642 Andrew become one of Fr. de Rhodes' closest co-workers and, after a year of further formation, he joined the Maison Dieu ("House of God") catechist association which Fr. de Rhodes had instituted. Its members made a public promise to spend their entire lives serving the Church by helping priests and spreading the Gospel.

Before the end of July 1644, Mandarin Ong Nghe Bo returned to the province which he governed and where Andrew was living. He had orders from the King of Annam to prevent the expansion of Christianity in his kingdom. Fr. de Rhodes, unaware of the Mandarin's intentions, paid him a courtesy visit, but was quickly informed that the King of Annam was angered at the great number of Cochin-Chinese who were following the Christian faith. Fr. de Rhodes must therefore leave the country and no longer teach Christian doctrine to the Cochin-Chinese; since the latter were the subjects of the King, they would incur the most severe penalties.

Fr. de Rhodes left the palace and went directly to the prison where an elderly catechist was already incarcerated. Meanwhile, the Mandarin had sent soldiers to Fr. de Rhodes' house in search of another catechist, but he had left on an apostolic mission. They found young Andrew instead. In order not to return empty-handed to Ong Nghe Bo, they beat Andrew, bound him and transferred him to the Governor's palace.

On 25 July 1644 Andrew was taken to the Mandarin, who tried in various ways to make Andrew "desist from that foolish opinion of his, and give up the faith". But he replied that he was a Christian and most ready to undergo any suffering rather than abandon the law that he professed. Indignant at Andrew's inflexibility, the Mandarin ordered that he be taken to prison. The young Andrew was so serene and joyous at being able to suffer for Christ that people who came to see him recommended themselves to his prayers. He would not hear of this, but asked them to pray that God might give him the grace to be faithful to the end and to "respond with fullness of love to the infinite love of his Lord, who gave his life for men, by giving his own life".

The next day, 26 July, Andrew was taken to the Governor's public audience, where he was sentenced to death. In the afternoon, a captain led Andrew down the streets of Ke Cham to the place of execution, a field outside the city. Fr. de Rhodes, many Portuguese and Vietnamese Christians, and even pagans followed the procession and witnessed the killing. Andrew exhorted the Christians to remain firm in their faith, not to be saddened by his death, and to help him with their prayers to be faithful to the end. He was executed with some blows of a lance and, finally, when he was about to be beheaded with a scimitar, he cried out the name of Jesus in a loud voice. Andrew accepted the sacrifice of his life for the faith and love of Christ.[3]

Beatification

Andrew was beatified by Pope John Paul II on March 5, 2000. In Blessed Andrew’s beatification homily, Pope John Paul II preached “The words he repeated as he advanced on the path of martyrdom are the expression of what motivated his whole life: ‘Let us return love for love to our God, let us return life for life.’

July 26, the date of his martyrdom, is Blessed Andrew of Phú Yên's feast day.[1]

Notes

  1. ^ a b c WYD02 Saints: Blessed Andrew of Phu Yen – Protomartyr of Vietnam
  2. ^ Our Sunday Visitor's encyclopedia of saints By Matthew Bunson, Margaret Bunson, Stephen Bunson
  3. ^ ST BASIL THE GREAT
July 26

July 26 is the 207th day of the year (208th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 158 days remaining until the end of the year.

List of saints from Asia

This page is a list of saints, blesseds, venerables, and Servants of God from Asia, as recognized by the Catholic Church. These people were born, died, or lived their religious life in any of the states or territories of Asia.

Since Christianity began in Asia, the first Christians were Asians, and Biblical figures of the Old Testament considered to be saints also spent all or most of their lives in the Holy Land. While Catholicism has waxed and waned in various parts of the continent, it has had a continuous presence there into the twenty-first century.

Vietnamese Martyrs

The Vietnamese Martyrs (Vietnamese: Các Thánh Tử đạo Việt Nam), also known as the Martyrs of Indochina, Martyrs of Tonkin, Annam, and Cochinchina, or Andrew Dung-Lac and Companions (Anrê Dũng-Lạc và Các bạn tử đạo), are saints on the General Roman Calendar who were canonized by Pope John Paul II. On June 19, 1988, thousands of Overseas Vietnamese worldwide gathered at the Vatican for the Celebration of the Canonization of 117 Vietnamese Martyrs, an event chaired by Monsignor Tran Van Hoai. Their memorial is on November 24 (although several of these saints have another memorial, as they were beatified and on the calendar prior to the canonization of the group).

World Youth Day 2002

The 17th World Youth Day 2002 (WYD2002) was a Catholic youth festival held July 23-July 28, 2002, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. World Youth Day is a celebration of faith begun by Pope John Paul II held on an international level every two to three years, and WYD2002 was the 10th such event. Although WYD is designed for Catholics, it attracts sizable numbers of youths from other faiths and denominations and was presented as a multi-faith celebration of young people from all over the world.

As the event is ultimately an expression of faith, and a critical expression of faith is through service to others, World Youth Day 2002 had the support of some 25,000 volunteers; and some 100,000 pilgrims themselves spent three hours each on one of 750 service projects.

The groundswell of Catholic spirituality following World Youth Day 2002 in Canada led to the establishment of Canada's first national Catholic television network, Salt + Light Television. Fr. Thomas Rosica, who was the National Director of WYD2002, is also the founder and Chief Executive Officer of this new television station.

For the third time (after Buenos Aires 1987 and Denver 1993) the World Youth Day was celebrated in the Américas.

The Chief Executive Officer and National Director of these WYD was Father Thomas Rosica.

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