Oct 27, 2010

Videos: Process of beatification has begun for Vietnamese Cardinal Van Thuan and The Spiritual Journey of Cardinal Nguyen Van Thuan

October 22, 2010. The Catholic Church is collecting evidence showing that the Vietnamese Cardinal Francois-Xavier Van Thuan was holy. The former bishop of Saigon was imprisoned for 13 years for religious reasons and was victimized by the communist regime of Ho Chi Minh.

Fr. Van Ambrogio Syn

Friend of Cardinal Van Thuan

"The Vicar of Rome wanted to take charge of the beatification process because many have been helped by the teachings and example of the Cardinal and his books."

Cardinal Van Thuan was born in April 1928 in the town of Hue, in central Vietnam. In 1975, at the age of 47, he was appointed coadjutor Archbishop of Saigon.

But was never able to fill this position because a few months later he was arrested by the Vietcong.

They accused him of being an infiltrator from a foreign government and an enemy of the communist revolution. He spent 13 years in prison, nine of which were in total isolation.

Tien Theresse Van Thuan

Cardinal Van Thuan's Sister

"While he was in prison, we took refuge in Australia. The first year was very hard for my parents. For many years we heard nothing from him."

Van Thuan was able to celebrate Mass every day because he secretly had a bottle of wine with the label "stomach medicine," and a few crumbs of bread wrapped in newspaper. Each day he took a drop of wine and bread in his hand and celebrated Mass.

He always wore a crucifix that he made in the prison with wires and soap.

On November 2, 1988 he was released. In 1998 he was appointed by John Paul II as President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace and in 2001 he was appointed cardinal. He unfortunately died a few months later, on September 16, 2002.

Road of Hope: The Spiritual Journey of Cardinal Nguyen Van Thuan is an original Salt and Light documentary exploring the life of this political prisoner and prophet of hope. Written and produced by David Naglieri this powerful film traces the history of Thuan from his privileged upbringing in a powerful political family to decades of war, betrayal and imprisonment— when he would celebrate mass in secret with three drops of wine in the palm of his hand and the host smuggled inside a flashlight by his faithful. Featuring interviews with those who knew him best, never before seen family videos, and rare archival footage, Road of Hope offers an unprecedented glimpse into the life of a modern day martyr and saint.

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