When most Americans think of Vietnam, they think of how it was lost to Communism. Many don't know that Catholics in Vietnam have suffered constant persecution since 1615 when the first mission was opened by the Portuguese Jesuits. Early on, Vietnamese Catholics were coerced to deny their Faith by trampling a crucifix. Millions refused and accepted the triumph of martyrdom.
In 1862, St. Andrew Dung-Lac and several lay people, including a 9 year old boy, were executed for the Faith.
In 1964, there were still 833,000 Catholics in North Vietnam but most were in prison. Today, the entire country is under Communist rule. Can any one imagine that the persecution has ended?
Let us pray to St. Andrew and his companions for the grace of perseverance and fidelity, and for courage for our persecuted brethren who are right now being persecuted for the faith across the globe.