St Andrew Tran Dung-Lac was a Vietnamese Roman Catholic priest who was executed by beheading during the reign of emperor Minh Mạng.
He was born around 1795 in Bac Ninh, Vietnam.
He was beheaded and died as a martyr on December 21 1839 in Hanoi, Vietnam.
|St Andrew Tran Dung-Lac Biography
|Date of Birth
|Place of Birth
|Bac Ninh, Vietnam
|Roman Catholic priest
|Place of Work
|Date of Death
|December 21 1839
|Place of Death
|By Pope Leo XIII on November 21 1900 in Vatican City
|By Pope John Paul II on June 19 1988
|Patron Saint of
St Andrew Tran Dung-Lac’s Life History
St Andrew Tran Dung-Lac was born as Dung An-Tran in a modest family in Bac Ninh, northern Vietnam, around 1795.
Initially, his family adhered to their traditional local religion. However, when Andrew was twelve years old, his family relocated to Hanoi in search of work.
In Hanoi, he came into contact with a Christian catechist who provided him shelter and taught him about Christianity. As a result, he was baptized with the name Andrew.
In 1823, Andrew was ordained as a priest, and his preaching and simple way of life attracted numerous people to the Christian faith.
Unfortunately, in 1832, Emperor Minh-Mang issued a decree banning foreign missionaries and ordering Vietnamese Christians to publicly renounce their faith in Jesus Christ by trampling on crucifixes.
Many Christians, including St. Andrew Trần Dũng-Lạc, refused to comply with this directive. The faithful went to great lengths to protect priests, often hiding them in caves or their homes, despite the grave risks involved.
Some of these devoted Christians were subjected to brutal forms of execution, including beheading, suffocation, flaying alive, and even being displayed in cages in public squares until their death.
St Andrew Tran Dung-Lac himself was first arrested in 1835, but he was ransomed by his parishioners. To escape further persecution, he changed his last name to Lac and relocated to a different region.
However, persecution continued to follow him. In 1839, he was arrested once more, along with another Vietnamese priest, Fr. Peter Thi, whom St. Andrew had visited for confession.
Despite being ransomed again, they were arrested, subjected to torture, and ultimately beheaded in Hanoi on December 21, 1839.
These martyrdoms marked the beginning and end of waves of persecution that the Vietnamese faithful endured.
In fact, Vietnamese Christians faced some of the harshest forms of martyrdom in the history of Christianity. By the close of the 20th century, Catholics made up approximately 10% of the Vietnamese population.
On June 19, 1988, Pope John Paul II canonized St. Andrew Dung-Lac and the Vietnamese martyrs, including 117 named individuals and countless unnamed heroes.
Notably, the communist government of Vietnam did not allow any representation from the country to attend the canonization.
Nevertheless, 8,000 Vietnamese Catholics from around the world participated in the event, celebrating their connection to this persecuted Church. The feast day commemorating these Vietnamese saints is observed on November 24.
The canonized martyrs encompassed ninety-six Vietnamese, eleven missionaries from Spain belonging to the Order of Preachers, and ten French missionaries from the Paris Foreign Mission Society.
This group of saints included eight Spanish and French bishops, fifty priests (thirteen European and thirty-seven Vietnamese), and fifty-nine laypeople.
On June 1, 1989, these holy martyrs were included in the liturgical calendar of the Universal Church, with their feast day set for November 24th.
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