We celebrate the feasts of several Vietnamese martyrs in June. We know very little of some of them, except that they suffered greatly for their faith. We treasure their memory and their witness.
In 1833 a new persecution of Christians began in Vietnam. A young French missionary priest named Joseph Marchand was captured and executed as a ‘rebel leader’ in 1835 and put to death by ‘sllicing’. In 1838 Father Ignacious Delgado, was captured in the village of Can Lao (Nam Dinh province), put in a cage on public display for ridicule and abuse, and died of hunger and exposure while waiting for execution.
Many lay people were also caught up in these persecutions. St Augustine Phan Viet Huy was born around 1795 in Ha Linh, Nam Ðinh. He was raised as a Catholic in East Tonkin and became a soldier. Because he assisted the ‘foreign’ missionaries, he was captured, tortured and executed in Thua Thiên by being cut in half on 12 June 1839. He was canonized in1988 by John Paul II. Another soldier, St Nicolas The Duc Bui, was executed with him.
On 24 June we celebrate the life and death of St Joseph Yuen, who was born in 1765 and became a priest in Tonkin. He was strangled to death in an earlier persecution in 1817. He too was canonized in 2000 by John Paul II.
On 25 June we remember St Phanxicô Ðo Van Chieu who was born around 1797 at Trung Le, Liên Thùy, Nam Ðinh. He was a convert to Catholicism and a lay catechist. He assisted the missionary priests in Vietnam and became an Aide to Bishop Saint Dominic Henares de Zafra Cubero, with whom he was arrested and martyred by beheading on 25 June 1838 in Nam Ðinh. He was canonized in 2000 by John Paul II.
On 27 June we celebrate St Joseph Hien, a Dominican priest and martyr, who was beheaded in 1840 in Nam Ðinh, and canonized in 1988.