Church & Society

Vietnamese Catholics celebrate the Assumption of Mary August 16, 2018

An estimated 100,000 Marian devotees from across Vietnam and abroad attended special Masses celebrating the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary on Aug. 14-15 at the national shrine of Our Lady of La Vang in Quang Tri Province, central Vietnam.

The 220-year-old shrine is one of the major pilgrimage venues for local Catholics. This year it is celebrating the 30th anniversary of the canonization of 117 Vietnamese martyrs, which ends on Nov. 24, the feast day of Vietnamese martyrs. 

The Blessed Mother is believed to have appeared in La Vang in 1798 to console persecuted Vietnamese Catholics. In 1961, the bishops of Vietnam declared the site as the national Marian shrine. 

After the government returned 13 hectares of land around the shrine in 2008, new facilities including a new basilica with a capacity to hold 5,000 people has been under construction. 

Photos and texts by reporter.

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