Updated: July 05, 2021 11:01 AM GMT
Archbishop Joseph Vu Van Thien and priests concelebrate the feast of Mother of Hanoi at Cua Bac Church on July 2. (Photo courtesy of tonggiaophanhanoi.org)
Catholics in Vietnam’s capital have been urged to follow Mother Mary's examples in trusting in God and doing charitable work.
On July 2, Archbishop Joseph Vu Van Thien of Hanoi presided at a special Mass observing the grand title of “Mother of Hanoi” at Cua Bac Church. Due to national social distancing measures against the Covid-19 outbreak, 18 priests concelebrated the Mass aired on the archdiocese's site.
Archbishop Thien said Jesuit Father Alexandre de Rhodes and other Jesuits landed in Thang Long, now Hanoi, to proclaim the Good News on July 2, 1627. According to the former liturgical calendar, July 2 was the feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary that commemorates the Virgin Mary’s visit to her cousin Elizabeth.
On July 2, 1959, the late Archbishop Cardinal Joseph Mary Trinh Nhu Khue of Hanoi honored Mother Mary as patroness of the ancient city and granted the grand title to Cua Bac Church, which was built in 1931 with Asian-European architecture in the capital. The local Church has marked the event every year since then.
Archbishop Thien said the first Jesuits came to "offer us the valuable gift of faith that has bloomed and borne fruits, forming a faith community in our homeland."
He said local people believe that the Blessed Mother loves their nation and walked with foreign missionaries to their place as she set out and traveled to the hill country in haste to visit Elizabeth. Mary said God had done great things for herself and her nation, blessed those who love him and invited all people to be missionaries to bring Good News to others.
Those who cannot see God but explicitly trust in his boundless mercy are blessed
He said Mother Mary is full of grace as she firmly believes in a mighty but invisible God, absolutely trusts in divine providence and says yes to the plan of salvation from God.
He said to follow Mary’s faith means to accept God’s presence in our life, and we must live out the lively faith via carrying out God’s teaching.
“Those who cannot see God but explicitly trust in his boundless mercy are blessed,” Archbishop Thien said.
"The Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary is a sign of charity and image of one missionary so that we should know to perform charitable work in our daily life and to proclaim the name of Jesus Christ to all people in our time."
He called on people to pray to God to give peace to the city and archdiocese and for the faithful to be united in love.
The archbishop said Cardinal Can dedicated himself to Mother Mary all his life and told local Catholics to show intense devotion to Jesus’ so that they are given good things and peace in their life.
He said Hanoi is called a city of peace. That is a wonderful title but “it will be more wonderful that we appeal to Mary Queen of Peace to shelter the city and its residents.”
“We believe that Mother Mary loves all people, especially those who wholeheartedly open their minds to God’s teaching and frankly perform faith in their daily life,” he said.
After the ceremony, Archbishop Thien and the priests blessed a newly built pastoral house in the compound of the church. The four-story building, which is used to hold catechism classes, parish activities and Eucharist adoration, is named after Martyr Theophane Venard (1829-61), a French missionary who was beheaded for his Catholic faith near the church.