Hanoi (Agenzia Fides) - Easter liturgies were solemnly celebrated with great participation of people in all dioceses of the Vietnamese
Church. Easter time in Vietnamese communities is accompanied by fervent works of charity, the preaching of a proclamation of hope, and prayer in shrines.
Celebrating the Resurrection on Easter Sunday, Msgr. Joseph Nguyen Chi Linh Archbishop of Hue, central Vietnam, said: "Easter divides the history of salvation into two parts. The part we are in is the part with the radiant future, in a new life given by the risen Christ, which helps us to walk serenely in our faith and to go firmly and courageously to preach the Easter Gospel. Easter is not an event for us to celebrate as a memory, but a life-changing moment of grace that lifts us out of the sorrows and vices of the past and into a new life". The spirit of the resurrection is expressed in works of charity and evangelization. In the diocese of Hue, groups of volunteers every Sunday collect used items donated by families, sort them, recycle them and sell them to traders: the proceeds make up a fund to help people in difficult situations or in need.
In the diocese of Ba Ria (South Vietnam), responding to the call of Bishop Emmanuel Nguyen Hong Son, the faithful of associations and parishes devote much time and effort to charity work to help the poor and sick.
In Hanoi (North Vietnam), Archbishop Joseph Vu Van Thien visited and encouraged volunteers of the "Love meals", meals brought to patients of the Tan Trieu Cancer Hospital "to express solidarity with cancer patients who are undergoing treatment at the hospital". In a visit organized by Caritas of the diocese, priests, nuns, seminarians and religious also visited the Psychiatric Hospital and the Association for the Blind in the city of Hue, bringing comfort, smiles, solidarity, hope and a single message: the love and mercy of God that saves every person.
There is a large turnout, especially of young people, during Easter time at the shrine named after Blessed Andrew Phu Yen, where pilgrims recite prayers and ask for graces. The shrine is located in Quang Nam province, Da Nang diocese (central Vietnam). Blessed Andrew Phu Yen, born in 1625, was already a catechist alongside Jesuit Father Alexandre de Rhodes as a teenager. He was beheaded at the age of 19 for his determination to "remain faithful to Jesus until his last breath" on July 26, 1644, at the site of the shrine. He was beatified by St. John Paul II on March 5, 2000. He is a reference point and source of inspiration for the faith of Vietnamese youth. (PA/AD) (Agenzia Fides, 13/4/2023)