St. Andrew Dung-Lac

Artist: 
Br. Robert Lentz, OFM

Artist's Narrative:
From its introduction in Vietnam in the 16th Century, Catholicism was seen by authorities as something foreign and was persecuted various times. Perhaps as many as 100,000 converts were martyred during the first two centuries. In 1988 John Paul II canonized 117 of these martyrs, including Andrew Dung-Lac.

Andrew was born into a poor family in north Vietnam. When his family moved to Hanoi to find work, he met a Christian catechist who gave him food and shelter and instructed in the Christian faith. After his baptism, he learned Chinese and Latin and became a catechist himself. He was then chosen to study theology and was ordained a priest in 1823.

When persecution broke out under Emperor Minh-Mang, he was arrested and imprisoned. His parishioners bought his freedom and he went into hiding for the next four years, changing his family name from Dung to Lac, and serving secretly as a priest in another area. In 1839 he was arrested again and taken to Hanoi where he suffered terrible physical torture. On December 21 he was beheaded.

In this icon he is dressed in ordinary Vietnamese clothing in remembrance of the years he ministered in hiding.

His feast day is November 24.

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