Our Lady of La Vang Vietnam Pilgrimage
2019 Departure: 2 Nov 2019 (7 Days Full-Board Pilgrimage)
Places include: Da Nang, Hoi An, Bana Hills, Hue, La Vang Shrine, Ho Chi Minh, Ving Tau, Cu Chi Tunnels and more!
The persecution of Catholics in Vietnam began in 1640 and escalated into 1798 when the Nguyen Dynasty decreed Catholicism as “a religious sect introduced by foreigners to rally the working class to revolt against the ruling dynasty.” Many Catholics took refuge in the deep jungle of La Vang, in the Quang Tri province, and many became very ill due to the harsh conditions of the jungle. Every night, the people would gather every night at the foot of a tree to pray for help and comfort.
One miraculous night in 1798, they were visited by an apparition of a beautiful lady in the branches of the tree. She was wearing a traditional Vietnamese dress and holding a child in her arms with two angels right beside her, whom we have come to know as Our Lady of La Vang.
The people said that Our Lady comforted them and taught them to boil the leaves from the tress as medication to cure their sickness. She also told them that from that day on, all those who came to this place to pray, would get their prayers heard and answered. All those who were present witnessed this miracle and received this message from Our Lady.
In 1802, the Catholics returned to their homes in the villages and spread the apparition of Our Lady and her message, which attracted more visitors, pilgrims and Christians to visit at the site. In 1820, a chapel was built for the pilgrims and the locals. However, from 1830-1885, during another bout of persecutions, the chapel was destroyed. In 1886, a new chapel was reconstructed and renovated in 1924 and 1959. In 1961, the Bishops of Vietnam selected the Church of La Vang as the National Sacred Marian Ceter. Today’s Church and Shrine of Our Lady of La Vang is located about 40km from the city of Hue, rebuilt from 1995 to 2004 with a bell tower, a pilgrimage house and a square for pilgrims to pray.
On 19 June 1988, Pope John Paul II was a rock star and went against the opposition from Vietnam’s Communist government and held the largest group canonization in Church history where 117 Vietnamese martyrs were proclaimed as Saints. Their feast day for those named and unnamed Vietnamese Saints is on 24 November. Experience Vietnam where these people were tortured and executed for fervently refusing to denounce their faith.
Also, you have been warned, once you have tasted authentic Vietnamese food in Vietnam which is AWESOME, Vietnamese food outside of Vietnam will PALE IN COMPARISON. Apologies for ruining your standards of Vietnamese food and forcing you to satisfy your craving only in Vietnam.