When he took possession of his titular church last year, your dear Cardinal [Joseph-Marie Trinh van-Can] said that the Church in Vietnam has always found the “powerful hand of a mother” in Mary. I entrust to her protection your ecclesial mission and that of all the Christians of your country.
As I return from my pilgrimage to Lisieux [2 June 1980], allow me also to invoke the little Carmelite, Saint Therese of the Child Jesus, who has many close ties with Vietnam. Her Carmel was the origin of Carmelite life in your land and, if her health had allowed it, she would have gladly come to your country.
May the one hundred and seventeen Blessed Vietnamese Martyrs, who illustrate your people’s intrepid fidelity to the faith, accompany you on the difficult paths that are often yours!
Saint John Paul II
Address of John Paul II to the Bishops of Vietnam on their “Ad Limina Apostolorum” visit (excerpts)
Tuesday, June 17, 1980
Translation from the French text is the blogger’s own work product and may not be reproduced without permission.
Featured image: Historic photo shows the sanctuary of the public chapel of the Carmel of Saigon and the large grille separating the sanctuary and the nuns’ choir. (Photo credit: Discalced Carmelites)