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Pope Francis pays tribute to late Vietnamese cardinal

July 09, 2013

Pope Francis paid tribute to Cardinal François-Xavier Nguyên Van Thuán in a meeting with officials involved in his beatification cause, the diocesan phase of which recently concluded.

Born in 1928, Cardinal Van Thuán was appointed coadjutor archbishop of Saigon six days before the South Vietnamese capital’s fall to Communist invasion. Imprisoned for 13 years, he served as president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace from 1998 until his 2002 death.

The late cardinal, a “witness to hope, is still alive, and – more than a memory – is a spiritual presence that continues to bring his blessing,” Pope Francis said on July 6. “In effect, there are many people who can attest that they were edified by their encounter with the Servant of God François-Xavier Nguyên Van Thuán, at different moments of his life. Experience shows that his reputation for holiness has spread precisely through the testimony of so many people who met him and preserve in their heart his gentle smile and the greatness of his soul.”

“Many came to know him through his writings, simple and profound, which reveal his priestly spirit, closely united to the One who had called him to be a minister of His mercy and His love,” the Pope continued. “So many people have written to tell of graces and signs attributed to the intercession of the Servant of God Cardinal Van Thuán. We thank the Lord for this venerable brother, son of the East, who ended his earthly journey in the service of the Successor of St. Peter.”

Friends and relatives of the late cardinal were also present at the meeting.


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