Thursday, May 6, 2010

Cardinal Francis Xavier Nguyen Van Thuan: Empowered by the Eucharist

"Many friends have asked me,
'What is your secret strength that enabled you to survive prison?'
The strength that empowered me was the Eucharist."

~ Cardinal Francis Xavier Nguyen Van Thuan ~

From JP2FilmFestival — August 20, 2009 — Cardinal Francis Xavier Nguyen Van Thuan was a political prisoner of the Communist regime in Vietnam for thirteen years, nine of which he spent in solitary confinement. His remarkable faith sustained him during those long years when he would celebrate Mass in secret with three drops of wine in the palm of his hand and the host smuggled inside a flashlight by his faithful. His spiritual writings, penned on the back of old calendars, have spread throughout the world inspiring millions.

"I will never be able to express my immense joy: Every day with three drops of wine and one drop of water in the palm of my hand, I celebrated my Mass.

"...We made little containers from the paper of cigarette boxes to reserve the Blessed Sacrament. Jesus in the Eucharist was always with me in my shirt pocket. .... They (Catholics in the camp) all knew that Jesus was among them, that He is the one who cures all their physical and mental suffering. At night, the prisoners would take turns keeping adoration; Jesus helped in a tremendous way with His silent presence. Many Christians regained the fervor of their faith during these days, and Buddhists and other non-Christians converted.

"The strength of the love of Jesus is irresistible. The darkness of prison became light, the seed germinated underground during the storm."

~ Cardinal Francis Xavier Nguyen Van Thuan ~

Mary, Mother of Jesus Christ, Eternal High Priest, Mother of all priests and our Mother, help us respond generously to the Holy Spirit's request, through the voice of His Church, to offer up to God Eucharistic adoration for priests.  Amen.

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