Feast of St. Matthew Le Van Gam (May 11)   Leave a comment

Above:  Indochina, 1842

Image in the Public Domain

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SAINT MATTHÊÔ LÊ VAN GAM (CIRCA 1813-MAY 11, 1847)

Vietnamese Roman Catholic Martyr

Alternative feast day = November 24 (as one of the Martyrs of Vietnam)

St. Matthêô Lê Van Gam found his vocation as a layman.  He, born circa 1813 in Gò Công, Biên Hòa, Vietnam, grew up in a Christian family.  Our saint studied at the seminary at Lai Thieu, but left to assume his responsibilities as the firstborn son in his family.  He married and became the father of four children, two of whom died because they were Christian.  After an incident of infidelity our saint rededicated himself to his faith and to the Church, especially to assisting missionaries.

Emperor Nguyen Phuoc Toan (Thiêu Tri, reigned 1841-1847) persecuted Christians.  In 1864 our saint came to the attention of authorities.  He, a skilled sailor, was smuggling Christians out of the country.  For example, in two separate trips, our saint smuggled a group of seminarians to Malaysia and a group of diocesan priests out of the kingdom.  In July 1846 authorities arrested our saint, who bribed some soldiers successfully yet failed to escape imprisonment and frequent torture after he refused to desecrate a cross.  On May 11, 1847, at Cho Ðui, Dong Nai, Vietnam, our saint died of beheading after three blows.

Pope Leo XIII declared our saint a Venerable in 1899 then a Blessed the following year.  Pope John Paul II canonized him in 1988.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

OCTOBER 13, 2017 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF EDWARD WHITE BENSON, ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY

THE FEAST OF CHRISTIAN DAVID, MORAVIAN MISSIONARY

THE FEAST OF LOUIS FITZGERALD BENSON, U.S. PRESBYTERIAN MINISTER AND HYMNODIST

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Gracious God, in every age you have sent men and women

who have given their lives in witness to your love and truth.

Inspire us with the memory of Saint Matthêô Lê Van Gam,

whose faithfulness led to the way of the cross, and give us courage

to bear full witness with our lives to your Son’s victory over sin and death,

for he lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen.

Ezekiel 20:40-42

Psalm 5

Revelation 6:9-11

Mark 8:34-38

–Adapted from Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006), page 59

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