Fr Paul Gooley reads from Luke’s Gospel (19: 45-48) in which Jesus enters the temple in Jerusalem and begins to drive out the market stall holders. Afterwards, Fr Paul shares a little about St Andrew Dung-Lac and his companions, whose memorial we celebrate today. Fr Paul says, what the memorial of St Andrew Dung-Lac and Companions represents is the evangelization of Vietnam began in the 16th century and was formally established in 1659. There are now about 6 million Catholics in Vietnam, some 10% of the population. This growth comes partly from the fact that since its earliest times the seed of the Faith has been watered by the blood of the martyrs of Vietnam – the missionary clergy, the local clergy and the ordinary Christian people. They have all shared the labour of apostolic work and have together faced death to bear witness to the truth of the Gospel. In the course of the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries no less than 53 decrees, signed by the lords and emperors of the country from 1625 to 1886, launched one persecution of Christians after another, each one more savage than the last. Over the whole territory of Vietnam about 130,000 Christians were killed in these persecutions. Over the centuries the names of most of them have been lost, but their memory is still alive in the Catholic community. Since the beginning of the 20th century 117 of these heroes (those whose sufferings were cruellest and best documented) were beatified, in four groups. They were all canonized together by Pope John Paul II on 19 June 1988. Each one of them was a soul individually created and loved by God, with a life and gifts uniquely his or her own; but with such a huge crowd one can only classify: By nationality, there were 96 Vietnamese, 11 Spanish and 10 French. By status, there were 8 bishops, 50 priests, and 59 laymen and women. By mode of death, 75 were beheaded, 22 strangled, 6 burned alive, 5 torn to pieces while still alive, and 9 died of torture in prison. Today Fr Paul invites us to pray, ‘St Andrew Dung-Lac and Companions…Pray for us!’.