Fr Paul reads from the Gospel of Luke (21: 20-28) in which Jesus continues to share with his disciples the destruction ahead for Jerusalem.  Afterwards, Fr Paul shares a little bit about the martyrs of Vietnam as today we celebrate the memorial of St Andrew Dung Lac and Companions. Fr Paul says the evangelization of Vietnam began in the 16th century and was formally established in 1659. There are now about 6 million Catholics in Vietnam, which represents about 10% of the population.This growth comes partly from the fact that since the 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 Vietnam from 1625 to 1886, launched persecution after persecution of Christians, each one more savage than the last. Over the whole territory of Vietnam about 130,000 Christians were killed during 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 the 117 was a soul individually created and loved by God, with a life and gifts uniquely his or her own. If we look at nationality, there were 96 Vietnamese, 11 Spanish and 10 French that  made up the 117. 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.So today especially with the Vietnamese Church, Fr Paul invites us to pray St Andrew Dung Lac and his companions… Pray for us!’.