cardinal nguyen van thuan
Throughout his life Cardinal Thuan did not write many books or articles. However, while he was imprisoned for thirteen years, nine of which was solitary confinement, the then-Archbishop wrote a book by the name "Đường Hy Vọng" or "The Road of Hope" to encourage the faithful in his diocese and all the People of God in Vietnam. This book has been translated to more than 15 languages.
In 1975, Francis Xavier Nguyen Van Thuan was traveling to Saigon, Vietnam, to become its new Coadjutor Bishop. On the way, he was arrested and imprisoned -- an incarceration that lasted thirteen years. Despite tremendous risk, Van Thuan refused to remain passive. During his nights in prison, he wrote encouraging messages to the Vietnamese people. These brief reflections, scribbled on scraps of paper, were smuggled out of prison, copied by hand and circulated within the community. Bishop Van Thuan was thus able to remain connected to his people in a hidden yet powerful way. The Road of Hope is the collection of these 1,001 messages, a true "gospel from prison," written to console and strengthen a weary people in war-torn land. They remain the heartfelt, personal words of a father who sustained and nourished his children's desire for freedom. Today, they speak to us - an invitation to begin our own journey on the Road of Hope. >> Click here to buy <<
Cardinal Nguyen Van Thuan says, "This little book of prayers was written in prison. Though I was alone and seemed to have nothing at all, I had the love of faithful friends who were praying for me. And I had the love of Christ in my heart.
In gratitude for that love, I wrote these prayer on scraps of paper the prison guards gave me. They are a remembrance of that time when I seemed poor, but when I was actually very rich--for love can do all things."
No one—the Church or its members—can be satisfied with possessing the faith and withdrawing behind a fortress to enjoy it with security. Rather, we cannot stop moving forward in our search for God; and on the way Jesus advances and draws closer to us. >> Click here to buy <<
Every year, the pope chooses someone to preach a course of spiritual exercises for himself and the Roman Curia at the Vatican. In the Jubilee Year 2000, Pope John Paul II asked Vietnamese Archbishop Nguyen van Thuan.
Testimony of Hope is the complete text of those Spiritual Exercises. In this moving work, the Archbishop addresses our need for hope at the beginning of the Third Christian Millennium. As a prisoner in a communist concentration camp for 13 years, 9 of them in solitary confinement, Archbishop Nguyen van Thuan faced what he describes as the "agonizing pain of isolation and abandonment."
Recounting the details of those long years, he reveals the secret which allowed him to cling to hope in the midst of despair. Nguyen van Thuan 's message to John Paul II and to us is this: the same hope that he found in imprisonment is also the hope for the world at this momentous point in history. Faced with any darkness, we have reason for confidence: Christ, Hope of the World. >> Click here to buy <<
Always reticent about speaking of himself, Cardinal Van Thuan slowly began to realize that his prison experience of suffering and hope could help others in their journey of faith. The reflections he prepared for the 1997 World Youth Day in Paris became the framework for Five Loaves & Two Fish; the content is his personal Magnificat for the wonders God had worked in and through the small offering of his life--like the fish and loaves in the Gospel, which fed thousands.
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