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Our Lady of Lavang: Apparition during persecution of Vietnamese Catholics

Our Lady of La Vang, Vietnam

Despite the continuous persecution, people came to the jungle to ask for prayers from Mary.

In 1798, in Vietnam, the Nguyen Dynasty suppressed the spread of the Catholic faith. The dynasty declared the church a group in revolt against its rule. 

The Catholics were persecuted and killed. To save their lives, some Catholics fled to the jungle of La Vang in Quang Tri province. 

From 1630 to 1886, some 130,000 to 300,000 Catholics escaped to the jungle. 

Some got sick while they were hiding. At night, they recited the rosary.

On one of the nights, a group of Catholics saw a vision of Mary and the infant Jesus in the branches.

Mary asked them to have faith, be strong in their suffering, and pray. She taught them how to use the plants in the jungle to cure the illness.

Mary also promised to help those who came to her.

The Catholics built a chapel in her honor. Her name spread in Vietnam. 

Despite the continuous persecution, people came to the jungle to ask for prayers from Mary.

In 1886, the persecution of the Catholics ended. 

More chapels were built. The number of pilgrims grew. 

In 1928, Bishop Eugene Maria Giuseppe Allys made La Vang an independent parish. 

In 1901, the Lady of La Vang inspired the construction of a church. About 12,000 people participated in the solemn inauguration ceremony. They proclaimed the Lady of La Vang as the protectorate of the Catholics.

A growing number of pilgrims led to the construction of a larger church in 1924.

In 1961, Lavang became a national Marian site.

In the same year, Pope John XXII elevated the church to a basilica. 

The war in 1972 destroyed the church.

The Vatican has not officially recognized the Marian apparition in Lavang. But Pope John Paul II recognized its significance in 1998. He wanted a church reconstruction to commemorate the apparition's 200th anniversary.

With more than 86 percent of Vietnam's population having no religion, Catholicism is the country's largest religion, with more than six percent in 2019. Buddhism has more than four percent of its followers.

Outside Vietnam, Our Lady of Lavang has churches in the Philippines, the US, Canada, and Australia. 

In the United States alone, there are more than a dozen churches.

Our Lady of Lavang's church in the Philippines is located in Puerto Princesa, a city in Palawan.

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