Our Lady of La Vang
A Parish Celebration
Sunday, August 12
We commemorate the anniversary of the Vietnamese Community in our parish each August with a celebration of Our Lady of La Vang. The observance coincides annually with the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
5:00 p.m. Procession
5:30 p.m. Mass
Dinner reception with music and entertainment following Mass
Conference Center Hall
About Our Lady of La Vang
Our Lady of La Vang first appeared to the Vietnamese people in 1798, during a time of severe persecution of Vietnamese Catholics. Amidst this suffering, many Catholics sought refuge in the deep forest of La Vang, in central Vietnam, where they endured bitter cold, lurking wild beasts, jungle sickness, and starvation. At night they often gathered in small groups to say the rosary and to pray. Unexpectedly, one night they were visited by an apparition of a beautiful Lady in a long cape, holding a child in her arms, with two angels at her sides. The people recognized the Lady as Our Blessed Mother, who comforted them and told them that from that day on, all who came to this place to pray would have their prayers heard and answered.
The Blessed Mother continued to appear in this same place throughout this period of religious persecution. The people who took refuge there erected a small chapel in her honor. Despite its isolated location in the high mountains, people continued to find ways to penetrate the deep and dangerous jungle to pray to the Lady of La Vang.
After the persecution had officially ended, the bishop ordered that a church be built in honor of the Lady of La Vang. Construction took fifteen years. The church of La Vang was inaugurated in a solemn ceremony lasting from August 6 to August 9, 1901, with over 12,000 people participating. In 1928 a larger church was built to accommodate the increasing number of pilgrims. This church was destroyed in the summer of 1972 during the Vietnam War.
In April 1961 the Council of Vietnamese Bishops selected the holy church of La Vang as the National Sacred Marian Center, and in August 1962 Pope John XXIII elevated the church of La Vang to the Basilica of La Vang. Today, the La Vang Marian Shrine is the most important site for Vietnamese Catholics.