After Spanish merchants and missionaries delivered the Gospel and Catholicism to Vietnam in the 14th century, and superseding many centuries of political struggles, Our Lady of Lavang remains a powerful and graceful intercessor, and a help to suffering Christians.
Just before the turn of the 19th century, in hopes of fleeing government installed persecution but aware of the realities of death and martyrdom, a group of faithful Vietnamese Catholics hid themselves in a dense and dangerous jungle, where they were met with disease, hunger, beasts and terrible weather. In their suffering, these Catholics continued praying, most memorably, a rosary, each evening, with the powerful hope that faith would save them.
To their joyful surprise, Our Blessed Mother appeared to them during their prayer, clothed in light and traditional Vietnamese garments, accompanied by two angels and carrying her child Son, Our Lord. To those gathered in awe, Our Lady of Lavang spoke, instructing them to boil leaves as a remedy to their ailments. What’s more, she promised that to any and all who prayed on that spot, their prayers would be heard and answered. Not long after her hope-giving visit, many anti-Catholic restrictions were lifted, the hidden returned to their homes and the news of the Blessed Mother’s visit spread.
Much like how this apparition site began and remains as a place of refuge, worship, and peace, we too here at The Basilica also strive to create a community of such character. For this reason, our namesake parish protects and gives hope to those who suffer in religious, physical and desperate ways, and we house a likeness of Our Lady so we remember her and those she helps.