Vietnamese Martyrs

The Vatican estimates the number of Vietnamese martyrs at between 130,000 and 300,000 were killed. Pope John Paul II decided to canonize those whose names are known and unknown, giving them a single feast day.

The Vietnamese Martyrs fall into several groupings, those of the Dominican and Jesuit missionary era of the (17th century) and those killed in the Christian persecutions of the 19th century. A representative sample of 117 martyrs — including 96 Vietnamese, 11 Spanish Dominicans, and 10 French members of the Paris Foreign Missions Society (Missions Etrangères de Paris) — were beatified on four separate occasions:

Fortissimorum Virorum - 64 by Pope Leo XIII on May 27, 1900,

Purpurata Sanguine - 8 by Pope Pius X on May 20, 1906,

Purpurata Sanguine - 20 by Pope Pius X on May 2, 1909,

Albae jam ad Messem - 25 by Pope Pius XII on April 29, 1951.

All these 117 Vietnamese Martyrs were canonized on June 19, 1988. A young Vietnamese Martyr, Andrew Phú Yên, was beatified in March, 2000 by Pope John Paul II.

The martyrs died during these periods:

- Chúa Trịnh Doanh (1740-1767): 2 people

- Chúa Trịnh Sâm (1767-1782): 2 people

- Emperor Cảnh Thịnh (1782-1802): 2 people

- Emperor Minh Mạng (1820-1840): 58 people

- Emperor Thiệu Trị (1840-1847): 3 people

- Emperor Tự Ðức (1847-1883): 50 people

The tortures these individuals underwent are considered by the Vatican to be among the worst in the history of Christian martyrdom. The torturers hacked off limbs joint by joint, tore flesh with red hot tongs, and used drugs to enslave the minds of the victims. Christians at the time were branded on the face with the hieroglyphics 道, for heterodox doctrine, while their families and villages were destroyed.

The letters and example of Théophane Venard inspired the young St. Theresa of Lisieux to volunteer for the Carmelite nunnery at Hanoi, though she ultimately contracted tuberculosis and could not go.

List of names of the Vietnamese Martyrs

  • Agnes Le Thi Thanh

  • Andrew Dung-Lac An Tran

    • Andrew Thong Kim Nguyen

    • Andrew Trong Van Tram

    • Andrew Tuong

    • Anthony Dich Nguyen

    • Anthony Quynh Nam

    • Augustine Huy Viet Phan

    • Augustine Moi Van Nguyen

  • Augustin Schoeffer

    • Bernard Due Van Vo

    • Dominic Hanh Van Nguyen

    • Dominic Henares, a Dominican bishop from Spain

    • Dominic Nicholas Dat Dinh

    • Dominic Trach Doai

    • Dominic Uy Van Bui

    • Dominic Xuyen Van Nguyen

  • Dominic Kham Trong Pham

    • Dominic Tran Duy Ninh

    • Dominic Cam

    • Dominic Huyen

    • Dominic Toai

    • Dominic Mau

    • Dominic Nhi

    • Dominic Nguyen

    • Dominic Mao

    • Emmanuel Trieu Van Nguyen

    • Francis Chieu Van Do

    • Francis Gil de Frederich

  • Francis Isidore Gagelin

    • Francis Jaccard

    • Francis Trung Von Tran

    • Francis Xavier Can Nguyen

    • Ignatius Delgado y Cebrián

    • Jacinto (Hyacinth) Casteñeda, a Dominican

    • James Nam

    • Jerome Hermosilla

    • John Baptist Con

    • John Charles Cornay

    • John Dat

    • John Hoan Trinh Doan

  • Jean Louis Bonnard

    • John Thanh Van Dinh

    • José María Díaz Sanjurjo

    • Joseph Canh Luang Hoang

    • Joseph Fernandez

    • Joseph Hien Quang Do

    • Joseph Khang Duy Nguyen

    • Joseph Luu Van Nguyen

  • Joseph Marchand

    • Joseph Nghi Kim

    • Joseph Thi Dang Le

    • Joseph Uyen Dinh Nguyen

    • Joseph Vien Dinh Dang

    • Joseph Khang, a local doctor

    • Joseph Tuc


Witnesses of the Faith in the Orient (Hong Kong 1989). B. Bloomfield,

Martyrs of Vietnam (London 1995). M. J. Dorcy,

Saint Dominic's Family (Dubuque, Iowa 1963) 498-99, 506-9, 511-13. V. Gomez, Pedro Almatĩ y Ribera, OP,

Mártir del Vietnam: Letters to Family and Friends (Valencia 1987).