Dominic Kham Trong Pham

 
 
Not all magistrates persecuted and condemmed Christianity.  Dominic Kham Trong Pham, a magistrate, was born in 1780 in the province of Nam Dinh, north Vietnam.  The eldest son of a wealthy family in the area, he was deeply affected by the Christian values and upbringings of his parents.  At the age of 18, he married another Christian woman and had 3 sons and 3 daughters.  His eldest son, another magistrate, and two other sons, a priest and lay person, were also martyred around the same time as he was. 
 
Dominic Pham was a pious and devout Christian.  He kept his faith at low profile and was educated and advanced to the rank of a magistrate.  He came to the defense of people who he found were unjustly accused.  He was known throughout the region as a kind and good judge. When he retired at the age of 79, the authorities started to raid surrounding villages and arrested him along with hundreds of people, suspected of being Christians.
 
Because of his old age and well-regarded position, Dominic Pham was not subjected to the cruelty inflicted upon other younger prisoners.   Nevertheless, he refused to abandon his faith and offered moral support to other prisoners. 
 
Finally, the governing official had enough of his stubborness and ordered his execution along with other prisoners.  Dominic Pham was led to the execution site and was given last rites by two fellow prisoners who were priests.
 
Dominic Pham was spared from beheading but had to endure strangulation.  After a long and angonizing act, Dominic Pham expired, amidst the cries and thrall of surrounding people, who were at awe at the cruelty inflicted on an elderly.  The soldiers then burned his hands and face, as an act of final humiliation, so he would not re-incarnate into the next life committing the same crimes against the country again.
 
The Christians discretely removed his body and returned him to Our Lady of Sorrow Church for proper Christian burial.  He was survived by a wife and three daughters.  His feast day was January 13, 1859.
 
Pope Pius XII beatified him on April 29, 1851 and Pope John Paul II canonized him along with the other 116 martyrs in 1988.
 
 
 
REFERENCE
 
DungLac.org