Skip to comments.Catholic Caucus: Daily Mass Readings 08-01-2021; Memorial of St. Dominic Van Honh Dieu
Posted on 07/31/2021 9:04:53 PM PDT by Cronos
Memorial of St. Dominic Van Honh Dieu
St. Mary's Church, Bath,UK
Readings at Mass
Liturgical Colour: Green
The Lord sends manna from heaven
The whole community of the sons of Israel began to complain against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness and said to them, ‘Why did we not die at the Lord’s hand in the land of Egypt, when we were able to sit down to pans of meat and could eat bread to our heart’s content! As it is, you have brought us to this wilderness to starve this whole company to death!’
Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Now I will rain down bread for you from the heavens. Each day the people are to go out and gather the day’s portion; I propose to test them in this way to see whether they will follow my law or not.
‘I have heard the complaints of the sons of Israel. Say this to them, “Between the two evenings you shall eat meat, and in the morning you shall have bread to your heart’s content. Then you will learn that I, the Lord, am your God.”’
And so it came about: quails flew up in the evening, and they covered the camp; in the morning there was a coating of dew all round the camp. When the coating of dew lifted, there on the surface of the desert was a thing delicate, powdery, as fine as hoarfrost on the ground. When they saw this, the sons of Israel said to one another, ‘What is that?’ not knowing what it was. ‘That’ said Moses to them ‘is the bread the Lord gives you to eat.’
The Lord gave them bread from heaven.
The things we have heard and understood,
the things our fathers have told us,
these we will not hide from their children
but will tell them to the next generation:
The Lord gave them bread from heaven.
the glories of the Lord and his might
and the marvellous deeds he has done,
Yet he commanded the clouds above
and opened the gates of heaven.
He rained down manna for their food,
and gave them bread from heaven.
The Lord gave them bread from heaven.
Mere men ate the bread of angels.
He sent them abundance of food;
So he brought them to his holy land,
to the mountain which his right hand had won.
The Lord gave them bread from heaven.
Put aside your old self and put on the new
I want to urge you in the name of the Lord, not to go on living the aimless kind of life that pagans live. Now that is hardly the way you have learnt from Christ, unless you failed to hear him properly when you were taught what the truth is in Jesus. You must give up your old way of life; you must put aside your old self, which gets corrupted by following illusory desires. Your mind must be renewed by a spiritual revolution so that you can put on the new self that has been created in God’s way, in the goodness and holiness of the truth.
I am the Way, the Truth and the Life, says the Lord;
No one can come to the Father except through me.
Man does not live on bread alone,
but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.
It is my Father who gives you the bread from heaven; I am the bread of life
When the people saw that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there, they got into boats and crossed to Capernaum to look for Jesus. When they found him on the other side, they said to him, ‘Rabbi, when did you come here?’
‘I tell you most solemnly,
you are not looking for me because you have seen the signs
but because you had all the bread you wanted to eat.
Do not work for food that cannot last,
but work for food that endures to eternal life,
the kind of food the Son of Man is offering you,
for on him the Father, God himself, has set his seal.’
Then they said to him, ‘What must we do if we are to do the works that God wants?’ Jesus gave them this answer, ‘This is working for God: you must believe in the one he has sent.’ So they said, ‘What sign will you give to show us that we should believe in you? What work will you do? Our fathers had manna to eat in the desert; as scripture says: He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’ Jesus answered:
‘I tell you most solemnly,
it was not Moses who gave you bread from heaven,
it is my Father who gives you the bread from heaven,
the true bread;
for the bread of God
is that which comes down from heaven
and gives life to the world.’
‘Sir,’ they said ‘give us that bread always.’ Jesus answered:
‘I am the bread of life.
He who comes to me will never be hungry;
he who believes in me will never thirst.’
The readings on this page are from the Jerusalem Bible, which is used at Mass in most of the English-speaking world. The New American Bible readings, which are used at Mass in the United States, are available in the Universalis apps, programs and downloads.
22. The day following, when the people which stood on the other side of the sea saw that there was none other boat there, save that one whereinto his disciples were entered, and that Jesus went not with his disciples into the boat, but that his disciples were gone away alone;
23. (Howbeit there came other boats from Tiberias nigh unto the place where they did eat bread, after that the Lord had given thanks:)
24. When the people therefore saw that Jesus was not there, neither his disciples, they also took shipping, and came to Capernaum, seeking for Jesus.
25. And when they had found him on the other side of the sea, they said unto him, Rabbi, when camest thou hither?
26. Jesus answered them and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled.
27. Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed.
CHRYSOSTOM. (Hom. xliii. 2) Our Lord, though He did not actually shew Himself to the multitude walking on the sea, yet gave them the opportunity of inferring what had taken place; The day following, the people which stood on the other side of the sea saw that there was none other boat there, save that one whereinto His disciples were entered, and that Jesus went not with His disciples into the boat, but that His disciples were gone away alone. What was this but to suspect that He had walked across the sea, on His going away? For He could not have gone over in a ship, as there was only one there, that in which His disciples had entered; and He had not gone in with them.
AUGUSTINE. (Tr. xxv. 8) Knowledge of the miracle was conveyed to them indirectly. Other ships had come to the place where they had eaten bread; in these they went after Him; Howbeit there came other boats from Tiberias, nigh unto the place where they did eat bread, after that the Lord had given thanks. When the people therefore saw that Jesus was not there, neither His disciples, they also look shipping, and came to Capernaum, seeking for Jesus.
CHRYSOSTOM. (Hom. xliii. 1) Yet after so great a miracle, they did not ask Him how He had passed over, or shew any concern about it: as appears from what follows; And when they had found Him on the other side of the sea, they said unto Him, Rabbi, when earnest Thou hither? Except we say that this when meant how. And observe their lightness of mind. After saying, This is that Prophet, and wishing to take Him by force to make Him king, when they find Him, nothing of the kind is thought of.
AUGUSTINE. (Tr. xxv. 8) So He Who had fled to the mountain, mixes and converses with the multitude. Only just now they would have kept Him, and made Him king. But after the sacrament of the miracle, He begins to discourse, and fills their souls with His word, whose bodies He had satisfied with bread.
ALCUIN.i He who set an example of declining praise, and earthly power, sets teachers also an example of deliverance in preaching.
CHRYSOSTOM. (Hom. xliv. 1) Kindness and lenity are not always expedient. To the indolent or insensible disciple the spur must be applied; and this the Son of God does. For when the multitude comes with soft speeches, Rabbi, when earnest Thou hither? He shews them that He did not desire the honour that cometh from man, by the severity of His answer, which both exposes the motive on which they acted, and rebukes it. Jesus answered them and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Ye seek Me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled.
AUGUSTINE. (Tr. xxv. 10) As if He said, Ye seek Me to satisfy the flesh, not the spirit.
CHRYSOSTOM. (Hom. xliv. 1) After the rebuke, however, He proceeds to teach them: Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life; meaning, Ye seek for temporal food, whereas I only fed your bodies, that ye might seek the more diligently for that food, which is not temporary, but contains eternal life.
ALCUIN. Bodily food only supports the flesh of the outward man, and must be taken not once for all, but daily; whereas spiritual food remaineth for ever, imparting perpetual fulness, and immortality.
AUGUSTINE. (Tr. xxv. 10) Under the figure of food He alludes to Himself. Ye seek Me, He saith, for the sake of something else; seek Me for My own sake.
CHRYSOSTOM. (Hom. xliv. 1.) But, inasmuch as some who wish to live in sloth, pervert this precept, Labour not, &c. it is well to notice what Paul says, Let him that stole steal no more, but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth. Ephes. 4:28) And he himself too, when he resided with Aquila and Priscilla at Corinth, worked with his hand. By saying, Labour not for the meat which perisheth, our Lord does not mean to tell us to be idle; but to work, and give alms. This is that meat which perisheth not; to labour for the meat which perisheth, is to be devoted to the interests of this life. Our Lord saw that the multitude had no thought of believing, and only wished to fill their bellies, without working; and this He justly called the meat which perisheth.
AUGUSTINE. (Tr. xxv. 10) As He told the woman of Samaria above, If thou knewest Who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink, thou wouldest have asked of Him, and He would have given thee living water. (c. 4) So He says here, Which the Son of man shall give unto you.
ALCUIN. When, through the hand of the priest, thou receivest the Body of Christ, think not of the priest which thou seest, but of the Priest thou dost not see. The priest is the dispenser of this food, not the author. The Son of man gives Himself to us, that we may abide in Him, and He in us. Do not conceive that Son of man to be the same as other sons of men: He stands alone in abundance of grace, separate and distinct from all the rest: for that Son of man is the Son of God, as it follows, For Him hath God the Father sealed. To seal is to put a mark upon; so the meaning is, Do not despise Me because I am the Son of man, for I am the Son of man in such sort, as that the Father hath sealed Me, i. e. given Me something peculiar, to the end that I should not be confounded with the human race, but that the human race should be delivered by Me.
HILARY. (viii. de Trin. c. 44) A seal throws out a perfect impression of the stamp, at the same time that it takes in that impression. This is not a perfect illustration of the Divine nativity: for sealing supposes matter, different kinds of matter, the impression of harder upon softer. Yet He who was God Only-Begotten, and the Son of man only by the Sacrament of our salvation, makes use of it to express the Father’s fulness as stamped upon Himself. He wishes to shew the Jews He has the power of giving the eternal meat, because He contained in Himself the fulness of God.
CHRYSOSTOM. (Hom. xliv. 1) Or sealed, i. e. sent Him for this purpose, viz. to bring us food; or, sealed, was revealed the Gospel by means of His witness.
ALCUIN. To take the passage mystically: on the day following, i. e. after the ascension of Christ, the multitude standing in good works, not lying in worldly pleasures, expects Jesus to come to them. The one ship is the one Church: the other ships which come besides, are the conventicles of heretics, who seek their own, not the things of Jesus Christ. Wherefore He well says, Ye seek Me, because ye did eat of the loaves. (Phil. 2:21)
AUGUSTINE. (Tr. xxv. 10) How many there are who seek Jesus, only to gain some temporary benefit. One man has a matter of business, in which he wants the assistance of the clergy; another is oppressed by a more powerful neighbour, and flies to the Church for refuge: Jesus is scarcely ever sought for Jesus’ sake.
GREGORY. (xxiii. Moral. [c. xxv.]) In their persons too our Lord condemns all those within the holy Church, who, when brought near to God by sacred Orders, do not seek the recompense of righteousness, but the interests of this present life. To follow our Lord, when filled with bread, is to use Holy Church as a means of livelihood; and to seek our Lord not for the miracle’s sake, but for the loaves, is to aspire to a religious office, not with a view to increase of grace, but to add to our worldly means.
BEDE. They too seek Jesus, not for Jesus’ sake, but for something else, who ask in their prayers not for eternal, but temporal blessings. The mystical meaning is, that the conventicles of heretics are without the company of Christ and His disciples. And other ships coming, is the sudden growth of heresies. By the crowd, which saw that Jesus was not there, or His disciples, are designated those who seeing the errors of heretics, leave them and turn to the true faith.
28. Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?
29. Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.
30. They said therefore unto him, What sign shewest thou then, that we may see, and believe thee? what dost thou work?
31. Our fathers did eat manna in the desert; as it is written, He gave them bread from heaven to eat.
32. Then said Jesus unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven.
33. For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world.
34. Then said they unto him, Lord, evermore give us this bread.
ALCUIN. They understood that the meat, which remaineth unto eternal life, was the work of God: and therefore they ask Him what to do to work the work of God, i. e. obtain the meat: Then said they unto Him, What shall we do that we might work the works of God?
BEDE. i. e. By keeping what commandments shall we be able to fulfil the law of God?
CHRYSOSTOM. (Hom. xlv. 1) But they said this, not that they might learn, and do them, but to obtain from Him another exhibition of His bounty.
THEOPHYLACT. Christ, though He saw it would not avail, yet for the good of others afterwards, answered their question; and shewed them, or rather the whole world, what was the work of God: Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on Him whom He hath sent.
AUGUSTINE. (Tr. xxv. in Joan) He does not say, That ye believe Him, but, that ye believe on Him. For the devils believed Him, and did not believe on Him; and we believe Paul, but do not believe on Paul. To believe on Him is believing to love, believing to honour Him, believing to go unto Him, and be made members incorporate of His Body. The faith, which God requires of us, is that which worketh by love. Faith indeed is distinguished from works by the Apostle, who says, That man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law. (Rom. 3:28) But the works indeed which appear good, without faith in Christ, are not really so, not being referred to that end, which makes them good. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth (Rom. 10:4). And therefore our Lord would not separate faith from works, but said that faith itself was the doing the work of God; He saith not, This is your work, but, This is the work of God, that ye believe on Him: in order that he that glorieth might glory in the Lord.
AUGUSTINE. (xxv. 12) To eat then that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, is to believe on Him. Why dost thou make ready thy tooth and thy belly? Only believe, and thou hast eaten already. As He called on them to believe, they still asked for miracles whereby to believe; They said therefore unto Him, What sign shewest Thou then, that we may see and believe Thee? What dost Thou work?
CHRYSOSTOM. (Hom. xlv. 1) Nothing can be more unreasonable than their asking for another miracle, as if none had been given already. And they do not even leave the choice of the miracle to our Lord; but would oblige Him to give them just that sign, which was given to their fathers: Our fathers did eat manna in the desert.
ALCUIN. And to exalt the miracle of the manna, they quote the Psalm, As it is written, He gave them bread from heaven to eat.
CHRYSOSTOM. (Hom. xlv. 1) Whereas many miracles were performed in Egypt, at the Red Sea, and in the desert, they remembered this one the best of any. Such is the force of appetite. They do not mention this miracle as the work either of God, or of Moses, in order to avoid raising Him on the one hand to an equality with God, or lowering Him on the other by a comparison with Moses; but they take a middle ground, only saying, Our fathers did eat manna in the desert.
AUGUSTINE. (Tr. xxv. s. 12) Or thus; Our Lord sets Himself above Moses, who did not dare to say that He gave the meat which perisheth not. The multitude therefore remembering what Moses had done, and wishing for some greater miracle, say, as it were, Thou promisest the meat which perisheth not, and doest not works equal to those Moses did. He gave us not barley loaves, but manna from heaven.
CHRYSOSTOM. (Hom. xxv. 1) Our Lord might have replied, that He had done miracles greater than Moses: but it was not the time for such a declaration. One thing He desired, viz. to bring them to taste the spiritual meat: then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but My Father giveth you the true bread from heaven. Did not the manna come from heaven? True, but in what sense did it? The same in which the birds are called, the birds of heavenk; and just as it is said in the Psalm, The Lord thundered out of heaven. (Ps. 17) He calls it the true bread, not because the miracle of the manna was false, but because it was the figure, not the reality. He does not say too, Moses gave it you not, but I: but He puts God for Moses, Himself for the manna.
AUGUSTINE. (Tr. xxv. 13.) As if He said, That manna was the type of this food, of which I just now spoke; and which all my miracles refer to. You like my miracles, you despise what is signified by them. This bread which God gives, and which this manna represented, is the Lord Jesus Christ, as we read next, For the bread of God is He which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world.
BEDE. Not to the physical world, but to men, its inhabitants.
THEOPHYLACT. He calls Himself the true bread, because the only-begotten Son of God, made man, was principally signified by the manna. For manna means literally, what is this? The Israelites were astonished at first on finding it, and asked one another what it was. And the Son of God, made man, is in an especial sense this mysterious manna, which we ask about, saying, What is this? How can the Son of God be the Son of man? How can one person consist of two natures?
ALCUIN. Who by the humanity, which was assumed, came down from heaven, and by the divinity, which assumed it, gives life to the world.
THEOPHYLACT. But this bread, being essentially life, (for He is the Son of the living Father,) in quickening all things, does but what is natural to Him to do. For as natural bread supports our weak flesh, so Christ, by the operations of the Spirit, gives life to the soul; and even incorruption to the body, (for at the resurrection the body will be made incorruptible.) Wherefore He says, that He giveth life unto the world.
CHRYSOSTOM. (Hom. xlv. 1) Not only to the Jews, but to the whole world. The multitude, however, still attached a low meaning to His words: Then said they unto Him, Lord, evermore give us this bread. They say, Give us this bread, not, Ask Thy Father to give it us: whereas He had said that His Father gave this bread.
AUGUSTINE. (Tr. xxv. 13) As the woman of Samaria, when our Lord told her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall never thirst, thought He meant natural water, and said, Sir, give me this water, that she might never be in want of it again: in the same way these say, Give us this bread, which refreshes, supports, and fails not.
35. And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.
36. But I said unto you, That ye also have seen me, and believe not.
37. All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.
38. For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.
39. And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.
40. And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.
CHRYSOSTOM. (Hom. xlv. 2) Our Lord now proceeds to set forth mysteries; and first speaks of His Divinity: And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life. He does not say this of His body, for He speaks of that at the end; The bread that I will give you is My flesh. Here He is speaking of His Divinity. The flesh is bread, by virtue of the Word; this bread is heavenly bread, on account of the Spirit which dwelleth in it.
THEOPHYLACT. He does not say, I am the bread of nourishment, but of life, for, whereas all things brought death, Christ hath quickened us by Himself. But the life here, is not our common life, but that which is not cut short by death: He that cometh to Me shall never hunger; and He that believeth on Me shall never thirst.
AUGUSTINE. (Tr. xxv. 14) He that cometh to Me, i. e. that believeth on Me, shall never hunger, has the same meaning as shall never thirst; both signifying that eternal society, where there is no want.
THEOPHYLACT. Or, shall never hunger or thirst, i. e. shall never be wearied1 of hearing the word of God, and shall never thirst as to the understanding: as though He had not the water of baptism, and the sanctification of the Spirit.
AUGUSTINE. (Tr. xxv. 14) Ye desire bread from heaven: but, though you have it before you, you eat it not. This is what I told you: But I said unto you, that ye also have seen Me, and believe not.
ALCUIN. As if He said, I did not say what I did to you about the bread, because I thought you would eat it, but rather to convict you of unbelief. I say, that ye see Me, and believe not.
CHRYSOSTOM. (Hom. xliv. 2. c. 5.) Or, I said to you, refers to the testimony of the Scriptures, of which He said above, They are they which testify of Me; and again, I am come in My Father’s name, and ye receive Me not. That ye have seen Me, is a silent allusion to His miracles.
AUGUSTINE. (Tr. xxv. 14) But, because ye have seen Me, and believed not, I have not therefore lost the people of God: All that the Father giveth Me, shall come unto Me; and him that cometh to Me, I will in no wise cast out.
BEDE. All, He saith, absolutely, to shew the fulness of the number who should believe. These are they which the Father gives the Son, when, by His secret inspiration, He makes them believe in the Son.
ALCUIN. Whomsoever therefore the Father draweth to belief in Me, he, by faith, shall come to Me, that he may be joined to Me. And those, who in the steps of faith and good works, shall come to Me, I will in no wise cast out; i. e. in the secret habitation of a pure conscience, he shall dwell with Me, and at the last I will receive him to everlasting felicity.
AUGUSTINE. (Tr. xxv. 14) That inner place, whence there is no casting out, is a great sanctuary, a secret chamber, where is neither weariness, or the bitterness of evil thoughts, or the cross of pain and temptation: of which it is said, Enter thou into the joy of thy Lord. (Mat. 25)
CHRYSOSTOM. (Hom. xliv. 2) The expression, that the Father giveth Me, shews that it is no accident whether a man believes or not, and that belief is not the work of human cogitation, but requires a revelation from on high, and a mind devout enough to receive the revelation. Not that they are free from blame, whom the Father does not give, for they are deficient even in that which lies in their own power, the will to believe. This is a virtual rebuke to their unbelief, as it shews that whoever does not believe in Him, transgresses the Father’s will. Paul, however, says, that He gives them up to the Father: When He shall have given up the kingdom to God, even the Father. (1 Cor. 15:24) But as the Father, in giving, does not take from Himself, so neither does the Son when He gives up. The Son is said to give up to the Father, because we are brought to the Father by Him. And of the Father at the same time we read, By Whom ye were called unto the fellowship of His Son. (1 Cor. 1:9) Whoever then, our Lord says, cometh to Me, shall be saved, for to save such I took up flesh: For I came down from heaven not to do Mine own will, but the will of Him that sent Me. But what? Has thou one will, He another? No, certainly. Mark what He says afterwards; And this is the will of Him that sent Me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on Him, should have everlasting life. And this is the Son’s will too; For the Son quickeneth whom He will. (c. 5:21) He says then, I came to do nothing but what the Father wills, for I have no will distinct from My Father’s: all things that the Father hath are Mine. But this not now: He reserves these higher truths for the end of His ministry.
AUGUSTINE. (Tr. xxv. 15) This is the reason why He does not cast out those who come to Him. For I came down from heaven not to do Mine own will, but the will of Him that sent Me. The soul departed from God, because it was proud. Pride casts us out, humility restores us. When a physician in the treatment of a disease, cures certain outward symptoms, but not the cause which produces them, his cure is only temporary. So long as the cause remains, the disease may return. That the cause then of all diseases, i. e. pride, might be eradicated, the Son of God humbled Himself. Why art thou proud, O man? The Son of God humbled Himself for thee. It might shame thee, perhaps, to imitate a humble man; but imitate at least a humble God. And this is the proof of His humility: I came not to do Mine own will, but the will of Him that sent Me. Pride does its own will; humility the will of God.
HILARY. (iii. de Trin. c. 9) Not that He does what He does not wish. He fulfils obediently His Father’s will, wishing also Himself to fulfil that will.
AUGUSTINE. (Tr. xxv in Joan. 16) For this very reason therefore, I will not cast out Him that cometh to Me; because I came not to do Mine own will. I came to teach humility, by being humble Myself. He that cometh to Me, is made a member of Me, and necessarily humble, because He will not do His own will, but the will of God; and therefore is not cast out. He was cast out, as proud; he returns to Me humble, he is not sent away, except for pride again; he who keeps his humility, falleth not from the truth. And further, that He does not cast out such, because He came not to do His will, He shews when He says, And this is the Father’s will which hath sent Me, that of all which He hath given Me, I should lose nothing. (Mat. 18:14) Every one of an humble mind is given to Him: It is not the will of your Father, that one of these little ones should perish. The swelling ones may perish; of the little ones none can; for except ye be as a little child, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. (Mat. 18:3, 5)
AUGUSTINE. (de Cor. et Gratia, c. ix) They therefore who by God’s unerring providence are foreknown, and predestined, called, justified, glorified, even before their new birth, or before they are born at all, are already the sons of God, and cannot possibly perish; these are they who truly come to Christ. By Him there is given also perseverance in good unto the end; which is given only to those who will not perish. Those who do not persevere will perish.
CHRYSOSTOM. (Hom. xliv. 3) I should lose nothing; He lets them know, he does not desire his own honour, but their salvation. After these declarations, I will in no wise cast out, and I should lose nothing, He adds, But should raise it up at the last day. In the general resurrection the wicked will be cast out, according to Matthew, Take him, and cast him into outer darkness. (Mat. 22:13) And, Who is able to cast both soul and body into hell. (Mat. 10:28) He often brings in mention of the resurrection for this purpose: viz. to warn men not to judge of God’s providence from present events, but to carry on their ideas to another world.
AUGUSTINE. (Tr. xxv. 19) See how the twofold resurrection is expressed here. He who cometh to Me, shall forthwith rise again; by becoming humble, and a member of Me. But then He proceeds; But I will raise him up at the last day. To explain the words, All that the Father hath given Me, and, I should lose nothing, He adds; And this is the will of Him that hath sent Me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on Him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day. Above He said, Whoso heareth My word, and believeth on Him that sent Me: (c. 5:24) now it is, Every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on Him. He does not say, believe on the Father, because it is the same thing to believe on the Father, and on the Son; for as the Father hath life in Himself, even so hath He given to the Son to have life in Himself; and again, That whoso seeth the Son and believeth on Him, should have everlasting life: i. e. by believing, by passing over to life, as at the first resurrection. But this is only the first resurrection, He alludes to the second when He says, And I will raise him up at the last day.
Please FReepmail me/annalex to get on/off the Alleluia Ping List.
Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam (To the Greater Glory of God)
From: Exodus 16:2-4, 9-12
 And the whole congregation of the people of Israel murmured against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness,  and said to them, "Would that we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the fleshpots and ate bread to the full; for you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger."
 Then the Lord said to Moses, "Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a day's portion every day, that I may prove them, whether they will walk in my law or not.
 And Moses said to Aaron, "Say to the whole congregation the people of Israel, 'Come near before the Lord, for he has heard your murmurings."'  And as Aaron spoke to the whole congregation of the people of Israel, they looked toward the wilderness and behold, the glory of the Lord appeared in the cloud.  And the Lord said to Moses,  "I have heard the murmurings of the people of Israel; say to them, 'At twilight you shall eat flesh, and in the morning you shall be filled with bread; then you shall know that I am the Lord your God."'
16:1-36. The prodigy of the manna and the quails was a very important sign of God's special providence towards his people while they were in the desert. It is recounted here and in Numbers 11, but in both accounts, facts are interwoven with interpretation of same and with things to do with worship and ethics.
Some scholars have argued that the manna is the same thing as a sweet secretion that comes from the tamarisk (tamarix mannifera) when punctured by a particular insect commonly found in the mountains of Sinai. The drops of this resin solidify in the coldness of the night and some fall to the ground. They have to be gathered up early in the morning because they deteriorate at twenty-four degrees temperature (almost eighty degrees Celsius). Even today desert Arabs collect them and use them for sucking and as a sweetener in confectionery.
As we know, quails cross the Sinai peninsula on their migrations back and forth between Africa and Europe or Asia. In May or June, when they return from Africa they usually rest in Sinai, exhausted after a long sea crossing; they can be easily trapped at this point.
Although these phenomenon can show where the manna and the quail come from, the important thing is that the Israelites saw them as wonders worked by God. The sacred writer stops to describe the impact the manna had on the sons of Israel. They are puzzled by it, as can be seen from their remarks when it comes for the first time: "What is it?" they ask, which in Hebrew sounds like man hu, that is, manna (v. 15), which is how the Greek translation puts it. Indeed, the need to collect it every day gave rise to complaints about some people being greedy (v. 20) and who did not understand the scope of God's gift (v. 15). And just as manna is a divine gift to meet a basic human need (nourishment), so too the divine precepts, specifically that of the sabbath, are a free gift from the Lord (v. 28). So, obedience is not a heavy burden but the exercise of a capacity to receive the good things that God gives to those who obey him.
The prodigy of the manna will resound right through the Bible: in the "Deuteronomic" tradition it is a test that God gives his people to show them that "man does not live by bread alone, but [...] by everything that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord" (Deut 8:3). The psalmist discovers that manna is "the bread of the strong" ("of angels", says the Vulgate and the RSV), which God sent in abundance (Ps 78:23ff; cf. Ps 105:40). The book of Wisdom spells out the features of this bread from heaven "ready to eat, providing every pleasure and suited to every taste" (Wis 16:20-29). And the New Testament reveals the full depth of this "spiritual" food (1 Cor 10:3), for, as the "Catechism" teaches, "manna in the desert prefigured the Eucharist, 'the true bread from heaven' (Jn 6:32)" (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1094).
16:1. From the Byzantine period onwards, Christian tradition has identified Sinai with the range of mountains in the south of the Sinai peninsula; these mountains go as high as 2,500 metres (8,200 feet) above sea level.
The main mountains are Djébel Serbal, Djebel Katerina and Djebel Müsa, the last mentioned of which tradition regards as Mount Sinai or Horeb. At the foot of this mountain lies the monastery of St Catherine. The desert of Sin (different from the desert of the same name running along the side of the Dead Sea: cf. the note on Num 20:1-19), is very near to this; people involved in mining the copper and turquoise that is found there used to camp there temporarily.
16:2-3. The complaining that usually precedes the desert prodigies (cf. 14:11; 15:24; 17:3; Num 11:1, 4; 14:2; 20:2; 21:4-5) brings into focus the chosen people's lack of faith and hope, and (by contrast) the faithfulness of God, who time and again alleviates their needs even though they do not deserve it. At the same time, just as Moses and Aaron listened patiently to complaints, God too is always ready to dialogue with the sinner, sometimes listening to his complaints and sorting them out, and sometimes simply giving him a chance to repent: "Although God could inflict punishment on those whom he condemns without saying anything, he does not do so; on the contrary, up to the point when he does condemn, he speaks with the guilty person and lets him talk, so as to help him avoid condemnation" (Origen, Homiliae in leremiam, 1, 1).
 Now this I affirm and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds.  You did not so learn Christ!-- assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus.  Put off your old nature which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful lusts,  and be renewed in the spirit of your minds,  and put on the new nature, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.
17-19. The Christian, who has been configured to Christ by Baptism, is called to holiness and therefore should not lead a dissolute life alienated from God, as the Gentiles do. The "futility of their minds" has led them away from God, the source of all truth (cf. Rom 1:18-32). Hence it is that when man is put in the place of God the mind operates in a vacuum and the resulting knowledge produces nothing but mere illusion and total deceit.
As St Paul tells the Romans, people who act in that way are those "who by their wickedness suppress the truth" (Rom 1:18). It is true that the human mind is capable of recognizing God as the creator of all things; but when people give their passions full rein, their will becomes weakened; they thus suppress the truth and their minds easily tend to adopt wrong ideas. All this is a result of arrogance and pride which makes man unwilling to accept God and acknowledge his own limitations as a creature: this eventually leads to the "ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart" (v. 18).
Impurity opens the way to a whole series of vices and disorders connected with greed (cf. notes on Rom 1:29-31 and Rom 1:32). The term "callous" is used to indicate that these people lost their desire to try to lead a good life and even lose their very sense of morality.
22-24. The sacred text emphasizes two basic points--one's duty to put off one's "old nature" (the "old man") and, in parallel with that, the urgent need to put on the "new nature" (the "new man"). These two expressions refer directly to the symbolism of Christian Baptism, which effects the transition from the life of sin to the life of grace, thanks to the merits of Christ (cf. Rom 6:3-11).
In Baptism we have "put on Christ" (Gal 3:27) and become "partakers of the divine nature" (2 Pet 1:4). From that moment onwards a Christian's life is so radically different that to revert to one's previous--pagan--conduct is the greatest insult we could offer the body of Christ. St Paul, therefore, is not just exhorting people to root out this or that defect, but to strip themselves of the "old nature” entirely.
The "old nature" is the carnal man, vitiated from conception by original sin and become the slave of his own passions; whereas, the "new man" has been born again through the Holy Spirit at Baptism: he is no longer ruled by sin, although he is still subject to passions which have been made unruly by sin. That is why the Apostle urges us to put off the "old nature" by fighting against disordered desires and their evil effects (cf. Rom 6:12-14; 8:5-8) and by being conscious that the renewal brought about by the Holy Spirit helps the baptized person to see each and every event in his life from a new, supernatural perspective, as befits the "new man".
The change from the old to the new nature St Paul describes in terms of creation (v. 24). It does not involve any external change, as when someone changes his clothes, but rather an inner renewal, whereby the Christian, by becoming a new creature in Jesus Christ, is enabled to practise righteousness and holiness in a manner that exceeds his natural human capacity. It is not enough, then, for one to have simply a veneer of piety. "Entering the church and venerating sacred images and crosses is not sufficient for pleasing God, just as washing one's hands does not make one clean all over. What truly pleases God is that a person flees from sin and gets rid of his stains by means of confession and penance. Let him break the chains of his faults by being humble of heart" (St Anastasius of Sinai, Sermon on the Holy Synaxis).
This inner renewal of the person is something which takes a lifetime. "The power of God is made manifest in our weakness and it spurs us on to fight, to battle against our defects, although we know that we will never achieve total victory during our pilgrimage on earth. The Christian life is a continuous beginning again each day. It renews itself over and over" (St. J. Escriva, Christ Is Passing By, 114).
The People Look for Jesus
 So when the people saw that Jesus was not there, nor His disciples, they themselves got into the boats and went to Capernaum, seeking Jesus.
The Discourse on the Bread of Life
 When they found Him on the other side of the sea, they said to Him, "Rabbi, when did You come here?"  Jesus answered them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves.  Do not labor for the food which perishes, but the food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you; for on Him has God the Father set His seal."  Then they said to Him, "What must we do, to be doing the works of God?"  Jesus answered them, "This is the work of God, that you believe in Him He has sent."  So they said to Him (Jesus), "Then what sign do You do, that we may see, and believe You? What work do You perform?  Our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, `He gave them bread from Heaven to eat.'"  Jesus then said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from Heaven; My Father gives you the true bread from Heaven.  For the bread of God is that which comes down from Heaven, and gives life to the world."  They said to Him, "Lord, give us this bread always."
 Jesus said them, "I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me shall not hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst."
26. Our Lord begins by pointing out that their attitudes are wrong: if they have the right attitude they will be able to understand His teaching in the eucharistic discourse. "You seek me", St. Augustine comments, "for the flesh, not for the spirit. How many seek Jesus for no other purpose than that He may do them good in this present life! [...] Scarcely ever is Jesus sought for Jesus' sake" (In Ioann. Evang., 25, 10).
This verse marks the beginning of the discourse on the bread of life which goes up to verse 59. It opens with an introduction in the form of a dialogue between Jesus and the Jews (verses 26-34), in which our Lord reveals Himself as the bringer of the messianic gifts. Then comes the first part of the discourse (verses 35-47), in which Jesus presents Himself as the Bread of Life, in the sense that faith in Him is food for eternal life. In the second part (verses 48-59) Christ reveals the mystery of the Eucharist: He is the Bread of Life who gives Himself sacramentally as genuine food.
27. Bodily food helps keep us alive in this world; spiritual food sustains and develops supernatural life, which will last forever in Heaven. This food, which only God can give us, consists mainly in the gift of faith and sanctifying grace. Through God's infinite love we are given, in the Blessed Eucharist, the very author of these gifts, Jesus Christ, as nourishment for our souls.
"On Him has God the Father set His seal": our Lord here refers to the authority by virtue of which He can give men the gifts He has referred to: for, being God and man, Jesus' human nature is the instrument by means of which the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity acts. St. Thomas Aquinas comments on this sentence as follows: "What the Son of Man will give He possesses through His superiority over all other men in His singular and outstanding fullness of grace. ...When a seal is impressed on wax, the wax receives the complete form of the seal. So it is that the Son received the entire form of the Father. This occurred in two ways; eternally (eternal generation), which is not referred to here because the seal and the sealed are different in nature from one another; what is referred to here is the other manner, that is, the mystery of the Incarnation, whereby God the Father impressed on human nature the Word, who is the reflection and the very stamp of God's nature, as Hebrews 1:3 says" (Commentary on St. John, in loc.).
28-34. This dialogue between Jesus and His hearers is reminiscent of the episode of the Samaritan woman (cf. John 4:11-15). On that occasion Jesus was speaking about water springing up to eternal life; here, He speaks of bread coming down from Heaven to give to the world. There, the woman was asking Jesus if He was greater than Jacob; here the people want to know if He can compare with Moses (cf. Exodus 16:13). "The Lord spoke of Himself in a way that made Him seem superior to Moses, for Moses never dared to say that he would give food which would never perish but would endure to eternal life. Jesus promises much more than Moses. Moses promised a kingdom, and a land flowing with milk and honey, good health and other temporal blessings [...], plenty for the belly, but food which perishes; whereas Christ promised food which never perishes but which endures forever" (St. Augustine, In Ioann. Evang., 25:12).
These people know that the manna--food which the Jews collected every day during the journey through the wilderness (cf. Exodus 16:13ff)--symbolized messianic blessings; which was why they asked our Lord for a dramatic sign like the manna. But there was no way they could suspect that the manna was a figure of a great supernatural messianic gift which Christ was bringing to mankind--the Blessed Eucharist. In this dialogue and in the first part of the discourse (verses 35-47), the main thing Jesus is trying to do is bring them to make an act of faith in Him, so that He can then openly reveal to them the mystery of the Blessed Eucharist--that He is the bread "which comes down from Heaven, and gives life to the world" (verse 33). Also, St. Paul explains that the manna and the other marvels which happened in the wilderness were a clear prefiguring of Jesus Christ (cf. 1 Corinthians 10:3-4).
The disbelieving attitude of these Jews prevented them from accepting what Jesus revealed. To accept the mystery of the Eucharist, faith is required, as [Pope] Paul VI stressed: "In the first place we want to remind you that the Eucharist is a very great mystery; strictly speaking, to use the words of sacred liturgy, it is `the mystery of faith'. This is something well known to you but it is essential to the purpose of rejecting any poisonous rationalism. Many martyrs have witnessed to it with their blood. Distinguished Fathers and Doctors of the Church in unbroken succession have taught and professed it. [...] We must, therefore, approach this mystery, above all, with humble reverence, not following human arguments, which ought to be hushed, but in steadfast adherence to divine revelation" (Mysterium Fidei).
35. Going to Jesus means believing in Him, for it is through faith that we approach our Lord. Jesus uses the metaphor of food and drink to show that He is the one who really meets all man's noblest aspirations: "How beautiful is our Catholic faith! It provides a solution for all our anxieties, calms our minds and fills our hearts with hope" ([St] J. Escriva, "The Way", 582).
|English: Douay-Rheims||Latin: Vulgata Clementina||Greek NT: Byzantine/Majority Text (2000)|
|24.||When therefore the multitude saw that Jesus was not there, nor his disciples, they took shipping, and came to Capharnaum, seeking for Jesus.||Cum ergo vidisset turba quia Jesus non esset ibi, neque discipuli ejus, ascenderunt in naviculas, et venerunt Capharnaum quærentes Jesum.||οτε ουν ειδεν ο οχλος οτι ιησους ουκ εστιν εκει ουδε οι μαθηται αυτου ενεβησαν αυτοι εις τα πλοια και ηλθον εις καπερναουμ ζητουντες τον ιησουν|
|25.||And when they had found him on the other side of the sea, they said to him: Rabbi, when camest thou hither?||Et cum invenissent eum trans mare, dixerunt ei : Rabbi, quando huc venisti ?||και ευροντες αυτον περαν της θαλασσης ειπον αυτω ραββι ποτε ωδε γεγονας|
|26.||Jesus answered them, and said: Amen, amen I say to you, you seek me, not because you have seen miracles, but because you did eat of the loaves, and were filled.||Respondit eis Jesus, et dixit : Amen, amen dico vobis : quæritis me non quia vidistis signa, sed quia manducastis ex panibus et saturati estis.||απεκριθη αυτοις ο ιησους και ειπεν αμην αμην λεγω υμιν ζητειτε με ουχ οτι ειδετε σημεια αλλ οτι εφαγετε εκ των αρτων και εχορτασθητε|
|27.||Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that which endureth unto life everlasting, which the Son of man will give you. For him hath God, the Father, sealed.||Operamini non cibum, qui perit, sed qui permanet in vitam æternam, quem Filius hominis dabit vobis. Hunc enim Pater signavit Deus.||εργαζεσθε μη την βρωσιν την απολλυμενην αλλα την βρωσιν την μενουσαν εις ζωην αιωνιον ην ο υιος του ανθρωπου υμιν δωσει τουτον γαρ ο πατηρ εσφραγισεν ο θεος|
|28.||They said therefore unto him: What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?||Dixerunt ergo ad eum : Quid faciemus ut operemur opera Dei ?||ειπον ουν προς αυτον τι ποιωμεν ινα εργαζωμεθα τα εργα του θεου|
|29.||Jesus answered, and said to them: This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he hath sent.||Respondit Jesus, et dixit eis : Hoc est opus Dei, ut credatis in eum quem misit ille.||απεκριθη ιησους και ειπεν αυτοις τουτο εστιν το εργον του θεου ινα πιστευσητε εις ον απεστειλεν εκεινος|
|30.||They said therefore to him: What sign therefore dost thou shew, that we may see, and may believe thee? What dost thou work?||Dixerunt ergo ei : Quod ergo tu facis signum ut videamus et credamus tibi ? quid operaris ?||ειπον ουν αυτω τι ουν ποιεις συ σημειον ινα ιδωμεν και πιστευσωμεν σοι τι εργαζη|
|31.||Our fathers did eat manna in the desert, as it is written: He gave them bread from heaven to eat.||Patres nostri manducaverunt manna in deserto, sicut scriptum est : Panem de cælo dedit eis manducare.||οι πατερες ημων το μαννα εφαγον εν τη ερημω καθως εστιν γεγραμμενον αρτον εκ του ουρανου εδωκεν αυτοις φαγειν|
|32.||Then Jesus said to them: Amen, amen I say to you; Moses gave you not bread from heaven, but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven.||Dixit ergo eis Jesus : Amen, amen dico vobis : non Moyses dedit vobis panem de cælo, sed Pater meus dat vobis panem de cælo verum.||ειπεν ουν αυτοις ο ιησους αμην αμην λεγω υμιν ου μωυσης δεδωκεν υμιν τον αρτον εκ του ουρανου αλλ ο πατηρ μου διδωσιν υμιν τον αρτον εκ του ουρανου τον αληθινον|
|33.||For the bread of God is that which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life to the world.||Panis enim Dei est, qui de cælo descendit, et dat vitam mundo.||ο γαρ αρτος του θεου εστιν ο καταβαινων εκ του ουρανου και ζωην διδους τω κοσμω|
|34.||They said therefore unto him: Lord, give us always this bread.||Dixerunt ergo ad eum : Domine, semper da nobis panem hunc.||ειπον ουν προς αυτον κυριε παντοτε δος ημιν τον αρτον τουτον|
|35.||And Jesus said to them: I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall not hunger: and he that believeth in me shall never thirst.||Dixit autem eis Jesus : Ego sum panis vitæ : qui venit ad me, non esuriet, et qui credit in me, non sitiet umquam.||ειπεν δε αυτοις ο ιησους εγω ειμι ο αρτος της ζωης ο ερχομενος προς με ου μη πειναση και ο πιστευων εις εμε ου μη διψηση πωποτε|
A Dominican and native of Vietnam. He was martyred at the age of sixty-seven. Dominic was canonized in 1988. The Vietnamese Martyrs (Vietnamese: Các Thánh Tử đạo Việt Nam; French: Martyrs du Viêt Nam), also known as the Martyrs of Annam, Martyrs of Tonkin and Cochinchina, Martyrs of Indochina, or Andrew Dung-Lac and Companions (Anrê Dũng-Lạc và các bạn tử đạo), are saints on the General Roman Calendar who were canonized by Pope John Paul II. On June 19, 1988, thousands of overseas Vietnamese worldwide gathered at the Vatican for the Celebration of the Canonization of 117 Vietnamese Martyrs, an event chaired by Monsignor Tran Van Hoai. Their memorial is on November 24 (although several of these saints have another memorial, having been beatified and on the calendar prior to the canonization of the group).
The Vatican estimates the number of Vietnamese martyrs at between 130,000 and 300,000. 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 18th century and those killed in the politically inspired persecutions of the 19th century. A representative sample of only 117 martyrs—including 96 Vietnamese, 11 Spanish Dominicans, and 10 French members of the Paris Foreign Missions Society (Missions Etrangères de Paris (MEP))—were beatified on four separate occasions: 64 by Pope Leo XIII on May 27, 1900; eight by Pope Pius X on May 20, 1906; 20 by Pope Pius X on May 2, 1909; and 25 by Pope Pius XII on April 29, 1951. All 117 of these Vietnamese Martyrs were canonized on June 19, 1988. A young Vietnamese Martyr, Andrew of Phú Yên, was beatified in March, 2000 by Pope John Paul II.
Vietnamese martyrs Paul Mi, Pierre Duong, Pierre Truat, martyred on 18 December 1838
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 words "tả đạo" (左道, lit. "Left (Sinister) religion") and families and villages which subscribed to Christianity were obliterated.
The letters and example of Théophane Vénard inspired the young Saint Thérèse of Lisieux to volunteer for the Carmelite nunnery at Hanoi, though she ultimately contracted tuberculosis and could not go. In 1865 Vénard's body was transferred to his Congregation's church in Paris, but his head remains in Vietnam.
There are several Catholic parishes in the United States, Canada, and elsewhere dedicated to the Martyrs of Vietnam (Holy Martyrs of Vietnam Parishes), one of which is located in Arlington, Texas in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Others can be found in Houston, Austin, Texas, Denver, Seattle, San Antonio, Arlington, Virginia, Richmond, Virginia, and Norcross, Georgia. There are also churches named after individual saints, such as St. Philippe Minh Church in Saint Boniface, Manitoba.
The Nguyen Campaign against Catholicism in the 19th century
The Catholic Church in Vietnam was devastated during the Tây Sơn rebellion in the late 18th century. During the turmoil, the missions revived, however, as a result of cooperation between the French Vicar Apostolic Pigneaux de Behaine and Nguyen Anh. After Nguyen's victory in 1802, in gratitude to assistance received, he ensured protection to missionary activities. However, only a few years into the new emperor's reign, there was growing antipathy among officials against Catholicism and missionaries reported that it was purely for political reasons that their presence was tolerated. Tolerance continued until the death of the emperor and the new emperor Minh Mang succeeding to the throne in 1820.
Converts began to be harassed without official edicts in the late 1820s, by local governments. In 1831 the emperor passed new laws on regulations for religious groupings in Viet Nam, and Catholicism was then officially prohibited. In 1832, the first act occurred in a largely Catholic village near Hue, with the entire community being incarcerated and sent into exile in Cambodia. In January 1833 a new kingdom-wide edict was passed calling on Vietnamese subjects to reject the religion of Jesus and required suspected Catholics to demonstrate their renunciation by walking on a wooden cross. Actual violence against Catholics, however, did not occur until the Lê Văn Khôi revolt.
During the rebellion, a young French missionary priest named Joseph Marchand was living in sickness in the rebel Gia Dinh citadel. In October 1833, an officer of the emperor reported to the court that a foreign Christian religious leader was present in the citadel. This news was used to justify the edicts against Catholicism, and led to the first executions of missionaries in over 40 years. The first executed was named Francois Gagelin. Marchand was captured and executed as a "rebel leader" in 1835; he was put to death by "slicing". Further repressive measures were introduced in the wake of this episode in 1836. Prior to 1836, village heads had only to simply report to local mandarins about how their subjects had recanted Catholicism; after 1836, officials could visit villages and force all the villagers to line up one by one to trample on a cross and if a community was suspected of harbouring a missionary, militia could block off the village gates and perform a rigorous search; if a missionary was found, collective punishment could be meted out to the entire community.
Missionaries and Catholic communities were able to sometimes escape this through bribery of officials; they were also sometimes victims of extortion attempts by people who demanded money under the threat that they would report the villages and missionaries to the authorities. The missionary Father Pierre Duclos said:
with gold bars murder and theft blossom among honest people.
The court became more aware of the problem of the failure to enforce the laws and applied greater pressure on its officials to act; officials that failed to act or those tho who were seen to be acting too slowly were demoted or removed from office (and sometimes were given severe corporal punishment), while those who attacked and killed the Christians could receive promotion or other rewards. Lower officials or younger family members of officials were sometimes tasked with secretly going through villages to report on hidden missionaries or Catholics that had not apostasized.
The first missionary arrested during this (and later executed) was the priest Jean-Charles Cornay in 1837. A military campaign was conducted in Nam Dinh after letters were discovered in a shipwrecked vessel bound for Macao. Quang Tri and Quang Binh officials captured several priests along with the French missionary Bishop Pierre Dumoulin-Borie in 1838 (who was executed). The court translator, Francois Jaccard, a Catholic who had been kept as a prisoner for years and was extremely valuable to the court, was executed in late 1838; the official who was tasked with this execution, however, was almost immediately dismissed.
A priest, Father Ignatius Delgado, was captured in the village of Can Lao (Nam Định Province), put in a cage on public display for ridicule and abuse, and died of hunger and exposure while waiting for execution;  the officer and soldiers that captured him were greatly rewarded (about 3 kg of silver was distributed out to all of them), as were the villagers that had helped to turn him over to the authorities. The bishop Dominic Henares was found in Giao Thuy district of Nam Dinh (later executed); the villagers and soldiers that participated in his arrest were also greatly rewarded (about 3 kg of silver distributed). The priest, Father Joseph Fernandez, and a local priest, Nguyen Ba Tuan, were captured in Kim Song, Nam Dinh; the provincial officials were promoted, the peasants who turned them over were given about 3 kg of silver and other rewards were distributed. In July 1838, a demoted governor attempting to win back his place did so successfully by capturing the priest Father Dang Dinh Vien in Yen Dung, Bac Ninh province. (Vien was executed). In 1839, the same official captured two more priests: Father Dinh Viet Du and Father Nguyen Van Xuyen (also both executed).
In Nhu Ly near Hue, an elderly catholic doctor named Simon Hoa was captured and executed. He had been sheltering a missionary named Charles Delamotte, whom the villagers had pleaded with him to send away. The village was also supposed to erect a shrine for the state-cult, which the doctor also opposed. His status and age protected him from being arrested until 1840, when he was put on trial and the judge pleaded (due to his status in Vietnamese society as both an elder and a doctor) with him to publicly recant; when he refused he was publicly executed.
A peculiar episode occurred in late 1839, when a village in Quang Ngai province called Phuoc Lam was victimized by four men who extorted cash from the villagers under threat of reporting the Christian presence to the authorities. The governor of the province had a Catholic nephew who told him about what happened, and the governor then found the four men (caught smoking opium) and had two executed as well as two exiled. When a Catholic lay leader then came to the governor to offer their gratitude (thus perhaps exposing what the governor had done), the governor told him that those who had come to die for their religion should now prepare themselves and leave something for their wives and children; when news of the whole episode came out, the governor was removed from office for incompetence.
Many officials preferred to avoid execution because of the threat to social order and harmony it represented, and resorted to use of threats or torture in order to force Catholics to recant. Many villagers were executed alongside priests according to mission reports. The emperor died in 1841, and this offered respite for Catholics. However, some persecution still continued after the new emperor took office. Catholic villages were forced to build shrines to the state cult. The missionary Father Pierre Duclos (quoted above) died in prison in after being captured on the Saigon river in June 1846. The boat he was traveling in, unfortunately contained the money that was set for the annual bribes of various officials (up to 1/3 of the annual donated French mission budget for Cochinchina was officially allocated to 'special needs') in order to prevent more arrests and persecutions of the converts; therefore, after his arrest, the officials then began wide searches and cracked down on the catholic communities in their jurisdictions. The amount of money that the French mission societies were able to raise, made the missionaries a lucrative target for officials that wanted cash, which could even surpass what the imperial court was offering in rewards. This created a cycle of extortion and bribery which lasted for years.
Notes 1. Les Missions Etrangeres, p. 291
2. Attwater, Donald and Catherine Rachel John. The Penguin Dictionary of Saints. 3rd edition. New York: Penguin Books, 1993. ISBN 0-14-051312-4.
3. St. Andrew Dung-Lac and his 116 companions, Attwater dk, Farmer, Lodi, Butler, Den katolske kirke (Catholic Church in Norway)
4. Vietnamese Martyrs Catholic Church, Arlington, Texas (The Biggest Vietnamese Catholic Church In the United States)
5. Holy Vietnamese Martyrs Catholic Church, Yager Lane, Austin, TX
6. Vietnamese Martyrs Catholic Parish, Holbrook Rd, San Antonio, Texas
7. Archdiocese of Saint Boniface web-site, Parishes Chaplaincies and Stations, St. Philippe Minh Church, Winnipeg
8. a b c d e f g h i j k l m Jacob Ramsay. "Extortion and Exploitation in the Nguyên Campaign against Catholicism in 1830s–1840s Vietnam". Journal of Southeast Asian Studies, Vol. 35, No. 2 (June 2004), pp. 311–328.
Les Missions Etrangères. Trois siecles et demi d'histoire et d'aventure en Asie, Editions Perrin, 2008, ISBN 978-2-262-02571-7
St. Andrew Dung-Lac & Martyrs, by Father Robert F. McNamara, Saints Alive and All God's Children Copyright 1980–2010 Rev. Robert F. McNamara and St. Thomas the Apostle Church.
Vietnamese Martyr Teaches Quiet Lessons, by Judy Ball, an AmericanCatholic.org Web site from the Franciscans and St. Anthony Messenger Press.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.