Use the Loyola Kids Book of Heroes by Amy Welborn in your homeschool this year.
About Cardinal Nguyen Van Thuan:
The creative fidelity found in the martyrs and in those who, like Father Peter, fled Vietnam to pursue their vocation, permeated Archbishop Thuan’s actions during his imprisonment. He used his limited resources creatively in order to fulfill his duties as shepherd to the faithful when he was in prison. When he could not physically be present to his people, he solicited the help of a young boy to bring him old calendars. He wrote simple, sincere messages of hope on the calendars and had the young boy copy and distribute them among the faithful. His profound letters to the Catholic community strengthened them in their faith and helped them to persevere. The words, which resonated in the people’s hearts, reminded them that their beloved archbishop, though not physically present, was present with them through prayer.
Archbishop Thuan, manifesting innovative fidelity, also used his scanty means to celebrate Mass in prison. He knew that celebrating Mass was his most important duty, but he had no church, no altar, and no tabernacle. How, then, could he fulfill his duty as bishop? He turned the concentration camp into a cathedral and the palm of his hand into an altar. He turned his shirt pocket into a tabernacle and turned the darkness of the sleeping quarters into a dwelling place for Light Himself. Because of his ingenuity, many prisoners regained the fervor of their faith. The prisoners were reminded to embrace suffering and to use their current circumstances to grow in faith. His example not only embodies the proactive faith of past and present Vietnamese Catholics but also teaches all Christians that faith entails an active surrender to the Lord. It means seeking the best way to proclaim Christ’s love in every moment, every circumstance, and every action.