Our Lady of La Vang

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Our Lady of La Vang
VN Phat Diem tango7174.jpg
Statue of Our Lady of La Vang in Ao dai at Phát Diệm Cathedral
Location La Vang, Vietnam
Date 1798
Type Marian apparition
Holy See approval Not officially recognized by the Holy See
Shrine Basilica of Our Lady of La Vang, Vietnam
Patronage Vietnamese Catholics
Church of Our Lady of La Vang, built in 1928 and destroyed in 1972 during the war
File:Tháp chuông nhà thờ La Vang.JPG
Destroyed Church of Our Lady of La Vang today
External images
http://www.stripes.com/blogs/archive-photo-of-the-day/archive-photo-of-the-day-1.9717/damaged-cathedral-in-vietnam-1972-1.146467 War damage to Our Lady of La Vang church, July 7, 1972. Source: Stars and Stripes.

Our Lady of La Vang (Vietnamese: Đức Mẹ La Vang) refers to a reported Marian apparition at a time when Catholics were persecuted and killed in Vietnam. The Shrine of our Lady of La Vang (Basilica of Our Lady of La Vang) is situated in what is today Hai Phu commune in Hải Lăng District of Quảng Trị Province in Central Vietnam.


Fearing the spread of the Catholicism, the Cảnh Thịnh Emperor restricted the practice of Catholicism in the country in 1798. Soon thereafter, the emperor issued an anti-Catholic edict in which persecution ensued.

Many people sought refuge in the rain forest of La Vang in Quảng Trị Province, Vietnam, and many became very ill. While hiding in jungle, the community gathered every night at the foot of a tree to pray the rosary. One night, an apparition surprised them. In the branches of the tree a lady appeared, wearing the traditional Vietnamese áo dài dress and holding a child in her arms, with two angels beside her. The people present interpreted the vision as the Virgin Mary and the infant Jesus Christ. They said that Our Lady comforted them and told them to boil leaves from the trees for medicine to cure the illness. Legend states that the term "La Vang" was a derivative of the Vietnamese word meaning "crying out". Modern scholars believe it comes from the ancient practice of naming a location for a genus of a tree or plant native to the area, La meaning "leaf" and '"Vang "herbal seeds".

In 1802 the Christians returned to their villages, passing on the story of the apparition in La Vang and its message. As the story of the apparitions spread, many came to pray at this site and to offer incense. In 1820, a chapel was built.

From 1830-1885 another wave of persecutions decimated the Christian population, during the height of which the chapel in honour of Our Lady of La Vang was destroyed. In 1886, construction on a new chapel bagan. Following its completion, Bishop Gaspar (Loc) consecrated the chapel in honour of Our Lady Help of Christians, in 1901.

On December 8, 1954, the statue of Our Lady of La Vang was brought from Tri Bun back to the holy shrine. The Vietnamese Bishops Conference chose the church of Our Lady of La Vang as the National Shrine in honour of the Immaculate Conception. La Vang became the National Marian Center of Vietnam on April 13, 1961. Pope John XXIII elevated the Church of Our Lady of La Vang to the rank of a minor basilica on August 22, 1961.

Though there is no official Vatican recognition of this event as a Marian apparition, on June 19, 1998, Pope John Paul II publicly recognized the importance of Our Lady of La Vang and expressed desire to rebuild the La Vang Basilica in commemoration of the 200th anniversary of the first vision.[1]

In the Philippines, the chapel of Our Lady of La Vang is now the Roman Catholic parish church and national shrine in Puerto Princesa City in Palawan. Became has a patroness of Puerto Princesa and patroness of Palawan.

Churches outside Vietnam

File:Basilica National Shrine Immaculate Conception DC 17.JPG
This plant was brought from La Vang, now in Washington DC


  • Our Lady of La Vang Church - Ottawa


  • National Shrine of Our Lady of La Vang, Puerto Princesa City, Palawan
  • Our Lady of La Vang Parish - Quezon City, Metro Manila
  • Our Lady of La Vang Church - Taguig City, Metro Manila


See also


  1. "Message of Pope John Paul II for the Conclusion of the Marian Year in La Vang, Viet Nam". Our Lady of La Salette and Saint Joseph Catholic Church. Retrieved 9/11/15. Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links

Media related to Our Lady of La Vang at Wikimedia Commons