Pope Francis remembers Cardinal Van Thuan (full text)

2013-07-06 Vatican Radio

 (Vatican Radio) Pope Francis received a delegation of officials, family and friends of the Servant of God, Francis Xavier Nguyen Van Thuan, the heroic Vietnamese cardinal who spent thirteen years in prison in his beloved native land before coming to Rome to head the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace. The delegation is visiting Rome in the context of the official closure of the diocesan phase of Cardinal Nguyen Van Thuan’s cause for beatification. The Holy Father remembered the Cardinal as a “witness to hope” whose humility and priestly spirit touched countless lives. Below, please find Vatican Radio’s translation of Pope Francis’ remarks. Listen:

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Venerable Brothers,
Dear Brothers and Sisters,

I'm glad to meet you and give you my cordial welcome. I greet with affection Cardinal Peter Turkson, and thank him for his words. I greet all of you, who have come from many parts of the world on the occasion of the closing of the diocesan phase of the cause of the Servant of God Cardinal Francis Xavier Nguyen Van Thuan.

Dear friends, your joy is my joy! Thanks be to God!

We also thank all those who have engaged in this service which is for the glory of God and His Kingdom: the Procurator of the cause, Dr. Waldery Hilgeman and his co-workers, the Diocesan Tribunal and the competent Office of the Vicariate, the Historical Commission , and the same Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, where the memory of Cardinal Van Thuan, witness to hope, is still alive, and – more than a memory – is a spiritual presence that continues to bring his blessing.

In effect, there are many people who can attest that they were edified by their encounter with the Servant of God Francis Xavier Nguyen Van Thuan, at different moments of his life. Experience shows that his reputation for holiness has spread precisely through the testimony of so many people who met him and [who] preserve in their heart [the memory of] his gentle smile and the greatness of his soul.

Many came to know him through his writings, simple and profound, which reveal his priestly spirit, closely united to the One who had called him to be a minister of His mercy and His love.

So many people have written to tell of graces [received] and signs attributed to the intercession of the Servant of God Cardinal Van Thuan. We thank the Lord for this venerable brother, son of the East, who ended his earthly journey in the service of the Successor of St. Peter.

We entrust the continuation of this cause to the intercession of the Virgin Mary, along with all other [causes] currently in progress. May Our Lady help us to live more and more in our lives the beauty and joy of communion with Christ.

To all of you and to your loved ones I cordially impart my Blessing.