ASIA/VIETNAM – Floods in central Vietnam: God’s people take refuge under the mantle of Mary

 10 total views,  1 views today

Da Nang – The tropical storm Con Son has hit the central coastal provinces of Vietnam, and many places in the region have put in place plans to deal with the fifth tropical storm of 2021 that has brought the local economy to its knees. However, the evacuation and emergency plans must comply with the anti Covid-19 protocols and this is very difficult as the country faces the fourth wave of the pandemic: the authorities seek safer places of refuge, lead the displaced and at the same time they must keep them at a safety distance from each other. They try to ensure that every family has a room, to prevent fishermen’s families from gathering and temporarily live in overcrowded places. In rural areas, thousands of soldiers were mobilized to help farmers quickly harvest rice and other crops before the storm in order to limit damage to crops.
Between September 11 and 12, the tropical storm hit central Vietnam causing floods and devastation over a large area, in the territories of the Archdiocese of Hue, the Diocese of Da Nang and part of the Diocese of Qui Nhon. The severe damage to fishing boats, the destruction of many homes and large fish and shrimp farms create serious livelihood problems for fishermen and farmers in the area. Many roads in the mountainous areas were badly damaged and have isolated villages.
Bishop Joseph Dang Duc Ngan, who leads the Diocese of Danang, in a pastoral letter invited all the diocesan faithful to “help each other generously, to provide for the needs of people in need regardless of their religion, living a spirit of mutual assistance, solidarity, charity”.
The Prelate also made a sincere appeal to local Catholics to pray a Novena to Blessed Mary in memory of the 136th anniversary of her apparition in the church of Tra Kieu. On September 11, 1885 the Virgin appeared to protect and console the local faithful after the persecution of Catholicism by the royal army of the Nguyen dynasty. She was named “Mother of Tra Kieu” and became the Patroness of the diocese. The Bishop celebrated a commemorative mass while in the city of Danang there was a gloomy atmosphere due to the storm: “With hope and trust – he stressed – we entrust all the sufferings and difficulties to the Mother of Tra Kieu, and we ardently implore her for our protection, as he did for the faithful in Tra Kieu 136 years ago. We invoke the support of the people to overcome the consequences left by the pandemic and the storm”.
Economic losses are considerable in these rural areas, and the greatest difficulties are in particular for the poor. After the typhoon, Archbishop Joseph Nguyen Chi Linh, along with other priests and religious of the Archdiocese of Hue, visited the most affected areas to give spiritual comfort and financial support to five families badly damaged by the storm, to allow them to rebuild their homes and livelihoods. “May God’s mercy comfort them – the priests said – and keep everyone safe in His love”.