The Pope addressed this letter to Paul Joseph Cardinal Pham Dinh Tung of Hanoi, president of the episcopal conference of Vietnam, to mark the 200th anniversary of the apparitions of the Blessed Virgin in La Vang (excerpt).

“… For two centuries [Our Lady's] message, still up to date, has been fervently welcomed in La Vang. Despite the great trials which have marked it in the course of its history, it has now become a national Marian center, which has been able to keep alive the tradition of pilgrimages. Many people, of all origins and all conditions, come here privately to entrust their troubles and hopes to their Mother in heaven. Bishops, priests, religious, and lay people like to find in her the welcoming presence of the One who gives them the courage to bear an admirable witness of Christian life in circumstances that are often difficult. I bless God who never abandons the people who seek him and who, with the motherly assistance of the Virgin Mary, continues to guide them, in days of happiness and of adversity. I hope that the faithful who will come here to pray to Our Lady of La Vang at her shrine during this jubilee year and those who will invoke her in other places will find a new apostolic impetus for their Christian life and receive comfort and strength to face life's trials….”

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