As Christian music played from large outdoor speakers, Bishop Thanh Thai Nguyen stood in the shade of the Christ Cathedral as the late-afternoon sun brightly burned.
And now, the first-ever O.C. Marian Days was about to begin – two days of Masses, processions, workshops, rallies, worship, dancing, food and music centered around on the shrine’s centerpiece: a 12-foot-tall Virgin Mary statue depicting how the Blessed Mother is believed to have appeared before a group of persecuted Vietnamese Catholics in 1798 in a rainforest of Vietnam.
“I heard that some people came all the way from Vietnam to be here,” Bishop Nguyen said.
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange’s Marian Days was inspired and modeled after the annual Marian Days of Carthage, Mo.
That pilgrimage-style festival has been in place since 1978, drawing tens of thousands of attendees, particularly Vietnamese Catholics, to the Midwest to honor the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Orange County’s July 1 and 2 event, themed as “With Mary, Giving Thanks to God,” featured a festival-like environment and guest speakers for youth and adult parishioners on topics such as catechesis, education, theology, Mariology, prayer and liturgy.
“Orange County is the hub of Vietnamese people in the United States, so this is very special,” Bishop Nguyen said. Father Brandon Dang, vocations director for the Diocese of Orange, staffed a booth outside Christ Cathedral.
The Mass, celebrated in English in some parts and Vietnamese in others, was celebrated by Bishop Timothy Freyer. An estimated 4,000 people attended the Mass, whose Gospel reading (Luke 2:41-51) described how Jesus, at age 12, along with his family went to Jerusalem to celebrate the feast of Passover.
After finding her son, Mary felt frustration, confusion and joy, Bishop Freyer said.
“And in 1975, as many fled Vietnam and were sent adrift on small boats, they began to pray to Mary and once again she found her children in need and guided them to safe shores.”
The nearly $13 million Our Lady of La Vang shrine, the site of monthly Masses as well as other observances and celebrations, is nearly complete. Still to be added behind it is a Marian garden that will stretch to Lewis Street.
The above comes from a July 14 story in OC Catholic.
La Vang is for Vietnam, not America. Guadalupe is bad enough here. That was for Mexico, not America. When will America get its own legitimate Marian apparition? For America. For us. Then we can start unifying around that celebration instead of being divided into ethnic groups based on their pet Marian apparitions. Let’s have one in America, Mary. How about it?
Ummm. maybe you should google that.
Our Lady of MAGA would be nice.
I love our Lady no matter where she appears. Or is honored.
Do you love fake apparition claims?
Jesus, help us to be better Christians and to treat people with respect and kindness.
Our Lady of Guadalupe is the Empress of the Americas ..deal with it
I don’t have to. Church authority says I don’t have to believe it. Deal with that.
Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception IS the patroness of the United States. The Miraculous Medal is in honor of her. I honor all of those approved by the Church, though, but as one wise old priest once said in a sermon I heard, “Stop fighting over who is the best Virgin Mary, they are all the same woman!”
Although the Immaculate Conception originally appeared in France, Guadalupe was original Spanish but here looked Mestizo — I would even say Sephardic Jewish, which ancestry many Spaniards have. She appears, as the Lord Jesus does, to different cultures to help them in their needs.
$13 million for a shrine? Wasteful extravagance. I could list 1,000 better ways to spend the money.
In Italy there have been hundreds of certified Marian apparitions. This is not seen as multiple marys. The Guadalupe apparition was for the Americas.the Aztec people had a prophecy of a coming savior. It was fulfilled for them when Franciscans brought the gospel to the region, even as far as Alta California. Andrea Doria,the Captain of the battle of Lepanto fleet kept an image of Our Lady of Guadalupe in his quarters.Mary is universal. The English-speaking world is self-eliminating by population control. Maybe Mary took the long view
Why are all these apparitions from a time when they couldn’t be verified? Why not today, when they can be recorded on video? The only one from today that has lots of publicity is Medugorie, and that one is probably a hoax because of the lack of real evidence and conflicting stories. I won’t believe until I can see it on video. Call me a 21st century doubting Thomas, but he’s a saint.
67 Throughout the ages, there have been so-called “private” revelations, some of which have been recognized by the authority of the Church. They do not belong, however, to the deposit of faith. It is not their role to improve or complete Christ’s definitive Revelation, but to help live more fully by it in a certain period of history. Guided by the Magisterium of the Church, the sensus fidelium knows how to discern and welcome in these revelations whatever constitutes an authentic call of Christ or his saints to the Church.
Christian faith cannot accept “revelations” that claim to surpass or correct the Revelation of which Christ is the fulfillment, as is the case in certain non-Christian religions and also in certain recent sects which base themselves on such “revelations”.
You are not obligated to believe. I have always found that the gift of believing in them is a wonderful grace from God.
So it’s a sort of Marian Gnosticism in which those who believe are the super-duper Catholics who are better than ordinary Catholics who don’t believe in the apparitions?
No, of course not.
Why do you care? If you didn’t contribute, it’s not up to you “wasteful”.
Medjugorje was a fraud
Hail Mary…Come, Holy Spirit… Angel of God…
The apparitions at Medjugorje have been very important.
It is a very demanding spiritual practice. I did well for a while and then I could not keep up with it.
The messages from Medjugorje in the 1980s before the fall of communism answered questions that people had at that time that the Church was not answering.
It is still going on.
The local bishops have said that nothing supernatural is going on there.
The Vatican is still looking into it.