(Vietnam) In Western Australia, there is a famous city named Perth. It takes about 30 minutes from the CBD to the estuary Fremantle by car. Every year, in certain of the season when the wind from the ocean blows into the city which clears out the suffocating atmosphere of the busy city. The Aussie call the wind by a lovely name “Doctor Fremantle”. For them, the wind from the sea not only cools down the air but has the power of healing.
I would like to present to you all about the story of St. Alphonsus, the founder of Redemptorists Founder with a similar connotation. His name in Italian means “noble” or “ready”.
When the first Canadian missionaries arrived in Vietnam, they wondered how to translate the name “Alphonsus” into Vietnamese so that people can easily remember him. Someone suggested them: Alphonsus sounds like “an” and “phong” in the local language. “An” means peaceful and “Phong” means wind. Therefore, Alphonsus has a Vietnamese name. It is “An Phong” which is “the wind of peace”.
Truly, the Redemptorists have been present in Vietnam for almost 100 years and more. The wind of Alphonsus has been unceasingly blowing in and through the missionary work of the Redemptorists into the souls of Vietnamese faithful and even in the society as well. It is blowing continuously all through the ages.
The reason for this continuity is because all the Redemptorists are always faithful to the charism of our founder: Serving the most abandoned people who are marginalized by both society and the Church.
The wind of Alphonsus begins from God, the source of peace and it is God who sends Redemptorists to go out and proclaim the Good News.
That wind still blows no matter how difficult the social context is, no matter how great is the persecution, misunderstood and forbidden as well. That wind of peace still consoles the thirsty souls who are suffering from the lack of human love.
Please pray for us, the children of Alphonsus, to be strong in faith, rejoicing in hope, burning with charity, on fire with zeal to bring the wind of God to those who are abandoned. Amen
Duc Trung Vu CSsR