Thời gian: 31/08/2011 07:00

Haiphong Cathedral


Haiphong Cathedral

Haiphong Cathedral is situated at No.46 Hoang Van Thu street. According to the carving content in Chinese, Latin and French languages on the cube stone stele placed under the statue of Saint Juse, sculpted in 1886: priests of Dominique order from Spain came to Tonkin from 7th July 1676. On 5th July 1848, Pope Pie divided into two congregations. From 1676 to 1866, the Dominique order had 31 martyrs, of whom 26 were indigenous priests. Until 1866, Spanish Dominique order in Tonkin had 3 congregations with 200,000 followers. The content in Chinese language noted the number of monasteries (churches, abbeys) of this order. Therefore, the Dominique order of Spanish priests entered Tonkin, especially in coastal area, very early and affected deeply to Haiphong and adjacent localities.

Despite appearing long time ago and affecting deeply to Haiphong, until 1820s, a large-scale cathedral was just built in Haiphong. Main gate of the cathedral, viz. holy chancel, was built following Gothique architecture with 47m length and 17m width which provided enough room for parishioners to attend masses. Bell-tower is 28m height. Within cathedral precint, there are also abbey, guest house and office. Upposite cathedral gate (presently in Hoang Van Thu street) is Saint Dominique Denominational School (now known as Dinh Tien Hoang Primary School). This cathedral was the most grandiose work along the Mission street (original name of Nha Chung street). In 1954, the street was renamed Dac Lo, a Chinese – Vietnamese phonetical transcription of Alexandre de Rhode who had deserved most critical credit for the creation of Vietnamese script as today. Currently, the street named Pham Ba Truc who was a patriotic priest and deserved credit to mobilize parishioners to participate in the cause of national liberation. By time-period, priest Pham Ba Truc held many important positions such as: Member of the Presidium of the Central Committee of Vietnamese Association, later known as the Central Committee of Vietnam Fatherland Front, Permanent Member of the National Assembly of Vietnam Democratic Republic, Chairman of Vietnam Catholic Solidarity Committee.

Since its inauguration, Haiphong Cathedral has gone through many upheavals which made it downgraded and damaged. In 2000, priest Nguyen Van Hien, archbishop at Haiphong Cathedral, put forward a proposal to repair, improve and upgrade the whole cathedral interior while keeping its original architecture. Up to now, the main palace, bell-tower and precint have been improved and upgraded synchronously which made Haiphong Cathedral one of beautiful churches in Hong Bang district as well as in Haiphong City. On the occasions of Christmas, Patron Saint Mass, Easter and other solemnities, a huge number of parishioners go to cathedral to attend masses. Apart from religious activities, the cathedral in No.46 Hoang Van Thu street is also a venue of many cultural activities which contains the meaning of non-catholics and catholics solidarity as well as charitable and humanitarian activities in order to provide help and support to the poors, handicapped children, solitary elders, and made an active contribution to implementing local emulation movements./.

Translated by LuuVuQuyen

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