During St. John Paul II’s papacy, he canonized a group of 117 martyrs who gave their lives for the faith in Vietnam during the 19th century. The group was made up of 96 Vietnamese, 11 Spaniards, and 10 Frenchmen. Eight of them were bishops, 50 were priests, and 59 were lay Catholics, including a nine-year-old child.

On this feast day, the Church remembers the sufferings inflicted on the Vietnamese Church, which are among the most terrible in the long history of Christian martyrdom.