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Our Lady of La Vang (Vietnam)

Our Lady of La Vang is a Catholic title given to the Virgin Mary in Vietnam, and it is associated with a Marian apparition that is said to have occurred in the late 18th century.

According to tradition, a group of Catholics were fleeing persecution and hiding in the jungle near La Vang when they saw an apparition of the Virgin Mary. Mary comforted them and told them to boil leaves from a nearby tree to use as medicine for their wounds and illnesses. The Catholics followed Mary's instructions and were healed. The site of the apparition became a place of pilgrimage and devotion for Vietnamese Catholics.

The devotion to Our Lady of La Vang grew over time, and in the 20th century, it became an important symbol of Catholicism in Vietnam, particularly during the Vietnam War. Many Vietnamese Catholics prayed to Our Lady of La Vang for protection and guidance during this tumultuous time.

In 1961, Pope John XXIII declared Our Lady of La Vang the Patroness of Vietnam. In 1988, Pope John Paul II visited the site of the apparition during his trip to Vietnam and celebrated Mass there. Today, the shrine of Our Lady of La Vang is a popular destination for pilgrims and tourists, and the devotion to Mary under this title remains an important part of Vietnamese Catholic culture and identity.

In 2019, Pope Francis elevated the Marian shrine of Our Lady of La Vang to the rank of Minor Basilica, a designation that recognizes the historical, artistic, and spiritual significance of the site. This move is seen as a testament to the enduring importance of Our Lady of La Vang in the Catholic tradition and in Vietnamese culture.

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