Pope Francis appointed Laos’ very first cardinal in the country’s history. I had the chance to meet cardinal Ling for an interview for UCANews.
Cardinal Ling in Vientiane, Laos. Photo: UCANews
In the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Vientiane a large banner is hard to miss.
The “17 Martyrs of Laos” banner hangs from the ceiling of Vientiane’s only Catholic church and commemorates a group of Catholics, including several priests, who died between 1954 and 1970 in a crackdown on the religious by the communist government.
Each year, on Dec. 16, Louis-Marie Ling Mangkhanekhoun, 73, makes sure that the martyrs are not forgotten. “We remember them with a ceremony, because they were a witness to the faith,” Ling said inside the cathedral.
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