Cardinal Priest of S Maria Regina Pacis in Ostia mare
Born on June 15, 1919 in Binh Hoa, Vietnam, Cardinal Pham Dinh Tung was ordained on June 6, 1949 and named Bishop of Mac Ninh on April 5, 1963. On March 23, 1994, he was appointed Archbishop of Hanoi. Throughout almost the entire 30 years of his ministry in the diocese of Bac Ninh (with the exception of the last four years), the Communists kept him under virtual house arrest. He was thus barred from visiting the more than 100 parishes within his ecclesiastical territory. With only three priests available to him, and unable to circulate freely, he began to compile in the poetical form called luc bat (verses in six and eight words) the entire life of Jesus, the Gospels, Christian doctrine, and the commandments of God and the Church, in order to help people learn the sacred texts. He was elevated to the College of Cardinals by John Paul II during the Consistory of November 26, 1994.