Restoration of a Shrine in Vietnam

The La Vang Shrine, Huong Phuong village orphanage, Quang Binh Province, Vietnam is a local version of the famous La Vang pilgrimage centre in Vietnam. An important local expression of folk religion, the shrine was established by local villagers and features statues of the local saint St Vincent, Mary of La Vang and St Martin. A version of the famous “everlasting” (concrete) tree at the pilgrimage centre had also been installed by the villages, with resulting subsidence of nearby statue footings.

Poor condition of the shrine, including subsidence of the footings, had been the reason given by local church authorities for not sanctifying the shrine by religious service. Sister Hanh of the monastic community had made the shrine her life’s work. The work involved negotiation of donations with Sister Hanh and coordination of volunteer labour, to restore statues, stabilise foundations and obtain sanctification of the Shrine.

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