Catholic Review of: Road Of Hope
Orthodoxy: Completely orthodox.
Reading Level: N/A
By Patricia Potter (VA) - See all my reviews
A Remarkable DVD about Having Joy and Hope in the midst of Tremendous Suffering
The first time I remember reading about this remarkable man was in a book calledA Priest Forever: Nine Signs of Renewal and Hope by Alfred McBride, O. PREAM. I still find it astonishing how this priest lived a life of such profound faith, real hope, and genuine joy in the midst of tremendous suffering. A brother in Christ I had loaned the book to was equally inspired by the mention of this man’s dedication to the Eucharist and Christ, so he got a copy of the DVD entitled Road to Hope: The Spiritual Journey of Cardinal Nguyen Van Thuan.
My husband and I watched the documentary last evening and are still letting the magnitude of grace, perseverance, holiness, joy, and hope Cardinal Francis Xavier Nguyen Van Thuan exuded settle in. I can’t even imagine what it must have been like for him to be locked in a prison camp in Vietnam for thirteen years, nine of which he spent in solitary confinement. For days, weeks, sometimes months, he lived in complete darkness. The only personal possession he had when taken to the prison was a Rosary.
He had prayed that if there was no more work that he could do for the Church that the Lord make his sacrifice complete by taking his life while he was in prison, but that if there was more work he could do to glorify God through serving the Church then he wanted to live long enough to do whatever that would be. At one point his tuberculosis had gotten so bad, they were going to do surgery to remove the largely infected area in one of his lungs. He was on the table prepped for surgery, when everything was stopped so another x-ray could be taken. This x-ray showed that his lungs were both perfectly fine. Cardinal Nguyen Van Thuan attributed his miraculous healing to the intercession of the Blessed Mother.
God had much more to do in and through this man to bring others closer to Him, to shepherd Christ’s flock, and be an inspiration to Catholics all over the world. His life journey is well-documented. The DVD includes interviews with Cardinal Nguyen Van Thuan, his sister, footage of his parents, clips of him when he worked at the Vatican, and it chronicles some of the most challenging periods of suffering in his life.