Vietnamese bishop tells Tết pilgrims that faithfulness, geniality and watchfulness are important for family life.
Marian pilgrims in Vietnam have been asked to follow the example of dogs’ loyalty, affability and vigilance to protect their families.
Thousands of people made pilgrimages to Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church on the first three days of Tết or the Lunar New Year, which started on Feb. 16. The Redemptorist-run church is in Ho Chi Minh City.
Bishop Joseph Chau Ngoc Tri of Lang Son Cao Bang asked pilgrims “to show your faithfulness, geniality and watchfulness to one another in the Year of the Dog.” They are the most important qualities to protect families, he added.
Bishop Tri, head of the Vietnamese bishops’ Episcopal Commission for Marriage and Family, said he had been given three photographs of a dog lying nearby its owner’s tomb, a dog hugging a cat, and a dog watching a pile of money.
The prelate said participants should express loyalty to their spouses, children, family traditions, ancestors and God’s will in daily life.
He said all people like to win worldly fame, success and benefits, which can also corrupt them. “We always must awaken and pray to God to use properties God gives us well to build our families,” he added.
He warned that fame, honor and wealth do not bring happiness.
Bishop Tri, who presided over a Mass observing ancestors, called on family members to spend time caring, talking with one another and deepening relationships. People today chase their own work and pleasure, threatening family ties.
Archbishop Paul Bui Van Doc of Ho Chi Minh City presided over a Mass for the nation’s peace and prosperity, while Auxiliary Bishop Joseph Do Manh Hung of Ho Chi Minh City conducted a Mass for jobs.