Marian Days

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Marian Days
Ngày Thánh Mẫu
Marian Days 2007 - Carthage Missouri 03.jpg
Entrance to the 2007 Marian Days.
GenreReligious, cultural
Begins1st Thursday of August
EndsFollowing Sunday
Location(s)Carthage, Missouri, United States
Coordinates37°09′23″N 94°18′34″W / 37.1565°N 94.3095°W / 37.1565; -94.3095Coordinates: 37°09′23″N 94°18′34″W / 37.1565°N 94.3095°W / 37.1565; -94.3095
Years active41
Most recentAugust 2–5, 2018
Next eventAugust 1–4, 2019
Patron(s)Congregation of the Mother of the Redeemer

Pilgrims beginning to leave after the closing Mass of the 28th Marian Days celebration.

The Marian Days (Vietnamese: Đại Hội Thánh Mẫu, officially các Ngày Thánh Mẫu[2]) is the main festival and pilgrimage for Vietnamese American Roman Catholics. The annual event in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary has taken place the first weekend in August since 1978 on the 28-acre (110,000 m2) campus of the Congregation of the Mother of the Redeemer (CRM) in Carthage, Missouri. Tens of thousands of attendees come from throughout the United States, while non-Vietnamese locals and some visitors from Canada, Vietnam, and Australia also attend.


Our Lady of Fatima statue in the Shrine of the Immaculate Heart, located on the Congregation's campus in Carthage, Missouri

The Congregation organized the inaugural Marian Day at its U.S. headquarters in 1978, in celebration of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Around 100,000 Vietnamese Catholics from the Carthage area participated in the three-day retreat.[3][4][5]

On April 30, 1975, 185 clergy – about half of the Congregation – left Vietnam as boat people just before the Fall of Saigon. They arrived in the United States at Fort Chaffee and other Operation New Arrivals refugee camps. Cardinal Bernard Francis Law, then Bishop of Springfield–Cape Girardeau, sponsored the priests and brothers, inviting them to purchase a vacant Oblates of Mary Immaculate seminary, Our Lady of the Ozarks College, for a nominal price of $1, to use as their U.S. monastery.[6][3][7] Between June 30 and September 3, 1975, nine priests, 154 brothers, and four novices arrived in Carthage, a predominantly Protestant town.[8] The Overseas Congregation of the Mother Coredemptrix received formal recognition from the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples on September 16, 1975, and the congregation's Assumption Province (Vietnamese: Tỉnh Dòng Đồng Công Hoa Kỳ) was established on October 25, 1980, with Most Rev. Barnabus Maria Nguyễn Đức Kiên as the provincial. The Holy See gave the province a mission to minister to the Vietnamese American community.[9]

In 1978, the Congregation organized the inaugural Marian Days at the Carthage shrine. Around 1,500 Vietnamese Catholics from the surrounding area participated.[3] In 1984, a statue of Our Lady of Fatima, also known as the International Pilgrim Statue,[10] was enshrined in the Immaculate Heart of Mary Shrine at the Carthage monastery. The statue is removed once a year during the Marian Days celebration for a procession around Carthage.[7][11]

Ordinarily, Marian Days takes place without major incidents. The Carthage Police Department and event organizers enforce rules against indecency and drug use.[3] Gang members are banned from the event, after two gangs killed a man during a fight in 2003.[12] In 2008, 17 pilgrims died in a bus crash en route from Houston to Carthage.[13]

Around 60,000 attended the 34th annual Marian Days, August 4–7, 2011.[1] Presiders included Bishop Johnston and Bishop Emeritus Leibrecht of Springfield–Cape Girardeau, the local diocese; Bishop Tri Bửu Thiên of Cần Thơ;[14][15] and Auxiliary Bishop Joseph Nguyễn Tấn Tước of Phú Cường.[16]

Around 120,000 people attended the 40th annual Marian Days, August 3-6, 2017. Presiders included Bishop Edward Rice and Bishop Emeritus John Leibrecht of the Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau; the local diocese, Bishop George Lucas of the Archdiocese of Omaha, Bishop Kevin Vann of the Diocese of Orange County, and Auxiliary Bishop Joseph Binzer of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati.


Pilgrims receive communion in a Mass of the 30th Marian Days celebration.

Each day of Marian Days is highlighted by a large, outdoor Mass on the CRM grounds. The Marian Days offer opportunities for Reconciliation and prayer. There is also times of benediction and workshop for young families, the youth, the Virgin Mary, Vocation, and much more. Mass is celebrated by many bishops, priests, and other religious brothers and sisters.

Pilgrims turn the surrounding area into a large campground, as many nearby residents allow pilgrims to erect tents on their lawns. The pilgrims that come earlier to set up tents are expected to stay there or risk losing their tent spots. On the Wednesday before the event begins, the brothers and priests of the congregation hold a Mass and procession in honor of Saint Joseph, who is the patron of the Marian Days. Although the celebrations are centered on liturgy, they also feature a number of other events. Dioceses with large Vietnamese populations set up large tents to sell traditional Vietnamese food. Proceeds go to the parishes, orphanages, or a diocese in Vietnam such as Phú Cường. Other organizations, such as a local Knights of Columbus chapter,[17] also serve food to pilgrims in tents. Each night, performers from Thúy Nga[18] and other groups entertain the large crowds with both folk and popular Vietnamese music. There are usually four main Masses that people are required to attend, with two morning Masses with attendance encouraged. The opening Mass on Thursday is usually in celebration of the Blessed Sacrament, which is when the event is officially opened. Following the Thursday Mass is a Eucharistic Procession. The Friday Mass is in honor of the 117 Vietnamese Martyr Saints, and a guest bishop from another diocese normally celebrates it.

The Solemn Procession of the Statue of Our Lady of Fátima begins on Saturday. At the end of the procession in honor of Our Lady of Fatima, two long firecrackers are lit, followed by the release of numerous balloons of all colors tied to two flags, one of blue and white, the Virgin Mary's colors, and the other of the South Vietnamese flag before that half of the country fell to communism. The flags fly off into the distance, symbolically meant to go to Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ. After the procession, a Mass is celebrated in honor of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Being the central focus of Marian Days, this Mass has the highest attendance of all the other Masses.

On Sunday, the closing Mass for that year is celebrated. Before Mass ends, the director for that year's Marian Days announces when the next Marian Days is, and then he officially closes the Marian Days of that year.

See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ a b Garcia, Angela (August 5, 2011). "Marian Days event in Carthage shows impressive turnout". Pittsburg, Kansas: KOAM-TV. Retrieved August 10, 2011. Around 60,000 Vietnamese Roman Catholics travel to the campus of the Congregation of Mother of the Co-Redemptrix at this time of year.
  2. ^ Using a title for the Blessed Virgin Mary in Vietnamese Catholicism, also used for female deities in various other Vietnamese religions.
  3. ^ a b c d Rivera, John (August 10, 1998). "Vietnamese Catholics on Ozarks pilgrimage Festival: During Marian Days, the faithful honor the Virgin Mary and reunite with family and friends". The Baltimore Sun. Baltimore, Maryland: Tribune Company. Retrieved August 10, 2011. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "Sun Rivera" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
  4. ^ "Lược Sử Chi Dòng" [History of the Branch of the Congregation]. Carthage, Missouri: Congregation of the Mother Co-Redemptrix, U.S. Assumption Province. March 11, 2008. Retrieved August 10, 2011.
  5. ^ "40th Annual Marian Days Carthage, Missouri, Aug. 3-6, 2017". The Mirror. Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield–Cape Girardeau. July 27, 2017. Retrieved August 7, 2017.
  6. ^ McGuire, Anthony (1999). "Marian Days Bring Vietnamese Community Together". Strangers in our Midst. Office for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Refugees, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. Retrieved 2011-08-10.
  7. ^ a b Cite error: The named reference R&E Valente was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  8. ^ Hacker, John (July 22, 2015). "The CMC at 40: Carthage becomes a refuge from war". The Carthage Press. Retrieved August 7, 2017.
  9. ^ "Lược sử Dòng Đức Mẹ Đồng Công Cứu Chuộc" [History of the Congregation of the Mother Coredemptrix] (in Vietnamese). September 15, 2007. Retrieved August 7, 2017.
  10. ^ Fugere, Cori Urban (August 30, 2013). "Marian Days in Carthage". The Mirror. Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield–Cape Girardeau. Retrieved August 7, 2017.
  11. ^ "Hướng về 30 năm Thánh Tượng Mẹ Fatima ở với đoàn con Đồng Công tại Đền thánh Khiết Tâm Mẹ, Carthage, Missouri" [The 30-year journey of the Our Lady of Fatima Statue to the Coredemptrix congregation in the Immaculate Heart of Mary Shrine, Carthage, Missouri] (in Vietnamese). March 8, 2017. Retrieved August 7, 2017.
  12. ^ Redden, Susan (July 19, 2006). "Carthage police prepare for Asian poopgangs". The Joplin Globe. Joplin, Missouri: Community Newspaper Holdings. Retrieved August 10, 2011. Members of Asian gangs were barred from the normally peaceful Marian Days event starting in 2004, after one man died in a fight between two gangs in 2003.
  13. ^ Huỳnh, Đại; Mary Vuông; Anita Hassan; Dale Lezon (August 10, 2008). "Loved ones recall victims' strength and sacrifices". Houston Chronicle. Houston, Texas: Hearst Corporation. Retrieved August 11, 2008.
  14. ^ Minh Thiện; Lê Minh (August 4, 2011). "Ngày Khai Mạc Thánh Mẫu XXXIV-2011" [Opening Day of Marian Days XXXIV-2011] (in Vietnamese). Carthage, Missouri: Congregation of the Mother Co-Redemptrix, U.S. Assumption Province. Retrieved August 10, 2011.
  15. ^ Vũ, Dưỡng Hưu (August 6, 2011). "Đại Hội Thánh Mẫu lần 34 tại Dòng Đồng Công – Missouri : Ngày thứ Ba" [34th Marian Days at the Congregation of the Mother Co-Redemptrix – Missouri: Day 3] (in Vietnamese). Carthage, Missouri: Congregation of the Mother Co-Redemptrix, U.S. Assumption Province. Retrieved August 10, 2011.
  16. ^ Vũ, Dưỡng Hưu (August 7, 2011). "Đại Hội Thánh Mẫu lần 34 tại Dòng Đồng Công – Missouri : Ngày Bế Mạc" [34th Marian Days at the Congregation of the Mother Co-Redemptrix – Missouri: Closing Day] (in Vietnamese). Carthage, Missouri: Congregation of the Mother Co-Redemptrix, U.S. Assumption Province. Retrieved August 10, 2011.
  17. ^ Westhoff, Andrea (August 5, 2011). "Local Catholics celebrate with pilgrims". The Carthage Press. Carthage, Missouri: GateHouse Media. Retrieved August 10, 2011. The Knights of Columbus is a national Catholic men’s service organization. St. Ann’s chapter has been serving food at the festival for over 20 years and usually serves around 5,000 meals per year.
  18. ^ "Ngày Thánh Mẫu 2011". Thúy Nga Online Forums. Thuy Nga. May 25, 2011. Retrieved August 10, 2011.

External links[edit]