The Eucharistic Youth Movement has two general purposes:
To bring our talents together within our Le Bao Tinh family to form a stronger foundation of faith and friendship by living our lives as the witnesses of God so that Thieu Nhi Thanh The becomes a more inviting environment for all.
Our Patron Saint Phaolô Lê Bảo Tịnh
St Paul was born in 1793 at Trinh-Ha village, Thanh Hoa Province, now Vietnam, to wealthy parents.
As a child St Paul studied under a local Confucian scholar, until his parents sent him at twelve years of age to the Catholic seminary at Ke-Vinh.
The seminary described St Paul as prayerful, ascetical and studious. He enjoyed reading the lives of saints and reminded everyone that they also were called to be saints. St Paul felt called to live as a hermit and left the seminary to live in a cave, surviving on rice and fruit, passing his days in prayer and mortification.
The local Bishop then asked St Paul to help in the work of bringing missionary priests back to the area. After this, St Paul settled down in the mountains of Laos, mixing missionary work with being a reclusive hermit.
When persecution of Christians broke out in 1841, St Paul was arrested by government officials and he spent the next seven years in prison at Hanoi. Shortly after receiving the death sentence St Paul wrote to a seminarian describing his experience in prison:
‘I, Paul, bound in chains for the sake of Christ, send to you from prison salutations which are many and final… The prison is truly a living example of hell: to chains, shackles and manacles, are added anger, vengeance, lies, obscene conversations, brawls, evil acts, swearing, slander, plus boredom, sadness, mosquitoes and flies… I write these things so that your hearts might burst with desire to be martyrs, and that your prayers might strengthen me, who lives in the arena of combat.’
Emperor Thieu Tri in 1848, commuted St Paul’s sentence from death to perpetual exile in Phu Yen Province. At the end of the same year the new Emperor, Tu Duc, granted an amnesty to all exiles.
St Paul then traveled to the seminary at Ke-Vinh, where he renewed his studies, later being ordained a priest.
After exercising his priestly ministry until 1855, some mandarins complained to the governor about Christians and St Paul was arrested again. For working as a priest, St Paul was classed as a criminal and was sentenced to be decapitated. Early next day St Paul was led to the place of execution. His last words were, ‘The religion of the Heavenly Master is perfectly true, even though our king and the sovereigns of other nations persecute it and wish to destroy it. But this religion will be victorious, and in the future it will count more adherents than it ever has had in the past.’ The executioner then came with his sword and the death sentence was carried out. Overall, St Paul’s spirituality had centered on the Cross of Jesus and the practice of prayer and asceticism.
St Paul Le-Bao Tinh was canonized a saint by Pope John Paul II in 1988.
O God, who have given us in St Paul Le-Bao Tinh
a singular model of holiness,
grant us perseverance in Your service,
that in every circumstance of life we may see and follow You.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son,
who lives and reigns with You in the unity
of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
THE FOLLOWING PRAYER MAY BE RECITED FOR NINE DAYS AS A NOVENA):
O glorious St Paul Le-Bao Tinh, your life serves as a vivid reminder
that our world is filled with anger and pain,
but that our faith and hope in the Father, the Son
and the Holy Spirit can alleviate our burdens.
Pray for me from Heaven that I may follow your example
by trusting God with His established plan for my life,
and obtain for me a lively faith
and perseverance in the grace of God, even unto death.