1. Blessed Joseph Tiên (05.12.1918-02.06.1954)

Until the very last days, Father Tien remained confident. He asked of the Christians “special fervor, special prayers to prevent the catastrophe.” On the 22nd of March, he wrote of his joy at being able to continue his school…

The last letter received from him is from the 27th of March. This time our fritien-6-1952-directeur-ecoleend is in great distress … Poor Father! He realized his absolute isolation. The priests closest to his station were typically 7 or 8 days away; but due to the Vietminh persecution, these neighbours had to leave their areas to settle in the plains. There was no way he could go to visit them or be visited by them. The Christians were too fearful to give serious help to their pastor in his distress, were it to last. The cross was laid bare before the first Thai-deng priest, four years after his ordination.

In the end, he remained heroically in place (although as a Thai, he could easily have saved himself at any time).

From April 1953, the usual iron curtain separates Sam Neua from the free world. There was no way to contact him…

Jean Mironneau MEP, « Abbé Joseph Thao Thien », in Bulletin MEP 28, 1955


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