The Shrine has been selected to host a special event in June to honor 17 martyrs from Laos who were recently beatified by the Church.
The 17 martyrs, which included six Oblate priests, were killed because of their faith in Laos during the 1950s and 1960s. The Oblates who served in Laos at the time ministered to a small group of Catholics who chose to practice their faith despite violent persecution from the Communists.
In March, Pope Francis declared the 17 martyrs blessed, a major step in the canonization process to sainthood. The Oblates chose the Shrine to be the location for a Thanksgiving Mass to recognize this monumental occasion for the congregation. Members of the Lao, Hmong and Khmu Catholic faith from throughout the United States are expected to attend the event. Dignitaries from Laos are also expected to attend.
“We are truly blessed to be witnesses to these 17 martyrs who surfaced from their sacrifices among our faithful ancestors,” said Xia Vue Yang, Planning Committee Coordinator.
The event will kick off with a special banquet on June 17 that will include guest speakers, performances and witness talks. The Thanksgiving Mass will take place at the Church of Our Lady of the Snows at 7:30 a.m., June 18.
To learn more about the event and the story of the 17 martyrs of Laos, visit the planning committee’s website at 17martyrsoflaos.weebly.com.