The U.S. National Office of Oblate Associates has chosen Bl. Paul Thoj Xyooj as the group’s patron saint because of his commitment to oblation together with the Oblate missionaries in Laos. He is an example of how the Mazenodian family, Oblates and laity, can collaborate to be cooperators of Christ the Savior, sharing the charism of the founder of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, St. Eugene de Mazenod.
Blessed Paul Thoj Xyooj was born in 1941 in Laos where Oblate missionaries arrived to serve the poor and most abandoned. He was among the first catechumens taught by the Oblate missionaries. Although he initially felt the call to the priesthood, and entered the minor seminary, he realized that his vocation was more towards marriage. He therefore left the seminary and became a catechist, cooperating with the Oblate missionaries who struggled to learn the language of the Hmong people.
When he was 19, he accompanied Bl. Fr. Mario Borzaga, OMI, in his evangelization of the poor in various villages. Both were captured by leftist rebels. Blessed Paul refused to leave Fr. Mario and suffered martyrdom.