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Francois Xavier Cardinal Nguyen Van Thuan
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Religious Figure
    (April 17, 1928-September 16, 2002)
    Born in Hue, Viet Nam
    Deceased Catholic Archbishop of Saigon
    Spent thirteen years in prison, nine in solitary for his faith
    Related his travails in his autobiography, 'Road to Hope'
    Possessed a doctorate in canon law
    He was appointed bishop at an unusually early age.
    His biography deliberately gives few details of his imprisonment.
    He was made a cardinal late in life as almost an honorarium and died barely a year later.
    He was arrested and sentenced without a fair trial as soon as the communists took over South Vietnam.
    He was so dedicated to his faith that he had friends smuggle wine into prison so he could celebrate Mass for other prisoners. When caught doing this he was put into solitary confinement.
    He came from a large (seven brothers and sisters) and wealthy family (his uncle was South Vietnam's first president) and gave it all up to serve God.
    He refused to flee the communist invasion so he could stay with his flock.
    He was exiled after he was released from prison.
    He forgave his oppressors.
    He was dedicated to social justice issues and was working on the 'Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church' when he died.

Credit: tom_jeffords

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