According to history, so many people were suffering back in the years of 1765 through 1801. Some were feeling the effects of war, while others were experiencing hunger, imprisonment, or the loss of the people they loved the most.
It was towards the end of that time, 1798 to be exact, that Our Lady appeared at La Vang Holy Land. Our Lady was believed to be the Virgin Mary, because she was holding Baby Jesus.
You will find La Vang Holy Land within the Quang Tri Province, which is approximately fifty-five kilometers to the north of Hue. The La Vang Church was constructed after the appearance of Our Lady and the land was deemed as being holy.
While no one knows for sure why the land and the church are called La Vang, a few people believe it is after a plant that grew nearby. The word LA means leaf, while the word VANG is what an herbal seed that cured diseases back then was called. Of course, there are a few other people who believe the words mean crying out, since so many people were crying and suffering at the time.
La Vang Holy Land is a major pilgrimage area in Vietnam, so you will always find lots of people there, especially at certain times of the year. You will want to plan your trip to La Vang Holy Land carefully, so you do not miss out on any of the incredible sights or the major history of the land and the structures that are still there.
One of the first things you will want to see when you are at La Vang Holy Land is the Our Lady of La Vang Statue. This statue is just under four meters in height and represents the gentle loving face of the Virgin Mary.
The Basilica of Our Lady of La Vang was a prominent feature in this part of Vietnam, but it was destroyed in the summer of 1972, during the war. However, the bell tower from the basilica is still in place for everyone to enjoy.
There are fourteen other sculptures at La Vang Holy Land and each one shows the passion of Jesus. If you pay close attention, you can basically see the story that is being told.
The best feature at La Vang Holy Land though is the well that is located there. It is said that the water from the well can cure any disease, but most people will also drink it out of respect to Our Lady.
Getting to La Vang Holy Land is fairly easy and you can choose from taxi, motorbike, and train to reach your destination. You can also drive there yourself, just make sure you pick up a map prior to your journey. Some modes of transportation, like the train, will have you getting to a certain point and then needing to switch over to a taxi or motorbike. Therefore, you must be prepared and know that you will be switching modes of transportation before you venture out. This will prevent you from feeling lost and wasting time, since you will be unsure of what to do next.
Every year, the La Vang Pilgrimage Festival is held during the month of August. The exact dates change on occasion, but it is usually around the 13th, 14th, and 15th. Priests and Bishops from Catholic churches around the world, as well as Catholics from Vietnam and around the world, join in this place to celebrate Our Lady.
Many activities are offered, as well as nightly prayers. The most honored event though is the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary on the last day of the festival.
While there was nothing that could be done to save the basilica that was destroyed during the war, most of the other structures have been preserved and restored over the years. Therefore, it is safe to say that the La Vang Holy Land will be around for many more generations in the future. This is excellent news, because everyone needs to be aware of how blessed this area of Vietnam really is, even if they do not practice Catholicism.