September 16, 2011. (Romereports.com)
Nine years have passed since the death of Cardinal François-Xavier Nguyen Van Thuan. He was fierce Catholic leader from Vietnam. In 1975, when he was named a bishop, the communist regime sentenced him
to 13 years in so called “re-education camp.” He spent nine of those
years in solitary confinement. During that time, the government
actually had to replace the guards, because one by one, they too became
Catholic. In this rare interview done a few months before his death, he summed up those years by saying the following: "I just did what I could, that is, to bear witness to my faith and especially the love of Christ. I think that's the only thing that can change hearts. Earlier you asked me about this cross I bear. The pieces of wire were actually cut out by the prison guards. They brought me tweezers and together, we wove it together for four hours. The most important testimony we can give is love, forgiveness and reconciliation. To forget the past and look ahead so we can build our country together and build a world that's more beautiful. As I said the other day, the future is much more exciting than the past.”
In 1988 he was sentenced to house arrest. Then in 1991, the government allowed him to travel to Rome, but he wasn't allowed to go back to Vietnam.
John Paul II welcomed him and appointed him a cardinal.
He died on September 16, 2002.