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Photos: thousands of people attend the unveiling of the statue of the Lady of La Vang


A veil of cobalt swayed in the breeze before Mass as thousands of Catholics flocked to Christ Cathedral in Garden Grove on July 17. They celebrated the day of the solemn blessing of Our Lady of La Vang. The crowd was buzzing with excitement to see the new $ 12.6 million shrine and a central statue of Our Lady of La Vang.

In the statue, the first large-scale interpretation in the United States of the sacred figure, Mary is shown standing on a cloud, wearing a traditional Vietnamese ao dai dress and a khan dong hat. She has a Eurasian face and holds the Child Jesus. The Virgin Mary is believed to have appeared in a Vietnamese rainforest before a group of persecuted Vietnamese Catholics in 1798. Mary offered desperate parishioners hope and guidance.

Americans of Vietnamese descent embrace to celebrate the day of the solemn blessing of Our Lady of La Vang.

(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

“This shrine dedicated to Our Lady of La Vang is not only another example of how beauty attracts to God, but it is a testament to the faith of our Vietnamese brothers and sisters who have contributed so much to the life of our parishes here in Orange County. … ”said Bishop Kevin Vann.

According to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange, the unveiling of the shrine is a testament to the journey of the Vietnamese-American people who survived war and religious persecution and came together by faith and community.

Orange County is home to the largest population of Vietnamese in the world outside of Vietnam. It is estimated that 100,000 Vietnamese Catholics live in OC.

Photos: thousands of people attend the unveiling of the statue of the Lady of La Vang

Vietnamese-Americans and Catholics gather in a celebration of Mass after the solemn blessing ceremony of Our Lady of La Vang.

(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

Photos: thousands of people attend the unveiling of the statue of the Lady of La Vang

Cardinal Roger Mahony, former Archbishop of Los Angeles joins the procession during mass.

(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

Photos: thousands of people attend the unveiling of the statue of the Lady of La Vang

The drummers perform during a musical prelude and a colorful procession.

(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

Photos: thousands of people attend the unveiling of the statue of the Lady of La Vang

Notre-Dame de La Vang is seen behind a curtain before the unveiling.

(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

Photos: thousands of people attend the unveiling of the statue of the Lady of La Vang

The performers share a light moment before taking the stage to reconstruct a scene of historical persecution during the prelude.

(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)





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