The Basilica of Phu Nhai



Address : Xuan Phuong Commune, Xuan Truong District, Nam Dinh Province, Vietnam.

Phu Nhai church in 1881

In the most tragic, difficult and dark situation of the history of Vietnamese Catholics in general, especially in the area of ​​Bui Chu in particular, in 1858 (only after 10 years of establishment of the diocese), Bishop Valentin Berrio -Ochoa Vinh, bishop of Bui Chu (bishop Vinh was martyred  in August 1861 and canonized on June 19, 1988), together with his diocese priest, Fr. Emmanuel Rian Hoa together with devotion to the Blessed Mother If Mother Mary gives peace to her diocese, they will receive Mary as the patroness and will build a temple worthy of her.

The vows were accepted by Mary, although there was no immediate peace, but the spirit of the laity and the clergy was stronger. Those who are too weak to renounce the faith continue to repent, gradually calm down. In 1868, he made his vows with Our Lady and in 1881 he and Isaac Barquero built the Church of the Immaculate Conception in Phu Nhai. Teacher District. He was also the first person to take the annual initiative on December 8th solemnly celebrated the feast of Mary Immaculate, patroness of Bui Chu diocese. On that feast, he called on all priests and all lay people to celebrate the feast, to thank the Blessed Mother.

Phu Nhai church in 1923

Phu Nhai church was built 3 times. The first was in 1881, due to the limited circumstances. The church was built, but not as desirable, so the next decade, the church has planned to build a larger Temple completed in 1923, can be said is the largest church in Indochina. The church is built in gothic style, 88m long, 2 towers 30m high, main father Y drawing and supervised construction, 7 years to complete. Inaugurated on the eve of the Immaculate Conception on 8 December 1923 by Bishop Munagori Trung, Bishop Bui Chu, most diocesan priests and over 50,000 parishioners.

Phu Nhai church was hit by a storm in 1929

The storm of September 30, 1929 destroyed Phu Nhai church. Old father Pham Van Nguyen, 82 years old, of Thanh Hoa, is currently retired at  12772 Loisse St, Garden Grove, CA 92841. At that time, he was aroud 20 years old, occasionally translating articles from French into Vietnamese, published in the daily newspaper Trung Hoa, the first Catholic newspaper in Vietnam. Trung Hoa newspaper reported the storm as follows:

The storm lasted less than an hour and spilled 48 churches, including the Phu Nhai church.

Phu Nhai church in 1933

The Bui Chu diocese continued its efforts and the third time, with the contribution of all Bui Chu parishioners and the assistance of the dioceses of Vietnam, after a four-year effort, Bui Chu diocese completed a holy temple. larger, magnificent to offer to the our Lady of Immaculate Conception in 1933.

Phu Nhai church in 1990

The today church was built in 1933 and lasted for 57 years with so many storms and bombs. Thus, the bishop Chu Bui proposed the overhaul of the Phu Nhai Temple.

Kha Tran,


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