So Kien Basilica – Vietnam Catholic Tours

So Kien Basilica

So Kien Basilica: A Historical and Religious Landmark in Vietnam

Nestled along the Day River and embraced by limestone mountains, So Kien was not only chosen as the safest haven from the persecution of the Vietnamese imperial court in the 19th century, but it also later became the center of the West Tonkin region for over 60 years.

To solidify this choice, numerous establishments were constructed, including:

– The Ninh Phu printing facility: It employed advanced European technology to print hundreds of books (both religious and secular) for missionary purposes from 1868 until 1929.

– The Gothic-style Cathedral: Commissioned by Bishop Puginier in 1877 started construction of a Gothic-style cathedral (67.2m x 31.2m x 23.2m). This cathedral was considered the most resplendent in Indochina at the time. It served as the cathedral until 1924 when the bishopric was relocated to Hanoi.

– The Major Seminary: In 1897, the thatched-roof and earthen-walled seminary was repaired and rebuilt into a grand seminary for the entire West Tonkin Diocese, replacing the Vinh Tri Seminary that was destroyed in 1858.

Besides that, there are many highlight notes about So Kien as below:

– The Second Tonkin Congress was held in 1912 which gathering brought together numerous missionary bishops.

– So Kien proudly is a cradle that claims two native martyrs (Priest Peter Truong Van Thi and Catechist Peter Truong Van Duong), and serves as the custodian of numerous relics. Through Fr. Gendreau’s meticulous efforts over a decade (1873-1883), 27 martyrs were beatified, including the two aforementioned locals.

– Despite the 1954 exodus to the South and subsequent divisions, So Kien remains one of the largest parishes in the Archdiocese of Hanoi, with approximately 8,000 parishioners residing in six communes of Thanh Liem District, Ha Nam Province.

– On December 17, 2008, Bishop Joseph Ngo Quang Kiet elevated So Kien Church to the Shrine of the Martyrs of the Archdiocese of Hanoi. A heritage house is also under construction to house and exhibit the relics of the martyrs. These facilities, along with a retreat house, will form the So Kien Pilgrimage Center.

With its rich history and enduring faith, So Kien stands as a fitting choice to inaugurate the Jubilee Year commemorating the 350th anniversary of the founding of the Đàng Ngoài and Đàng Trong dioceses and the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the Catholic Church’s hierarchy in Vietnam (2010).

  • So Kien Pilgrimage Center

Address: Kien Khe, Thanh Liem, Ha Nam, Vietnam




Mass times:

Weekdays: 05.15, 16.30

Sundays: 07.30, 16.30, 20.15

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Date of issue: 24/08/2012

Place of issue: Thua Thien Hue Province.

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