Thursday, July 05, 2007


The famous Phát Diệm Cathedral is famous for a reason. One, it’s absolutely beautiful and the architecture is fabulous, inside and out. Here, we got another amazing tour guide, a young scholar of the cathedral, also very eloquent in his manner of speech. He knew the church like the Bible and he had the keys to everything…which is great since we got to go up to the bell tower. Mom and Dad even got to ring the bell once. Nine rings signify the death of a Catholic woman and seven rings signify the death of a Catholic man. Mom, in her misunderstanding, said that if you ring the bell nine times, a woman dies…but I corrected her in that when a woman dies, THEN the bell is rung nine times. If it happened the other way, I’d probably be dead!

After the tour of the church, we visited the nunnery and listened to crazy ghost stories that tormented the nuns for 18 long years. The ghost would pull all kinds of tricks on the nuns, locking them into rooms, appearing as other nuns, etc. However, no one lost their faith and left the nunnery. They all stuck it out and eventually, the ghost appeared to the head mother and told her that it will leave the nuns alone now. From then on, it’s been much better but the stories still remain and are a large part of the attraction of Phát Diệm.

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