It is in dying that we are born to eternal life.Prayer of Saint Francis of Assisi
The pandemy and the death that separated us
This project started in May 2020 after my grandmother passed away. Her christian name was Filumena which means “Daughter of the Light”. That was her who raised me as a child. Shortly after my birth, my family fell into bankruptcy. Under the shock and the fear, my mother started to suffer from a mental illness. This condition and its consequences followed here until her tragic death when I was 13 years old. My father was absent. Despite her age and her poverty, my grandmother opened her arms to all of us. She took care that I was filled with love.
Because of the global Covid 19 pandemy and the obligatory 14-days long quarantine at my arrival in Vietnam, I could not be at my grandmother’s bedside in her final days and hours. She waited for me for almost three weeks. Eventually I arrived to her one day after her decease. I believed that it was the end of everything. She could no longer hear me, see me and feel me. On the contrary, it was the beginning of this uncommon story.
I was not a firm believer despite the Faith of my grandmother. After her decease, I found her rosary with which I saw her praying thousands of times. Thousands of times I heard her prayers not for her but for her sick daughter and her poor grandchildren. The first Sunday’s evening, some days after her burial, I felt missing her deeply. Without thinking, without looking for anything, I started to repeat her gesture. I prayed the rosary. I did not imagine for one instant that I would live the moments that would change my life forever.
After the first thirty “Hail Mary”, I sensed a pleasant perfume that I could not describe. Then arrived a smell of wood, more precisely the wood my grandmother’s coffin was made of. I felt her presence. I saw the room gradually filled with a peaceful white light. At the moment, I suddendly understood that the death did not mean the end. And I started to believe, first in the Virgin Mary. There was the gratitude to Mary to whom I prayed then received this grace.
The beginning of our project
After that, I was offered by chance a small statue of Mary holding her Child Jesus. With my newly found belief, I found the statue so beautiful that I wanted to offer it to the world. I looked for and found the craftmen who produced these statues. I convinced them to join our efforts. So was born our project. A lot of water has flowed under the bridge since then. We are working with artists from different countries to create new sculptural artworks depicting Jesus Christ, the Virgin Mary and the Saints. However, the essential of the project stays the same.
The values to be shared
By this work, my wish is, with you brothers and sisters in Christ, to propagate our christian values that my grandmother transfered to me. These values are Charity and Hope. Even in the darkest hours of our lives, I saw her acts of Charity towards others. Even in the most difficult days of our lives, I witnessed her unbreakable Hope in her prayers, her words and her actions. As I received that much Charity and Hope from and through my grandmother, I will offer that much to those in need. I cannot do this without you, brothers and sisters in Christ.
The reinforced Faith
Two years after my grandmother started her new life, the child that we had been waiting for 7 years finally arrived in our family. That was a girl. I wanted very much to see my daughter growing up and transfer to her my faith. But the first days of her life were also the last days. My daughter left this world too early. In those days following my daughter in her road of the Cross, I started to understand partially and believe totally in crucified Christ. I learnt to entrust to God my daughter’s body, her soul, her life and also mine.
I named my daughter after my grandmother and my mother, Filumena Thanh-Tam. Yes, she was pure in heart as her names indicated. Now I have my grandmother, my mother and my daughter to pray for me. My daughter’s footprints are now the symbol of this work, of our love and our Faith.
The ongoing project
More than ever, I am giving my heart and soul to this work. We create, produce and distribute catholic statues to generate resources for catholic acts: protect Life especially the life of children to be born, respect human dignity especially that of vulnerable people and sow seeds of Hope in the underprivileged children.
If you share our belief, join us.