The St. Nicholas Cathedral, Da Lat, VietNam- Cathédrale Saint-Nicolas
In line with the Pontifical Council for the Establishment of the Church in Vietnam “Venerabilium Nostrorum,” signed by Pope John XXIII on November 24, 1960, the Dalat Cathedral was named the Cathedral of the Diocese of Dalat. , the title of Nicolae Bari – was later renamed Mary, Mother of God.
Looking back over the past 70 years, the Dalat parish prayed for an idea in the 1980 General Letters of the Vietnamese Church to express sincerely and gratefully to his sentiments:
. We deeply love the good hands of God who quietly and forcefully guide the People of God on this beloved Dalat land; We are grateful for the work of countless members of the fraternity, the priests and especially the bishops, who have brought their full strength, energy and apostolic zeal, with faith and heart. contributing to the building of the parish church today.
Along with Dr. Alexandre Yersin discovered Dalat, there was Father Robert, of the Missionary Brotherhood of Paris (MEP) in 1893. Then around 1917, the MEP’s priest in the Far East was Father Nicolas Couvreur came to Dalat, the purpose of finding a clerical resort. He built a Sanatorium (Presbyterian Church), now part of the parish.
By 1918, Bishop Lucien Mossard, the Apostolic Administrator in Saigon (1898-1920), set foot on Dalat. According to the baptismal book and the matrimonial book of the Dalat church, retained, Bishop Mossard himself on January 25, 1919 baptized a Vietnamese child. (Baptism Book I, No. 1). And it was Himself who witnessed the marriage ceremony for a couple of Vietnamese friends, Martinus Tri and Anna Kek, celebrated by Fr. Francois Demareq (Marriage Book I, No. 1). This ceremony was celebrated on June 13, 1919. Also in this marriage, Isidore Dumortier, later the Bishop of the Apostolic Vicariate in Saigon, celebrated the marriage ceremony for another couple, on December 29, 1919. Thus, it can be said that Bishop Lucien Mossard and Isidore Dumortier were the first apostles to celebrate Mass giving the sacraments to the first Vietnamese Catholics in Dalat. With his apostolic zeal, with his broad and distant vision, Pastor Mossard soon recognized that this land would be a fertile land for the seed of the Gospel to be sown and bear fruit. This wise comment of the Honorable Brethren led to the important decision and history of his heir, Rev. Quinton, the Apostolic Vicar of Saigon, on the last day of April 1920, who decided to establish Dalat’s ministry and appointed Frédéric Sidot as the first pastor. The Dalat campus boundaries then spread to Fyan, Fimnom, Dran (Dalat, Lam Ha, Duc Trong and Duong Duong). On May 10, 1920 Dalat teachers welcomed their first pastor. One of Father Sidot’s important work is to build the church. The size of this church is modest: 24m long, 7m wide and 5m high. This church is attached to the wing on the left of the Congregation. The church door is structured in the shape of an arc of ogival, engraved and painted in oriental yellow gold. On the main arch, there is inscription in Latin: “HIC DOMUS EST DEI” (this is the house of God). It was Mossard who donated this church a cast bell in Vietnam, a souvenir of the banned Church in the nineteenth century, probably found in a deep well in the Hoc Mon area. The bell was hung in front of the church for 24 years and was lost in 1945. The number of faithful living now scattered across this vast area was estimated at under 200.
Within a year of the first day of ordination, the number of people who entered the religion increased. This church became too small. On 5 July 1922, Bishop Quinton decided to allow Dalat’s ministry to build a new, more spacious church: 8m wide, 26m long, with a 16m high bell tower, on which four bell-shaped pendants were hung by Paccard. , in the province of Savoie. Thus, these four bells are of the same family with two famous bells: “Savoyarde” in Sacred Heart Basilica in Monmartre and “Jean d’Arc” in Rouen Cathedral, France. Big bell weighs 415kg, diameter is 0.75m, height is 1m. The fourth ring is SOL, weighing 120kg. These bells were baptized by Father Grangcon on July 8, 1923. The third bell marked FA weighs 117kg, banned by Bishop Quinton on February 17, 1924. The second church was inaugurated on February 17, 1923. This church is no more.