VAN Tuong Nguyen’s final thoughts before he went to the gallows in Singapore were shared at his packed funeral service in Melbourne’s St Patrick’s Cathedral on December 7.
More than 2000 people attended the funeral for the executed drug trafficker.
Fr Peter Hansen, who is parish priest of Craigieburn in Melbourne, and a close friend of Van Nguyen’s mother, Kim, celebrated the funeral.
Fr Hansen said the family had requested Van’s funeral service be a celebration of his life instead of a political statement about the death sentence.
Van had asked that, at the end of the Mass, mourners hug one another as a sign of unity and of Jesus’ love for others.
Fr Hansen said the Gospel reading chosen for the funeral was that of the repentant thief.
Earlier, St Ignatius, Richmond parish priest, Jesuit Father Peter Norden, where Van had attended primary school, prayed for an end to the death penalty in a Mass less than an hour before the execution.
In his homily at the December 2 Mass, Fr Norden said that during the last two weeks many parishioners had found a place to pray before the replica of Michaelangelo’s Pieta in the church which portrayed the mother of Jesus holding the body of her dead son in her arms.
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