Louis-Marie Ling Mangkhanekhoun I.V.D. (b. 8 April 1944) is a Laotian of Khmu ethnicity, and speaks Khmu, Laotian, French, and English. He has been a bishop since 2001, and a cardinal and subsequently Apostolic Vicar of the Apostolic Vicariate of Vientiane, in Laos, since 2017. He is the first Cardinal from Laos.
Cardinal Louis-Marie was baptised a Catholic in 1952 following his mother's conversion through the evangelisation of Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate. In the 1960s he studied philosophy and theology at the Voluntas Dei seminary in the Diocese of Edmundston, Canada, and became a member of the Secular Institute, Institut Voluntas Dei. As a deacon, on March 7, 1970, he was nearly killed in an ambush during which, among others, two married lay catechists, his cousin Luc Sy, and Maisam Phô Inpèng, lost their lives; they are now numbered among the 17 Blessed Martyrs of Laos beatified by Pope Francis in December 2016. On 5 November 1972 he was ordained a priest for the Apostolic Vicariate of Vientiane, Laos, in a hurried ceremony in a refugee camp. He spent the years 1984 to 1987 in prison. He was consecrated a bishop on 22 April 2001 and made a cardinal at a consistory on 28 June 2017, the first ever cardinal from Laos. He came to take possession of the Basilica of San Silvestro as its Cardinal-Priest on Sunday 22 April, 2018, presiding at the 5.30pm Mass.
He developed a system of seminary education that requires a candidate for the priesthood, after three years of study, to spend from one to three years in pastoral work. He explained that they the candidates act as "catechists, carrying medicines, aid, prayers for the people of the mountain. They integrate with the villagers, live as the villagers do in everything."
You can read a wonderful interview with Cardinal Louis-Marie here:
List of Cardinal Priests of San Silvestro in Capite: here
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