Saint Michael Ho Dinh Hy, 1808 – 1857
Michael Dinh-Hy Ho was a native of Vietnam (North Cochin-China). He was born to Christian parents, and was by profession a wealthy silk trader. Youngest of the five remaining twelve children, he was married to a Christian from another family and had two sons and three daughters. Like other Christians at the time, they practiced their faith in private. At age of 21, he obtained the rank mandarin and appointed Superintendent of the Royal silk mills afterward. He was one of the few trusted officials who traveled abroad to conduct trades with other countries like Singapore and Malaysia. At the height of Christian persecution, when his eldest son requested to become a priest, he arranged to have him studied in Indonesia. After his remaining son died at the age of 12, Michael Dinh-Hy Ho declined to have his elder son returned home, according to Confucian traditions, citing he could not protect his own faith. During his years at the king’s post, he performed many charitable acts to local unfortunates and helped to transport French and Portuguese missionaries on the waterways through his region under the guise of official business. He was entrusted to guard missionaries written records. He did not practice the faith publicly until late in life, becoming protector of the Christian community, which irked his fellow mandarins.