Phuoc Son Pagoda is located in Hamlet 5, My Thanh Nam Commune, Cai Lay District, Tien Giang Province. The pagoda was built in the late nineteenth century by Mr. To Van Hieu with the Buddhist monk is Venerable Master Qui Tam Trung Thuong Khanh Ha Hoa. Influenced by war and natural disasters, the temple has been destroyed many times, but after each falling, it was rebuilt by the local people. Up to now, the pagoda is located on a high mound with a beautiful landscape, including: Three-arched-entrances Gate having 2 Dharmapala statues on its left and right side; The Buddhist Great Hall having the statue of Guan Yin on the left side, the statue of Amitabha and the statue of Guan Yin in the middle and on the right side is the Ksitigarbha statue while inside the space of the Great Hall has many Statue of Buddha; in the rear of the Great Hall, there are 3 Buddhist altars in the front, in its middle is the Patriarch, on the left is the Uncle Ho's altar, on the right is the 3 resting rooms; behind the back of the Great Hall has a kitchen and a canteen.
A scene of Phuoc Son Pagoda.
According to records kept at the Tien Giang Province's Management Board of Monuments, during the two wars of resistance against French colonialism and American imperialist aggression, Phuoc Son Pagoda is an important revolutionary base of My Thanh Nam commune and Cai Lay District. This place was used as a mechanical workshop for making self-made grenade weapons, mine trap, and also a shelter for Mr. Do Huy Rua - Battalion Commander of 307th Battalion (1948 – 1949), Mr. Sau Phu – 261st Battalion (Zone 8), Mr. Phan Van Trong (also known as Bay Trong), Mr. Tran Van Mau (also known as Sau Mau), Mr. Dong Van Mao (also known as Nam Mao), Mr. Nguyen Van Sanh, Mr. Nguyen Van Gan and Mrs. Tu Kim, etc. Therefore, its abbot is our revolutionary officer mostly, such as: Mr. Nguyen Van Xanh (also known as Sanh) under the Dharma name of Tu Thinh - he was a firing-line officer of 307th Battalion, Mr. Nguyen Van Danh (also known as Vanh) under the Dharma name of Nguyen Ngo who joined the Viet Minh police; and in 1960, Mr. Nguyen Van Tam, who joined X12, of Y1 Military Medical Station based in My Thanh commune, became the abbot.
Among the revolutionary events associated with Phuoc Son Pagoda, the most notably one occurred in 1949, where comrade Do Huy Rua – Battalion Commander of 307th Battalion took refuge at the pagoda to lead our forces against the enemy. According to the history of My Thanh Nam Commune's Party Committee (1930 – 2010): At the end of June, 1949, our 307th Battalion was discovered to be stationed in the area, the enemy concentrated forces to attack Phu Huyen, River No. 10 and Cha La River. On June 27th, 1949, more than 500 enemy troops were supported by planes, warships and artillery units to seek us everywhere. 307th Battalion still secretly waited for the opportunity to launch a siege to break the perimeter. In that afternoon, when the enemy was tired, ignored and caught off guard, our soldiers began to attack. After exterminating about 50 enemies, our troops retreated to Xoai Tu. Upon arriving at Xoai Tu, the enemy came down from both Phu Huyen and Nga Sau to create the pincer movement. Before such a dangerous situation, 307th Battalion determined to break their blockade one more time to retreat to Ban Day. Coordinating with 307th Battalion, My Thanh guerrillas and inter-communist guerrillas bravely prevented the enemy from holding back, enabling our troops to withdraw safely. This was the largest anti-tank battle ever; the enemy had lost nearly one company. On our side, there were some sacrifices including Comrade Do Huy Rua - Battalion Commander.
Phuoc Son Pagoda is a cultural heritage that existed for over 100 years, is a witness to the formation and development of My Thanh Nam Commune and Cai Lay districts from the nineteenth century to present. Therefore, in order to preserve and promote cultural values, especially education about the traditional of the valiant fights in the past to protect the Fatherland, Tien Giang Provincial People's Committee had recognized Phuoc Son Pagoda as a provincial Revolutionary Historical Relic on December 13th, 2018.
Nguyen Manh Thang