The Legend of Saint Giong - Summary Story and Significance

Nguyễn Minh Khánh
tháng 1 30, 2024
Last Updated

 The legend of Saint Giong is a story that highlights the Vietnamese people's resistance against foreign invaders since ancient times. So, what exactly is this legend about? We will provide a summary, retelling the story, and its meaningful lessons in this article.

Summary of the legend

The story tells the legend of Saint Giong - Phu Dong Thien Vuong. A brief summary of this story is as follows:

During the reign of the sixth emperor Hung Vuong, an old woman without children discovered giant footprints in the garden. She placed her tentative foot in that footprint and became pregnant. She gave birth to a baby named Giong. However, Giong is 3 years old but still only lies down to eat, does not know how to speak, crawl or walk.

The Legend of Saint Giong
The Legend of Saint Giong

At that time, the country was invaded by the Yin army, and Hung Vuong's generals were all defeated. Emperor Hung Vuong sent messengers to find someone to save the country. Then, Giong's mother was shocked when her son spoke for the first time and invited the messenger in.

Giong asked the king to prepare a horse, a sword, armor, and an iron helmet for him, and he would defeat the enemy. King Hung agreed. Meanwhile, Giong stayed at home and ate a lot. The more he ate, the faster he grew, becoming tall and majestic. When the soldiers brought the items Giong requested, he rode his iron horse and fought on the battlefield, defeating the Yin dynasty army in just half a day.

After the victory, Giong bowed to his mother and flew back to heaven on his iron horse. To honor his merits, King Hung built a temple for Giong and bestowed upon him the title of Phu Dong Thien Vuong.

The story

During the reign of the sixth emperor Hung Vuong, there was a woman who was 60 years old and lived alone, without a family. One morning, while visiting her fields and garden, she was surprised to find a giant footprint that had ruined her vegetable beds. She exclaimed in astonishment:

Oh my! Whose footprint is so big!

Out of curiosity, she tried to fit her foot into the strange footprint, and a chill ran through her body. From that moment on, she became pregnant and gave birth to a chubby baby boy named Giong. However, even at the age of three, Giong only lay and ate, unable to sit or crawl, let alone speak or laugh.

During that time, the Yin army invaded our country. Under the command of the Yin king, they plundered, looted, and massacred people everywhere. The Hung King's army fought against them several times but was defeated. King Hung was worried and hurriedly sent messengers everywhere to look for talented generals to save the country.

One day, the messenger arrived at the village where Giong lived, announcing the search for talented people to help the king. Hearing the announcement, Giong's mother joked to her son:

My dear son, you are so slow and can't even speak. When will you be able to go to battle and help the king?

Unexpectedly, Giong suddenly spoke:

Mother, please invite the messenger here.

After that, Giong was silent again. The mother was extremely surprised because it had been 3 years since she had said a word. Then, she told this incident to her neighbors. Then they decided to invite a messenger to see what Giong wanted.

When the messenger came and asked Giong why he wanted to see him, the boy calmly replied:

Please prepare for me an iron horse, an iron sword, an iron armor, and an iron helmet, and I will help repel the enemy.

Everyone was astonished by Giong's answer, believing that a divine spirit had appeared. So, the messenger quickly returned to report to King Hung. King Hung was overjoyed and ordered the blacksmiths to gather all the iron to make the horse, sword, armor, and helmet as Giong requested. These items were forged, but they were so heavy that they were impossible to lift. It took dozens of men to move the sword. King Hung had to mobilize thousands of soldiers to transport them to Giong.

When news of the army carrying the iron horse approaching the village, Giong's mother anxiously ran home to tell her son:

My son! The king's business is not a joke. Now that the army is approaching, what are you going to do?

Hearing this, Giong suddenly sat up and reassured his mother:

Don't worry about the battle, but I need to eat a lot to have the strength to fight the enemy.

Giong's mother hurriedly cooked rice for Giong to eat. However, as soon as each pot of rice was cooked, Giong ate it all. With each pot of rice he ate, Giong grew a little bigger but was still hungry. The more he ate, the faster he grew, becoming a tall and strong young man. When the rice in the house ran out, his mother asked for help from the neighbors. Everyone in the village enthusiastically brought rice, potatoes, buffalo meat, wine, fruits, and sweets to treat him. But no matter how much they brought, Saint Giong ate it all.

Then, Giong continued to tell his mother:

Mother, please find some fabric for me to sew clothes.

So, the villagers followed each other to bring silk to make clothes for Giong. However, Giong's physique grew miraculously, causing the newly completed clothes to quickly become tight. So, they had to add more fabric to make them wider. In no time, Giong's head reached the roof of the house.

While everyone was still stunned, the soldiers struggled to bring the horse, sword, armor, and iron helmet. Giong stepped out of the house, his figure more majestic and taller than ever before, his legs longer than a fathom, his voice resounding like thunder:

I am the general from heaven!

Immediately, Saint Giong donned his iron armor, wore his iron helmet, held his sword and turned around. Giong said goodbye to his mother and the people and jumped onto the war horse. Suddenly, the iron horse reared up and breathed out a blazing red flame. Giong urged the horse to gallop, crossing mountains and forests. In the blink of an eye, Giong had rushed to the area where the enemy was camping in the forest. Giong drew his sword and rushed into the enemy. Wherever the enemy rushed to, Giong knocked them down. The iron horse neighed loudly, breathing fire and burning down a series of barracks, and a whole area of mountains and forests was engulfed in flames.

Nevertheless, the leader of the Yin army still tried to fight back, shouting loudly to gather his soldiers. But the more Giong fought, the stronger he became, and the bodies of the enemy soldiers were strewn all over the place. Suddenly, Giong's sword snapped in two. So Giong quickly pulled out the bamboo bushes by the side of the road and beat the enemy troops who were holding out. In just a moment, the enemy troops panicked and fled in all directions. Finally, the Yin army was defeated by Giong. The rest of the enemy troops surrendered, and the Hung Vuong army and the people just had to step forward and tie them up.

In less than half a day, Giong had dealt with the foreign invasion that threatened the country. At that time, Giong and his horse had reached Mount Soc Son. Giong immediately took off his armor, took off his hat, knelt down to his mother, and flew straight up to the sky with his horse. After that resounding victory, to commemorate the merits of the hero, King Hung ordered the construction of a temple in Giong's hometown and conferred on him the title of Phu Dong Thien Vuong.


The story of Saint Giong - Phu Dong Thien Vuong has the significance of arousing national pride, patriotism, the desire to protect the homeland, demonstrating the power of unity and community spirit. Through the story, the Vietnamese people of ancient times were deeply aware of the need to protect the country from foreign invasion.

The villagers supported Saint Giong with food and clothing. King Hung also believed in and prepared Giong with full sets of iron armor, iron helmets, iron horses, and iron swords. These all demonstrate the spirit of unity against foreign invaders of the Vietnamese people. In addition, the story of Saint Giong also affirms the value of living with morality and lofty ideals. Giong went to battle for the great cause of saving the country, without asking for any reward. After winning the battle, Giong knelt down to his mother to show his filial piety and then flew back to heaven.

Thus, has just sent you the legend of Saint Giong along with the good values of the Vietnamese people. Please support us by following our next articles.

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