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Tuesday, 30 November 2010

33 Martyrs of Yang Kia Ping

Theresa Marie Moreau at Veritas Est Libertas writes of the story of the 33 martyrs of the Trappist Monastery of Yang Kia Ping.

The photo to the right is of Father Chrysostomus. Theresa tells of his fortitude at the final ludicrously unjust people's trial before he was shot with several of his brothers. Here is just a small section:
Father Chrysostomus Chang plumbed the depths of his human will for a supernatural strength. With only a few minutes remaining of his life in the material world, he lifted his thoughts to the spiritual. Through screams from the mob, he addressed his confreres at his side one last time, to prepare them not for death, but for life, everlasting life.

“We’re going to die for God. Let us lift our hearts one more time, in offering our total beings,” he said.
After being shot, the bodies of the holy monks were thrown into a sewage ditch where wild dogs came to lick their blood.

The whole account tells of unspeakable active cruelty combined with the deliberate neglect of basic human needs. To make people walk around in soiled clothes because they have not been allowed to relieve themselves seems to me a particularly diabolical aspect of persecution from the French revolution onwards. It is designed to degrade the humanity of a person and break their spirit. It did not succeed with these holy monks.

On the other hand, Theresa tells a tale of heroism, and the spiritual life lived with perfect fidelity even under the pressure of cruel physical and mental torture.

Do read the whole story. These men should be canonised.
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