Presenting excerpts of the tragic tale of Our Lady of Consolation Trappist Monastery from the book by Theresa Marie Moreau. Excerpts which, hopefully, will exhibit the reasons for the forming of an underground Catholic Church in China about the time when WWII ended
Communism was busy greedily grabbing land in China, pushing the weaker Japanese invaders out, indoctrinating as they went along, and, introducing chaos into the beauty of the Chinese family … turning one against the other with the Communist cell system which encouraged one to tell the authorities if anyone in their ‘cell’ or anyone at home spoke against the Party, or was a Roman Catholic … or belonged to the Legion of Mary. And on and on. The Communists had won China. Chairman Mao in power.
“Fifty million Chinese peasants died during Mao’s ‘Great Leap Forward. He qualifies as the greatest mass murderer in world history.” Frank Diddotec, Historian: The Independent Woodstock Literary Festival”
Utter fear was in the air. For the punishment for speaking against the party could be death. (The term ‘Politically incorrect’ comes to mind here.) Chinese Catholics died, starving, some being buried alive … others just a simple shot in the head after being beaten brutally until unconscious…..others, like Cardinal Kung, a lifetime in a dank prison cell covered with lice. Freezing in the cold and sweltering in the summer with a tiny window …. isolated … loyal to the Pope and the True
Now? Now what? Now Rome has seemingly compassed against all that is the ‘True’ all over the world, and, the Pope has arranged it so that underground Chinese Catholics must join the national atheist Church or suffer the consequences, which are the same as the Trappist monks you will read about … their cries pierce the very vaults of the heavens ….maryanne84
Excerpts from the book: Blood of The Martyrs by Theresa Marie Moreau with permission
“The tragic tale of Our Lady of Consolation began on June 16, 1883. On that glorious day, as the hot summer wind from the Gobi Desert carried its golden dust eastward, and the cicada nymphs emerged reborn, buzzing from their old shell of death, in celebration of their emergence into new life from their old shell of death, Father Ephrem Seignol, a Trappist monk, stood on a ledge in the shadow of the Mongolian Mountains.
Atop a ridge nearly 10,000 feet high, that much closer to God, he glimpsed for the first time the rock-filled valley of Yang Kia Ping (translation: Yang family Land, old form of Yangjiaping). Before his eyes lay the birthplace of the Trappist Community in China.
With him, Father Ephrem brought little else except his dreams, his duties of state, God’s will and the name of the future abbey.
Before he had departed from his priory in Tamie, France, for China, from the West for the East, from the Occident for the Orient, he visited his close friend Father John Bosco in Turin, Italy. The future saint suggested that the abbey be christened with the same name as the chapel in which they were sitting: Our Lady of Consolation. And so it came to be.”
The villagers around were happy to have the Sacraments, and, the Trappists. Many young boys and men had felt the call to the Trappist austere way of life, with its silence, prayer, and solitude. And penance. maryanne84
“Life inside the abbey’s walls, peaceful; life outside, however, complete turmoil.”
Shots could be heard at the monastery as history records for the times … as the invading Japanese fled China and the Communist soldiers with their off brown uniforms poured over the borders. They had to appear to be nice to the monks as the Japanese soldiers had a respect for spirituality. But that was over.
March 1941. ” The Communists dropped their masks and revealed their true faces. They placed the whole community under house arrest. Under constant surveillance, every move was watched. Nothing could be done by the monks without permission of the Communists.”
How Our Lady of Consolation “Became No More”
“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 everlasting life.
“We’re going to die for God. Let us lift our hearts one more time in offering our total beings.” he said.
“Helpless, the six Trappist monks stood handcuffed and chained on a makeshift platform target of a frenzied hatred that surged toward them. The blood en-crusted, lice-infected men, wearing rags caked in their own filth, had nowhere to run, no one to help them. After six months of mind-bending interrogation and body-rending torture, it was over. It was all over.
The verdict had just been read by a Chinese Communist officer: Death. To be carried out immediately.
Hundreds of crazed peasants, with fists raised, with contorted faces, with spit-covered lips, screamed rehearsed slogans of approval for the approaching slaughter. Executioners – reliable Party henchmen – raised their rifles to exterminate the Roman Catholic monks, believers in the superstitious cult, lovers of the God on the Cross, imported from the Imperial West.
And so it happened on January 28, 1948, in the dead of winter in Pan Pu, an unmapped village, a frigid heathen hell in the Mongolian mountains, somewhere in the frost-covered north of the Republic of China.
Just over the ridge from the pandemonium staged by the soulless Chinese communists – believers in the materialistic cult, lovers of the god of death and destruction – lay the charred ruins of Our Lady of Consolation, the once majestic abbey the monks had called home.
Jostled in the madness, the monks fell to their knees. With their swollen hands tied and chained behind their backs, they couldn’t even cross themselves – In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost – a final time.
The death squad – Communist soldiers in the ready – loaded their rifles with fresh rounds of ammo.
Shots rang out. One, then the next, followed by the next, the monks collapsed upon the blood splashed , frozen ground. Their lifeless bodies dragged to a nearby sewage ditch and dumped into a heap, one on top of the other. Alerted by the shots, wild dogs, roaming the village’s dirt roads, scavenging for scraps, hurried over to the bodies to investigate.
Sniffing, they lapped up the warm blood, steaming in the icy air..
It was all over.
Our Lady of consolation was no more.”
Winner of Los Angeles Press Club Award, 2010 Judge’s comment: “I was drawn into this in-depth series of stories from the opening sentence and couldn’t put it down until I had read every word of every story. That, to e, represents quality writing and reporting, which are hallmarks of exceptional feature writing.
Winner of Los Angeles Press Club Award 2010 Judge’s comment: Writer knows her audience and provides well-researched details to paint a riveting tale.
Blood of The Martyrs was originally published in slightly different form, as two separate series of stories in the Remnant.