The Death March through the mountains in northern China had been deadly for the Trappist monks, tortured by the #Communists soldiers with their theophobic Socialist ideology of death and destruction.
One more neared death.
Inside his dark prison cell, cold, filthy, bloody, exhausted, Father Odilius Chang (b. 1897), from the province of Chilin (old form of Kirin) breathed his last, on December 7, 1947.
The priest-monk had embodied the spirit of Saint Benedict: contemplation and piety. At the abbey of Our Lady of Consolation, he had been confessor and director of the oblates and postulants, and on all first Fridays, he always had directed a retreat and preached a conference.
Pious, modest, reserved and humble, Father Odilius was considered an extraordinary preacher. With a burning zeal, his words, with a simple elegance, flowed like fire from his heart into the hearts of his listeners, encouraging many vocations. During the Death March and all that ensued, he had never complained.
Father Odilius was buried with two fellow Trappists, who also succumbed to the brutal troture, their bodies to be forever entwined in a shallow grave, a trench that the Communist soldiers had used as a latrine.
VIVA CRISTO REY!