The Death March through the mountains in northern China had been deadly for the Trappist monks of Our Lady of Consolation, tortured by the Communists soldiers with their theophobic Socialist ideology of death and destruction.
When they reached Teng Chia Yu, more neared death, including Brother Bartholomeus Chin (b. 1893), one of several vocations from the Jesuit mission of Hsien Hsien, in Ho Chien, Hopei province.
Inside the dark prison cell, cold, filthy, bloody, exhausted, the Trappist monk breathed his last, in September 1947.
At the announcement of each death, Tui-Shih Li, the Communist leader of the Death March, could barely contain his glee.
“Wonderful! We have saved one more bullet!” he cheered.
After each death, four monks, escorted by weapon-ready soldiers, carried each body to where they would be forced to dump their confrere in a shallow grave, covered over with a powdering of dirt.
At night, the smell of death lured the wolves and wild dogs that unearthed the decaying bodies, tearing off legs and arms, gnawing on the flesh and muscle. What wasn’t devoured was left lying on the ground, visible. Only after the villagers of Teng Chia Yu complained to the Communists were the dead reburied, with the mauled remains re-interred in a grave slightly deeper, or just deep enough.
VIVA CRISTO REY! 萬歲耶穌基督國王!