The Chinese Communist torturers used different techniques on their victims, the Trappist monks of Our Lady of Consolation monastery.
At one point, Father Michaelus Hsu, the superior, was forced on top of the abbey’s mill to push the grindstone. It was intended to serve as an example to scare and motivate the superior’s nephew, Brother Eligius Hsu, who had accompanied his uncle to the abbey in the summer of 1937 and joined the Community a year later.
From atop the grist stone next to the cow barn, Father Michaelus yelled to his nephew, “Look, sooner or later I will die. To me, it is of little importance. But you, if you obey the Communists, how will you save your soul?”
Brother Eligius remained strong.
After months and months of torture, Brother Eligius was rounded up with five other monks, on January 20, 1948.
“You are going to be freed,” the soldiers told them.
The six monks were taken to Pan Pu, a village near Yang Kia Ping. In Pan Pu, large-character posters displayed on the walls announced a meeting of the People’s Court. The names of the monks had been written in red ink – a symbol of death.
Twice the men were hauled before a People’s Court. Before a multitude, the manacled, handcuffed monks were accused. They had to listen to the wild, brutal screams of false accusations against the abbey and against themselves.
At the second trial, the death order was delivered. They were to be executed immediately.
They had lived together. They would die together. 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 at 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.
VIVA CRISTO REY! 萬歲耶穌基督國王!