On December 1, 1946, an announcement was made in the Chapter Room of Our Lady of Consolation, where the Trappist monks met daily for the reading of a chapter from “The Rule of Saint Benedict.”
In the absence of a father abbot, Father Michaelus Hsu was named the superior of the Community. In his new capacity, even though his confreres were frightened with the Communists circling the abbey, he did his best to maintain peace and calm amongst the men, amidst the terror.
Intelligent, highly cultured and well-read, Father Michaelus had been born in Ching Pu, the westernmost district of Shanghai, on March 18, 1901, into a family with an aristocratic background. He was a direct descendant (12th generation) of Prime Minister Kuang-Chi “Paul” Hsu (1562-1633), who served as Minister of the Cabinet and Minister of Rites in the Imperial Court. Upon his death, he was buried with great honors. He had been converted to the faith by his colleague, Father Matteo Ricci (1552-1610, Society of Jesus), an Italian and one of the founding fathers of the Jesuit mission in China.
One year later, after tortured by the Chinese Communists at the abbey and on the Death March, Father Michaelus Hsu (b. 1901) died in a little, black cell, on December 15, 1947.
“My heart and my soul are devoted to the Virgin Mary,” were his last words.
VIVA CRISTO REY! 萬歲耶穌基督國王!