Br, Joche-Albert Ly

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3-The Red Army in Sichang
Despite hearing such news, His Lordship, Bishop Baudry, did not heed what was said. And as there were persons of importance who stood up to the order, Brother Assistant, Jean Emile, extraordinary Visitor, was overcome by the love His Excellency had already professed for the Marist. He declared to the competent authority, that he would never fail to maintain the number of four Brothers in the flourishing college, and that if any of them were to depart, those departing would be replaced by others. As for the rest, His Excellency would provide the Brothers with all they would require, both spiritual and material. We must admit here that not only the courageous prelate, but also other missionaries, were under the illusion that the invincible Red Armies would never undertake the conquest of the Tibetan Frontier Regions, walled up that as are by the gigantic chain of mountains. Brother Ly did not lapse into that illusion, for writing to his Provincial towards the end of the same year, he expresses himself in the following terms, (letter: 16 November 1949): “As for myself, I am indifferent; I have no fixed idea, and I want to follow that of my superiors, either by remaining here or by leaving. Of course, His Lordship loves the Brothers a lot, and on the other hand, we must confide in God, without whose holy will not one hair of our head will fall. If it is God’s will, I am ready to die for Him. With the protection of the Divine Providence, I am ready to work for God’s glory and for the good of the Church.” (Copy of the autograph by Brother Gabriel).
In this paragraph the martyr has foreseen his future destiny, his bloody death, and certainly, the sacrifice of his life to God. He generously accepted the test, and firmly hopes to run his race to martyrdom.
On March 26, 1950, the Communist army entered the town of Sichang which, not without glory, was one of the last ramparts of Chinese anti-communism. After the town, the Kien Chang region surrendered, and almost simultaneously, Tatsienlu, the capital of the Tibetan Frontier Provinces. The rather small army was kept busy controlling the turbulent and bellicose character of these Chinese used to scuffles with the “lolo” tribes and answering them with exterminating incursions on the highlands. The policy of Communizing the people was carried out gently, owing no doubt, to the lack of apt elements.

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