7-Christ’s captive On the Epiphany Day itself, 1951, two or three soldiers, who may not have exceeded the age of young soldiers, came to the college early in the morning, and suddenly, without any preamble, gave the Brother Joche-Albert the order to follow them to the police station. The order was so urgent that he was not given time to collect anything at all; he carried only his own clothing. As he was going out, and by way of farewell, he managed to utter these laconic words: “J’en ai pour longtemps!” –This will be a long-drawn-out business! Not a word, no arrangement possible with his confreres, nor with his beloved college.
Having reached the Central Police Station, he was told that he was immediately arrested and then he was sent to the common prison, thus augmenting the victims of communism. Behind the emprisonment there lay the battery of accusations and calumnies that had been initiated in the local papers, from which all the personnel of the Mission understood that the ruin and the death of Brother Albert was being plotted.
This filled all those who knew him with consternation, particularly his confreres and the missionary priests. His room was sealed off by the authorities, and no sheet of paper nor part of his clothing was allowed out of it. While so many prayers were ascending towards heaven for him, the Reds were assembling at their will material for a criminal process which was to end with his being shot. Six months before, on July 30, 1950, draconian orders had been issued by Peking and broadcast by the recently-born Soviet Republic. These orders indicated that they had to be executed without any consideration or mercy against all citizens suspected of being opposed to the regime.
The crimes divulged by the local papers formed a list. Here are some of the main ones:
1-To have led the popular revolt in the whole region, a few months after the “Communist liberation”.
2-To have lived with the “lolo” tribes of the mountain and to have instigated among these tribes the revolt against the Communists.
3-To have harmed and injured the people, setting their dwellings on fire, leaving a great number of Chinese without shelter.
It is almost superfluous to make evident the calumny of such incriminations. We shall speak later about being the ringleader of the general rebellion of the middle of 1950. That he had spoken condemning Communism, cannot be denied, and it is his glory, a very legitimate one, before the vacillation, fears and bungling of other Catholics, including the ecclesiastical element. They pretended, if not to caress the Communist beast, at least to tame it with a cowardly silence, with the whisper of compromising concessions, outrageously progressist, as is being proved by the history of the present persecution.
Concerning his iniquitous procedure of depriving countless citizens of their homes, we know how much truth there is in it. Calumny. Perhaps his accusers are alluding to his having dismissed two or three families who lived within the college and whose hovels had to be destroyed in order to carry out the development of the college.
It is not possible to find the source of the accusation made against him of being a tribal agitator. It is known, yes, that once only he went out for a walk, and nothing else, up to a one-horse hamlet of “lolos” open to all the Chinese and not far from the town. With his teaching functions and the divers tasks that fell upon him, where could he find such a frivolous moment as to amuse himself in such a way, he who was so sparing of his time.
The Communists boast of their judicial proceedings and in many cases of their popular trials. In fact, with an endless number of martyrs and confessors of the faith, the process is conducted under a judiciary appearance that can bewilder the simple people. Innumerable unwary people among the crowds have lapsed into such a gross error. Under these legal forms there beats the most abject corruption, resorting to any means or expedient in order to give a semblance of legality to a sentence which is iniquitous, criminal and decided upon well in advance. Lying and calumny are two weapons – without reckoning up terror and atrocious tortures- with which they extirpated assumed crimes and unjust and slanderous accusation. Through such tracks they channelled the lawsuit against the martyr. Let us see this particular case.