Br, Joche-Albert Ly

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15-Mournful cortège
Saturday, April, 21st, 1951. The weather is calm, the atmosphere sunny, and the sky blue and cloudless. A very dry wind is blowing from the southern highlands. The vast plain is adorned in verdure and the lake is sparkling in the distance. Such was the day in which the athlete of Christ, Brother Joche Albert Ly, raced with firmness through the final stage of his triumph.
The mournful cortège marches past the streets… A picket of soldiers breaks the slow march and the first at the head of the rope of condemned prisoners is Brother Joche-Albert Ly. He walks very slowly; his hands are tightly bound behind his back, his head erect and his countenance composed. He is not wearing eye-glasses and his nose is bleeding; the blood is running down his face, and he is unable to wipe it away. His bearing reproduces the type of a Chinese sage, some grand mandarin of a spiritual lineage, one who, with a noble dignity, faces capital punishment, unjustly imposed by the emperor. His bearing, therefore is marked by the traditional majesty of the innocent victims os his people, a majesty which this days glows upon the sacrifice of one who is to be martyred for the sake of Christ.

Behind Brother Joche Albert, there follows immediately the young guerrilla, his unfortunate slanderer, very sad of face, and then the other offenders, supposed accomplices in the conspiracy, 25 in all. On both sides there was a cordon of the public authorities, and, closing the march, a squad of policemen.

The Catholic who had been purposely posted there, comes to the Episcopal residence to announce the arrival of the procession in front of which marches the Christian hero. Immediately, news of the criminals’ procession spreads through the town. In the streets a high degree of excitement prevails and an expectant joy among the people who, in that semi-barbarous region, are avid of any display of violence. Meanwhile, outside the town walls, in a vast area reserved for parked vehicles, a crowd too numerous to count is gathering, having hurried in from the mountains and the valleys. Knots of people appear everywhere, and among the unfashionable clothing of the mountain-dwelling Chinese, the “Lolo” tribes stand out, as typically happens, because of their strange pants, their turbans and their dark rigid coats.

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