Br, Joche-Albert Ly

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16-Dreadful judgment
By nine in the morning thousands and thousands had already swollen the crowds of which not all were hostile to the martyr. Many had never seen him; not a few sympathized with him consternation reflected on their faces. Some two dozen of the faithful where present with that spirit of fraternal affection that has always seized brothers in Christ with force so as to witness the triumph of Christian heroes. Father Joseph Wu mingled with the crowd, without succeeding in getting near the martyr. All the same he gave him a final sacramental absolution and withdrew, not to see the end.
These trustworthy witnesses contemplated the Marist martyr during those agonizing hours of the crowds’ accusations, insults, demagogical harangues, screams of “Kill him!”: infernal outcries against the Brother who was now lifting his eyes towards heaven, now reclining his head, now sitting on the ground, now standing up, to restore motion to his torpid limbs, now also humbling himself deeply. The Christian soldier fought intrepidly and was winning his final battle with a fervent prayer, with pressing supplications. The executioners realized that their victim was praying and full of hatred shouted at him: “Look, he is still kneeling to pray!”.
Meanwhile, they made speeches, shouted, and demanded the death of each of the criminals, already prejudged: they were proclaiming all their crimes. The shouts were hurled by Chinese and “Lolos”. When the parody of the people’s court was over, the rope holding the 25 criminals was pulled to the grave or trench, not very deep, opened in the very square, in front of the mob, thirsty with barbarous bloodthirsty emotions. Christ’s hero took with pride the last steps towards the goal, towards the victory, his hands firmly bound, always at the head of the fateful rope of the 25 criminals.

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