Br, Joche-Albert Ly

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17-The triumph
The order was given and the 25 condemned prisoners stepped forward into the trench. Brother Joche Albert Ly fell on his knees, and by his side his slanderer prostrated himself to the ground, the young man of Kuo Kai Leang. Up to that final instant the Christian hero felt the powerful forces of Chinese nobility in his veins, a strong spiritual atavism. Turning to the unfortunate young man said to him without hatred: “Pull away a bit from me! I don’t feel like being stained by your blood!”
Meanwhile, the official photographer was beginning his work; he took the photograph of each one of them. The Marist martyr raised his head with the majesty of a hero of the faith, and that noble gesture was caught by the camera. Sister Tomaso who saw the photograph, adds that, in fact, one could observe the bold posture of the martyr, clearly separated from the companion in misfortune who was next to him. Let us not censure this gesture, this flourish of rich Chinese character and spiritual bearing, free from bitterness, a gesture that Westerns will not succeed to fathom correctly. Let us repeat: “Genio y figura hasta la sepultura” (Strength of character and noble bearing to the very tomb.)
The 25 criminals then remained a long while humiliated, their foreheads sinking deep as if declaring themselves guilty, according to the Red procedure, each having at his back, a corpulent, ill-looking fellow, gun in hand. The anguish of those long minutes cannot be imagined. At this juncture, from the top of the procathedral church belfry the calm ringing of the Angelus spread over the town, the fields and the lake. The first stroke of the bell was followed by a sharp detonation and then by many more, like a delayed discharge of a rifle. The Marist Joche Albert, Ly Siu Fang, bent over and collapsed into the trench. He had triumphed! (Various testimonies).
It was Saturday and noon precisely. At the ringing of the Angelus, according to an intimate conviction of all, the Queen of Heaven, the loving Mother, came to take “her son” and present him in his Glory to Jesus Christ. The Franciscan missionary, Father Aritzegui was a prophet. “In the forefront of those who educate Christian and pagan youth Blessed Champagnat can count one more martyr!”

(The documentation of this chapter comes from the Vicars General, Fathers Carriquiry and Favier du Noyer; from the Redemptorist Fathers Segundo Rodriguez and Joseph Miguélez, and especially from the report of Brother Chanel Sun and a detailed conversation of Sister Tomaso.)

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