1-Preparing the obsequies With the words “martyr’s crown” we are alluding to the universal opinion which prevails within the Sichang diocese and its people, regarding the glory, that befell Brother Joche Albert who shed his blood for Christ, after defending the cause of the Gospel to the end. But, before gathering testimonies that weave such a crown, let us follow the venerable remains to the final resting place. Our steps will uncover more abundant proofs of our martyr’ halo.
After the ignominious task had been accomplished by the overseers, not all returned to their post; some remained on guard. The populace, on the other hand, turned to satisfy their delirious curiosity, contemplating the horrors which death had left upon the 25 victims of Communism. In front of the calm countenance of the Marist martyr the unbelievers themselves could not help but withhold their admiration: “How striking he remains!” (Ta ti mien hao kan!). And so it was in contrast to the tattered faces and skulls of his companions.
In like fashin a Christian lady drew near with devout sentiments, and in the presence of the warm corpse of the martyr could not restrain this frank and deeply felt exclamation: “Poor Brother, how could they have slandered him!” On hearing this the policemen took hold of her and cursing and threatening took her to prison. Her emprisonment, however, did not last. A few hours later she was set free.
Such an attitude among the police was enough to cause his Excellency Bishop Baudry, to change his plans for a triumphal Christian burial. He decided to have the martyr transported to the procathedral church to offer him the prayer honours and to give him the funeral service of a martyr, the bishop himself presiding. But he feared now a persecution and vengeance against his flock, and so he determined that two Franciscan Sisters, accompanied by two or three servants of the Catholic hospital, would proceed with an almost clandestine burial. The servants carried the coffin and the Sisters the other requirements. No one disturbed them, so much so, that the police pretended not to care about such a thankless task being performed.