Br, Joche-Albert Ly

-Praises about the martyr

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5-Praises about the martyr
We have been strewing them here and there as the report invited to do it. I have as many as eight witness to these events who proclaim him a martyr. But it is fitting to offer others as well, issuing from forth from the deep veneration produced by the triumph of the soldier of Christ. Let us just present the one from the diocesan prelate, Bishop Baudry, written by his second Vicar General. It contains some obscure words, e.g. “sick” for “deceased” applied to the martyr.
Sichang, May 15, 1951

Very dear Brother Provincial:

His Excellency Bishop Baudry has begged me to write to you, and I am fulfilling this duty with sadness. It has already been three weeks that we have want to do it; but prudence prevented us from doing so, because in these small worlds nothing goes unnoticed. On the feast of Saint Anselm our dear “sick” offered to God the sacrifice of his life. He maintained his composure until the last moment, recollected and without any doubt offering his life for the Institute, for the good cause of the schools in our country (China) and for our Mission whose interests he had so much at heart. That was the real cause of his ruin. Nothing was lacking: public trial exhibition, screams of “kill him” and like Christ, he had the honour of having false witnesses. He died on his knees, calm and at prayer. God preserved the countenance of his witness, while those of his 24 companions in torment were left disfigured. Our martyr rests now in our cemetery not far from town. We shall remain faithful to him, and we should very much like to tread in the path he has shown us.
His Lordship offers his condolences to you, as well as to your Reverend Brother Superior General. How could we not render evident our gratitude for so great a sacrifice of the departed Brothers towards our diocese. Accept likewise our congratulations for having this first martyr of the Institute, [In fact he is not the first one], because all the accusations hurled against him are too exaggerated to be accepted as plausible, and no one among the people has been deceived. Your foundation in Sichang, is now sealed with the generous blood of a witness of Christ; and at the same time, the fraternal collaboration of the Fathers of the Foreign Mission of Paris and the Marist Brothers, has been cemented by the total gift of his life.
The diocese has had a good number of Masses celebrated for the repose of his soul, of your and our deceased: we also give you the assurance that we regularly pray for you , although in the case of Brother Ly rather we pray to him than intercede for him, for we are so convinced of the recompense he has received.
His Excellency offers his excuses for not writing in his own hand; for his grief is still too excessive to do so. Our dear Bishop is living in constant grief and a perpetual Good Friday. His diocese is under a cruel trial. It is a time when we must hope for everything and that only from the Divine Providence. May our protector in heaven hasten the hour of liberation through his prayers and the merits of his sacrifice, in which we would like to have a share.

Believe, my Dear Brother, in my sentiments…

Your affectionately in Jesus and Mary.

Father Favier du Noyer, Vicar General.

Father Favier du Noyer in a P.S. to his letter adds: “We hope later to get some particulars about his prison; because “gaolers” or “soldiers” will speak out when the regime of terror has passed. Those who came out (ex-prisoners) are full of praise especially about the “charity” and the “piety” of Brother Albert who prayed much. Brother Joche-Albert began his martyrdom on a Saturday and the Epiphany of our Lord. Saturday was also the day on which our Heavenly Mother and Queen of Martyrs granted him the palm. He was 41 years old.
From another letter from the first Vicar General, Father Carriquiry, written May 16, 1951, we draw the following paragraphs. It was addressed also to the Brother Provincial of the Marists in China.
“… Here we all loved him, and we now lament his absence. In the future His martyrdom will be a bond of union between your Institute and our diocese, never to be broken, the foundation of a work that future generation will contemplate, and a pledge of the good it will produce.
On February 8, the Chinese New Year, I managed to visit him accompanied by the prison director. I gave him absolution and also Holy Communion from hand to hand. It was a grace which, without doubt, sweetened his stay down there (in prison) and which would have given him courage and strength. He asked me to give him absolution every day when we would get up at the sound of the Angelus. I performed this duty faithfully till the last day.
There is no reason to doubt that he offered his life and shed his blood for the Church, for the Institute, and for our diocese as well, which he loved so much. His burning faith has received its recompense in Heaven. In spite of all that has been said and written, no one will have reason to doubt the real cause of his martyrdom. Mary, our Mother, “Regina Martyrum” must have opened wide the gates of Heaven for him.

I pray for him, as it is a duty of friendship and gratitude, though I am sure that his intercession will not be inefficacious for us, and that up there he will complete the work that he could not terminate here below.

The other Brothers are all right, they are giving a helping hand in the hospital and in the minor seminary.
In union with prayers…

Philip Carriquiry. M. Ap.

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