Less than a two-day walk from here, the Viet Minh are “catechizing” the people. Humanly speaking, the future is gloomy. Faced with this diabolically relentless deluge, we are 20 Fathers who, conscious of our weakness but strong in the power of God, have decided unanimously at our last retreat to stay, whatever should happen. That’s a very weighty little word. We know perfectly well what is going to happen to us: torture and death, physical or psychological torture (who knows which is to be preferred?), the People’s Court, forced labor, expulsion, being broken and belittled… But because our Leader Jesus triumphed over death by dying on a cross, we disciples of his prefer not to have an easy time of it on earth.
As for the 400 catechumens who are studying: what distress when we think of them! Yet there’s no chaining the Word of God; woe to us if we don’t bring it to those who still languish in darkness… May Jesus and Mary send us Fathers and Sisters; may they give us sufficient health and especially may they not let any of us ever renounce the faith if we enter into the Church of Silence.
Letter of Blessed Jean Wauthier
to the Poor Clares of Fourmies, 9 December 1954