(Saigon) Persecuted by the communist regime, he used the chains that robbed him of freedom to pray the rosary. Nguyen Huu Cau converted to Christ in prison. A few days ago he was released after more than 37 years in prison and a prison camp. "In 1986, I was baptized at the Easter Vigil by the Jesuit Joseph Nguyen". Cau described in an interview with Catholic News the hard fate of Vietnamese Catholics. The Jesuit priest was the one who told him about Christ in custody and taught him the catechism. Since then, "I have prayed the Rosary every day seven times and Stations of the Cross five times," said Nguyen Huu Cau-.
After futile attempts reeducation, Cau was released last 22 March. 32 years spent as the "enemy of the people" in prison and more than five years in a concentration camp. After his release, he said: "I thank God that He has forgiven my jailers."
Due to severe torture during his detention, Nguyen Huu Cau-is now deaf and almost blind. "In prison, I've gotten to know Christ and found to faith."
Prison camp Z30A K2 in the jungle
Cau was born in 1947. He served in the South Vietnamese army and became a captain. As such, he fought against the Communists of North Vietnam and the South Vietnamese Communists. When the Communists won in 1975, he was arrested and disappeared for several years in a concentration camp. In 1980 he was released from the camp, but in 1982 re-arrested because he had made hints on manuscripts of his poetry, that could have been criticism of the Communist regime.
From the Death Penalty to Life Imprisonment
In 1983 he was convicted of "sabotage" and damage to the reputation of the party and sentenced by the government as "an enemy of the people" to death. Later the sentence was commuted to life imprisonment. For 32 years Cau had been in the prison camp Z30A K2 in the middle of the jungle. He wrote more than 500 letters to the Communist regime and called for the resumption of his trial. He never received a response. On 22 March 2014 he was released from prison 39 years after his first arrest. The release was due to an amnesty granted by Vietnam's State President Truong Tan Sang because of the precarious health of Nguyen Huu Cau-.
The Hardest Rosary of the World
Cau prayed the Rosary "on the chain to which I was chained. It had 90 rings. I have made from the chain that took my freedom, my own personal rosary. From Father Joseph Nguyen Cong Doan, who was himself a prisoner, "I got to know the love of God. So I could even compose a song that is dedicated to the Holy Cross, which has carried me in an earthly captivity." Father Nguyen works today at the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Jerusalem.
Forgiveness for His Tormentors
Before his conversion, Nguyen-Huu Cau kept his hatred against the Communist regime and against his tormentors alive. He hoped someday to be able to take revenge for what they did to him. Several times he thought at the time of suicide to escape captivity. "But the love of God and the Blessed Mother have changed me. I feel no hatred more for my tormentors. The Holy Trinity and Mary helped me to overcome my strife with my fate. Have prevented me from being killed while in custody all these years. "
Text: Giuseppe Nardi
Trans: Tancred firstname.lastname@example.org