14:11 - CHINA: DEATH IN THE EPISCOPATE. BISHOP LI YI OF CHANGZHI DIES
He spent almost 20 years in jail because he had been unjustly sentenced, and when he was finally released he was ordained bishop: he was 75 years old! On the occasion of his 80th birthday and 50th anniversary of priestly ordination, he wrote the following words: I have walked a hard path for eighty years. On the sunset of my life I was appointed Pastor of Luan. I have no more ambitions in the deep of my heart, apart from the divine light as boat for my route. That was Msgr. Ermenegildo Li Yi, bishop of Changzhi (Luan) in the Province of Shanxi (Continental China), who died last 24 May at the age of 88. The Bishop had been hospitalised in bad health condition and never recovered. Born in 1923, Msgr. Li Yi decided to dedicate himself to sacred life when he was a boy: in 1943 he joined the Ordine dei Frati Minori (Franciscans), issuing his first religious vows. When he finished his studies, he was ordained priest in Hankou on 6 February 1949. At the beginning of the Cultural Revolution in 1966, he was unjustly sentenced to prison, where he remained until 1985, when he was allowed to resume his pastoral work in the churches of An Yang and Machang. I have nothing to repay the immense grace I received - wrote the bishop - I am a weak old man but full of courage. With my strength, I will face humiliations and hard trials. Though unfit, Ill do everything with sincere heart.