Candles Disperse Darkness.
One such candle was Romanian priest Fr. George Calciu. He and his family lived quietly until the communist government renewed its assault on faith.
Father Gheorghe Calciu - Dumitreasa
Heeding what he considered a divine call to speak out sacrificially, he offered seven homilies to young Romanians, one homily building on the next during each Wednesday of Lent. It was a rare moment of courage for 1978 Romania:
When the church was closed to him by his terrified Patriarch, he preached from its steps. When the gates were locked, the growing audience of youth defiantly climbed the fence to hear him.
In his first homily, “The Call,” Fr. George urged the youth to hear “...the voice of Jesus!..." issuing a boldly subversive (to communism) call to faith:
What do you know of Christ, young man? If all you know is what they have taught you in atheism classes, you have been deprived, in bad faith, of a truth—the only truth which can set you free. Who has pulled the veil over your eyes so that you would not see the most wonderful light of love proclaimed and lived by Jesus until the final end?
The answer was obvious: The government, the communists, and the educators they controlled. Fr. George offered a clarion invitation:
Come home to the Church of Christ—to learn what innocence and purity are, what meekness is and what love is. You will find your place in life and the purpose of your existence. To your astonishment, you will discover that our life does not end in death, but in resurrection; that our existence centers on Christ, and that this world is not a mere empty moment in which nonbeing prevails. . . .
Jesus is seeking you.
Jesus has found you!
+ Glory to God for All Things +
Father George Calciu: First Century Christian in the Twentieth Century
Father George was a Romanian Orthodox priest who spent a total of twenty-one brutal years in prison—tortured and subjected to brainwashing—for his belief in Christ, and his outspoken evangelism, and his criticism of communism.
Beyond Torture documents the persecution of Romanians under the communist regime. Electrical shock, hallucinogenic drugs, near starvation and fatal beatings were daily rituals in the prison of Pitesti, Romania. But this sadistic story goes beyond torture: this was an attempt to totally destroy a people’s culture and faith.
In 1949, Stalinist Soviets began a systematic sweep of Romanian college campuses. Their purpose was to imprison and transform young Romanians into a communistic way of thinking. One prisoner describes this re-education as the most vile tortures imaginable. Orthodox priest Father George Calciu says, They tried to destroy our souls. But he and others survived this gulag, lived to tell their stories and even forgave their captors.