Here [at Targu-Ocna prison] poetry was born, profundities of thought were born, music was composed, sculptures took shape, novels were conceived… Here we felt and experienced holy and genuine joys. Therefore I understand my friend Sami who, after “liberation” in 1954, confessed to me, “I miss Targu-Ocna so much!” Because there I understood what freedom in Christ means. No one would have been able to take this joy and freedom away from us!
We who, through the mercy of God are still alive, were blessed to have been acquainted with young men whose lives were a ceaseless striving to live in Christ. We stand as witnesses to them (pg. 270-271).
…We do not ask for admiration or sympathy. We reflect on the expiatory meaning of suffering we endured. For ourselves and for others. We know that no sacrifice is done in vain. We know that nothing in the plan of divine providence happens by chance. We consider Targu-Ocna has a message for our Romanian community. It is the Christian message of our rebirth.
Communism destroyed a few hundred thousand people physically, but spiritually it destroyed millions. The martys beneath the ground we are treading on cry to us to return to Christ, to the Church. This is the inspiration of the present hour.
St. Valeriu, we are here to assure you that we heed your call from the other side of death:
You induce those of us who have remained alive:
Struggle together and in the same gait,
Build for God holy altars,
Step forward on the path of life!
St. Valeriu Gafencu
Thus may God help us (pg. 275)!
Merry Christmas, and through the prayers of the holy martyr, Valeriu, O Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us and save us! Amen.