Page 5, 8th May 1953

8th May 1953
Page 5
Page 5, 8th May 1953 — BLIND NUN WAS MARCHED 100 MILES

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Locations: Seoul, Paris


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Now she is honze again in her French Carmel

Ablind CarmeJite nun,, who was flown home to Paris last week-end after 3 years internment in North Korea, has described her ordeal on the grim 100-mile 'death march" through the snow in November, 1950, when between two and three hundred civilian captives and American soldiers died on the wayside.

She is Sister ijadeleirie-Marie, who wilh two companioos lefl the French Curmel of Aii-e-sur-.tdour. i.andes, more than 20 i-ears ago to found a convent at Seoul, capital of South Korea, whleh became the training centre for the first Korean Carmelite nuns in pre-war days.

Sister Madeleine-Mark. who lost T _ 4_L _ .1 _ .1 her sight shortly before the Cons rniinist invasion. has stated that ---. . ierarehy duringthe 9.days'march they were fl

'1 lie soldiers pushed us along the road." she said. sticking guns in our ribs to make us go faster. They kept shouting at us to move on. and to stop meant certain death.

'They shot those who straggled on the spot. I was helped along by stronger companions. And the sound of thcir voices urging mc to keep going will live in mv mind always.

"There were sonic badly woinded American soldiers in the party They couldnt keep up the pace. I beard revolver shots. and that told me what

was happening before I was told."

Uncertain Like Mgr. Thomas Quinlan and the British internees who were on the "death march," the fate of this blind nun and her two companions reniained uncertain until recently.

She was advised by the American authorities in Seoul to leave Korea at the time of the invasion. They were anxious to evacuate to Japan all the Europeati sisters and mission-. aries in the capital. Sister MadeleineMarie and her two French colleagues refused to leave the Korean Carmelites they had trained.

A few das later they were taken prisoner by the Comntunists and moved to North Korea.

Sole survivor Fr. Celcstin Coyos. a French

priest of the Paris Foreign Missions who arrived home in the same aircraft as Ihe tKree Carmelite nuns. said that he was the sole survivor of the 14 French missionaries from Seoul who went into captivity witJ hint.

The others perished on the "death march." or soon after it. from cxhaustion. exposure and disease.

"Catholicism no longer caists in North Korea." he stated. "Nearly all North Kocean Catholics who could escape crossed the frontier and went south. All missionaries were arrested, and all the Korean priests are either dead or in prison."

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