Father Placid was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment on trumped-up charges by a Soviet military court and was sent to a Gulag forced labor camp in 1946, mno reports.
After the bolshevik takeover following the second world war Father Placid worked as a Social Service Advisor to Slachta Margaret’s Church Sisters Association; later, he took part in the election campaign that propelled the bolshevik controlled press to launch a hate campaign against him.
The abbot to protect him from persecution sent the monk to Pannonhalma monastery hoping that the press will pay less attention to him. He was wrong; the “Lenin boys” arrested him on June 5, 1946, and he was deported to the Soviet Union where a Soviet military court sent him to the Gulag for 10 years.
He was imprisoned in a forced labor camp 900 kilometers west of Moscow in Bryanskaya woods.
For five years, Father Placid was employed as a logging worker and after that he worked in various factories – in the meantime, he helped fellow prisoners “to keep their faith” – this activity has become his “vocation” in the forced labor camp.
“I realized that I’m not going to teach students as I planned before, but my job would be to help my fellow prisoners to keep their faith. This was my vocation in the labor camp for ten years. This is why back then, I was the happiest man in the whole Soviet Union, my life task has found me” he said later.
Father Placid released from the forced labor camp and allowed to return Hungary in November 1955, but he was not allowed to work either as a priest or as a teacher. He became a manual laborer in a Pesterzsebet box factory; later, he worked for twelve years at the National Institute of Rheumatology and Physiotherapy (ORFI mn) as an ambulance attendant, and as a laundry worker. In 1969, he led the Korányi Sanatorium laundry facility; he retired from the same job in 1977.
He could practice his priestly vocation only in secret. In the mid-seventies, however, he was appointed as an auxiliary chaplain of the Cistercian Parish of St. Emeric in Buda.
After the collapse of communism, Father Placid received the Order of Merit of the Hungarian Republic, the medal of Shield of Faith Award, the Hungarian Heritage Award, the Pro Ecclesia Hungariae Award, the Order of Merit Cross of the Hungarian Republic and the Hungarian Medal of Honor.
Father Placid summed up the secrets of his long life as follows:
1. Suffering should not be dramatized! We should not complain, because it weakens us.
2. We need joy to survive; therefore, we should consciously look for life’s small pleasures.
3. We are not perfect, but we must show here and now that we are superior to our oppressors – this mobilizes the energy of life.
4. Those who have something to hold on to survive easier. We, believers, when hold on to God realize that God too wants us to survive.
translated by hungarianambiance.com
Photo: Nagy Béla / Magyar Nemzet
Source: Magyar Nemzet