Teresa Liu, now 86 and living in Sydney, was imprisoned in Guangzhou from 1957 to 1977 by the Chinese communist government. She was never given a trial and spent some of her sentence in solitary confinement — at one point for a period of seven months. Denied access to the sacraments and the Bible throughout her incarceration, Liu kept her faith alive by praying secretly in her cell. Her crime was being a member of a Catholic lay organization, the Legion of Mary, which was considered an “anti-revolutionary” group by the Chinese leaders.
“I could say the rosary only after I lie down in bed, secretly,” she told Catholic News Service. “I felt very close to God at that time because in my heart I said, ‘Jesus, now I have nothing but you. Don’t let me leave you.’”
Following her release, Liu immigrated to Australia in 1980 with her husband, John Bosco Liu, who had been imprisoned for 22 years. Now a devout and active parishioner at St. Michael Parish in Hurstville, in southern Sydney, Liu has spent decades catechizing Chinese migrants.