In our second On the Square essay today, Wesley J. Smith tells the story of Fr. George Calciu, a Romanian Orthodox priest imprisoned and tortured for his faith:

George Calciu was the youngest of eleven children, raised by devout parents as a faithful Orthodox Christian. Romania became communist in 1944, and the government soon began to crack down on the Church. Calciu was a medical student at the time, and his open faith made him suspect. He was imprisoned in 1948, where he was subjected to 1984-style mind control experiments—tortured until he denied Christ, and then forced to torture others toward the same end. “They wanted our souls,” he recalled, “not our bodies.”