TE15 Lithuanian Honey Cake

Irena: Life Should Be Clear

leave. My protectors, Onutė ir Juozas, arranged for me to go live with Mrs. Marija Meškauskienė, who lived at 32 Gediminas Prospect. 8 Mrs. Meškauskien’s husband was a Lithuanian army colonel who had been arrested during the first Soviet occupation and was imprisoned somewhere in Russia. She had a ten-year-old daughter named Saulė and a maid named Jadvyga. Marcelė Kubiliūtė also lived there. She was a great source of comfort to me—I could speak to her, as they say, from the heart. I lived with Mrs. Meškauskienė for two months. I am eternally grateful to her for the shelter she provided me and the great risks she took in doing so, but, for various reasons, I did not feel comfortable in that home. I would hazard to guess that Mrs. Meškauskienė had decided to help me because she was a devout Catholic, and Father Norbertas Skurskis, who had christened me at Saint Ignatius Church, was an advocate of mine. So that I would not stand out and raise suspicions, I had to attend mass every Sunday. But that was not just for “show.” I truly felt very good during the services . . . After all, Christ loves those who suffer perhaps even more than the fortunate, and they will be rewarded in Heaven. In church I could feel like a full human being, loved and protected by God—not some outcast, 8 Reference to Česlovas Meškauskas (1904–1942)—military officer. Following the Soviet occupation of Lithuania in 1941, Meškauskas was convicted and spent eight years in a Soviet gulag near Pechora (currently in the Komi Republic).


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