MAY 24: OUR LADY OF SHESHAN.
WORLD DAY OF PRAYER FOR THE CHURCH IN CHINA
Happy Feast day of Our Lady of Sheshan to all our Christian brethren in China. As Pope Francis said last Sunday, May 21, 2017 in his Regina Coeli Address:
“Next May 24 we will all be united spiritually to the Catholic faithful of China, on the feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary “Help of Christians,” venerated in the Sheshan Shrine at Shanghai. To the Chinese Catholics I say: let us raise our gaze to Mary Our Mother, that she may help us to discern the Will of God regarding the concrete path of the Church in China and support us in accepting her plan of love with generosity. Mary encourages us to offer our personal contribution for communion among believers and for the harmony of the whole society. Let us not forget to witness the faith with prayer and with love, always keeping ourselves open to encounter and dialogue.”
In this WORLD DAY OF PRAYER FOR THE CHURCH IN CHINA as well. Let us ask God the Holy Spirit to pour forth His abundant blessings to the Catholic Church in China through the intercession of Our Lady of Sheshan, Help of Christians, with the prayer of our beloved Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI in 2008:
Virgin Most Holy, Mother of the Incarnate Word and our Mother,
venerated in the Shrine of Sheshan under the title “Help of Christians”,
the entire Church in China looks to you with devout affection.
We come before you today to implore your protection.
Look upon the People of God and, with a mother’s care, guide them
along the paths of truth and love, so that they may always be
a leaven of harmonious coexistence among all citizens.
When you obediently said “yes” in the house of Nazareth,
you allowed God’s eternal Son to take flesh in your virginal womb
and thus to begin in history the work of our redemption.
You willingly and generously cooperated in that work,
allowing the sword of pain to pierce your soul,
until the supreme hour of the Cross, when you kept watch on Calvary,
standing beside your Son, who died that we might live.
From that moment, you became, in a new way,
the Mother of all those who receive your Son Jesus in faith
and choose to follow in his footsteps by taking up his Cross.
Mother of hope, in the darkness of Holy Saturday you journeyed
with unfailing trust towards the dawn of Easter.
Grant that your children may discern at all times,
even those that are darkest, the signs of God’s loving presence.
Our Lady of Sheshan, sustain all those in China,
who, amid their daily trials, continue to believe, to hope, to love.
May they never be afraid to speak of Jesus to the world,
and of the world to Jesus.
In the statue overlooking the Shrine you lift your Son on high,
offering him to the world with open arms in a gesture of love.
Help Catholics always to be credible witnesses to this love,
ever clinging to the rock of Peter on which the Church is built.
Mother of China and all Asia, pray for us, now and for ever. Amen!
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