Monday, May 25, 2020

Pope Francis Entrusts China to Our Lady Help of Christians - with Special Prayer by Benedict XVI



Pope Benedict XVI established the World Day of Prayer for the Church in China be on May 24, and composed a special prayer to Our Lady for this day (see below). After the Regina Caeli Pope Francis made a special dedication of the Chinese to Our Lady. He said:

Dear brothers and sisters, let us join spiritually with the Catholic faithful in China, who today celebrate, with particular devotion, the feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Help of Christians and Patroness of China, venerated in the Sheshan shrine in Shanghai.
 We entrust the Pastors and faithful of the Catholic Church in that great country to the guidance and protection of our Heavenly Mother, so that they may be strong in faith and firm in fraternal union, joyful witnesses and promoters of charity and fraternal hope and good citizens. Dear Catholic brothers and sisters in China, I wish to assure you that the universal Church, of which you are an integral part, shares your hopes and supports you in the trials of life. It accompanies you with prayer for a new outpouring of the Holy Spirit, so that the light and beauty of the Gospel, the power of God for the salvation of whoever believes, can shine in you. In expressing once again my great and sincere affection to you all, I impart a special Apostolic Blessing to you. May Our Lady always guard you! Finally, we entrust to the intercession of Mary Help of Christians all the disciples of the Lord and all the people of good will who, in this difficult time, in every part of the world work with passion and commitment for peace, for dialogue between nations, for the service to the poor, for the custody of creation and for the victory of humanity over every disease of the body, heart and soul.

Prayer to Our Lady of Sheshan composed by Pope Benedict XVI

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!

No comments: