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    » 05/24/2009, 00.00

    VATICAN

    From the land of St Benedict my thoughts go to the people of China and it’s Catholics, says Pope



    Marking the World Day of Prayer for the Church in China and Our Lady of Sheshan (Shanghai). Saint Benedict, witness of peace, gift of God and duty of all.

    Cassino (AsiaNews) – Before reciting the Regina Caeli today Benedict XVI’s “thoughts” went to the people of China and his “affection” to the Catholics of China.  This is how the pontiff marked the World Day of Prayer for the Church in China, launched by him with the 2007 Letter to China’s Catholics, which takes place each year on May 24th, the Feast of Our Lady Help of Christians, which is celebrated in a special way in the Marian Sanctuary of Sheshan in the foothills of Shanghai.

     “Today May 24th – he said – the liturgical memory of the Blessed Virgin Help of Christians -  who is venerated with great devotion in the Sanctuary of Sheshan Shangahi - , the World Day of Prayer for the Church in China is celebrate.  My thoughts go to all the people of China,  In particular I greet with great affection the Catholics in China, and I urge them on this day to renew their communion of faith in Christ and fidelity to the Successor of Saint Peter.  May our common prayer obtain a spreading of the gifts of the Holy Spirit, so that unity between all Christians, the Catholicity and universality of the Church be ever deeper and more visible”.

    Today’s Regina Caeli was proclaimed from Cassino (intoned and sung by the pope), beneath the Benedictine Abbey of Montescassino, where the pope travelled for a visit and where he celebrated mass marking the feast of Our Lord’s Ascension.   During his homily the Pope underlined the contribution of Benedictine monasticism to the dignity of prayer, in the lectio divina, and to work.  Before the marina prayer he underlined the “wealth” and “power of the peace of Christ”.  “Saint Benedict was a great witness of this – he said – because he gathered it into his existence and  saw it fruitfully multiply through works of authentic spiritual and cultural renewal.  This is why, on the entrance to the Abbey of Montecassino, indeed on the entrance to every Benedictine monastery, the word “PAX” is emblazoned as a motto: the monastic community is indeed called to live according to this peace, which is the greatest gift of Easter”.

    Then he recalled his recent journey to the Holy Land – a land filled with tensions – Benedict XVI highlighted that “peace is firstly a gift from God, and therefore its strength lies in prayer”.

    And he added: “It is however a gift entrusted to human commitment.  The necessary energy to put it into practise is also found in prayer.  That is why it is fundamental to cultivate an authentic life of prayer to insure social progress in peace.  Once again the history of monasticism teaches us that the growth of all great civilisation is based on daily contemplation of the Word of God, which drives believers to a personal and common effort to fight against all forms of selfishness and injustice.  Only, through the grace of Christ, by learning to fight and win over the evil within ourselves and our relations with others, can we become authentic builders of peace and civil progress.  May the Virgin Mary, Queen of Peace, help all Christians, in their varied vocations and situations of life to be witnesses of the peace, that Christ has gifted us and left us as our mission to be realised everywhere”.

     

     

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    See also

    24/05/2008 CHINA – VATICAN
    Even in persecution we pray to Our Lady of Sheshan
    A Chinese Catholic from the underground Church sends AsiaNews a message for World Day of Prayer for the Church in China in which he highlights how the faithful pray in communion with the Pope despite hardships and repression, hopeful that he might soon bear witness to a true unity of the Church with the Pontiff.

    25/05/2010 CHINA - VATICAN
    Our Lady of Sheshan, persecution and division
    Chinese Catholics at home and around the world prayed for the Church in China, according to the intention laid out by Benedict XVI in his letter of June 2007. The shrine is a place of encounter between underground and official Christians, the government continues to prohibit pilgrimages. Unity in truth for the Church in China and in relations between Beijing and the Vatican.

    16/05/2008 VATICAN - CHINA
    Pope: Prayer to Our Lady of Sheshan
    On the Day of Prayer for the Church in China, Benedict XVI asks the "Mother of China and all Asia" to support the faithful, that "they never be afraid to speak of Jesus to the world, and of the world to Jesus", and "always be credible witnesses to this love, ever clinging to the rock of Peter".

    24/05/2010 CHINA - VATICAN
    At Sheshan and throughout China we pray for unity and priestly vocations
    The World Day of Prayer for the Church in China, decreed by Benedict XVI, official and underground Catholics pray for greater unity between communities and for a solution to the relationship between China and Vatican soon. Moreover they pray for strength for the young, bishops and faithful to evangelize the continent, which is increasingly thirsty for God

    22/05/2008 CHINA – VATICAN
    In China the Church is getting ready for the World Day of Prayer in union with the Pope
    The government stops pilgrimages and gatherings, but in Beijing, Shanghai, Xian and Guangzhou official and underground priests, religious and faithful prepare to pray the Pope’s words about Our Lady of Sheshan. In addition to the Pope’s intent they will pray for Sichuan quake victims, grateful to the Universal Church.



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