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» 04/07/2005
Singing the praises of a Pope who loves China
by Zhang Yi Ming
While the Chinese government blocks out news of John Paul II from internet sites, a Shanghai Catholic tells of the pope's miracles beyond the Great Wall.

Vatican City (AsiaNews) – Up until two days ago, Chinese internet portals like Sina.com and Sohu.com, were packed with messages of mourning and reflection about John Paul II. Since yesterday, prayers and comments about the pope have been banned. Many analysts say this decision comes from the government, which fears the spread of a religious revival. Those running the portals justified the censorship by saying "religious issues are very special. We are afraid problems may arise". Another said explicitly: "Top brass leaders have forbidden it". But meanwhile, in all cities, intersecting antenna are out to steal: everyone wants to follow the funeral of John Paul II through international channels.   

A 25-year-old Chinese girl from Shanghai, who has lived in Italy for some years, managed to make it to stand before the mortal remains of John Paul II, after waiting in a long queue. She sent us a meditative prayer about relations between the Pope and China, which we publish here in full:


"Holy Father, here I stand before you, together with this torrent of crowds who love you, all gathered around you, as it was when you were alive. Seeing your face serene gave me peace. When news of your death spread, I was struck by a sense of anguish: who will speak now in the name of the poor? Who will defend the marginalized? Who will speak words of love for China? Who will defend us from attacks against truth and against the Church? Your peaceful face inspires in me a certainty that you, more than ever before, will guide and help us.

Holy Father, here we are: I have undertaken this long pilgrimage not only for myself, but also in the name of my family, of all the Catholics in China who have prayed for you for decades.

They – and I with them – are faithful to you in the face of all persecution, moral and physical. You wished so heartily to visit our country and this Church is loyal to you. You have fought so much to find a path, a way, but the world and the power of men denied this to you.

In these days, your death has become a source of life: all the people who for days have flocked to your city come because in you, in your death, they have found a symbol of life. All of us come not to pray for You, but to pray to You.

Holy Father, I came also to bring you some good news: in these days, in my country, China, many – through You – are getting to know Jesus Christ.  The news and images of your death, and the homage paid you by millions of pilgrims, are finally driving home to my people the meaning of Christianity and the greatness of the Catholic Church. All find comfort in seeing that, thanks to you, the Catholic Church is the advocate for justice, peace, democracy and truth.

Holy Father, I wanted to come to bring you this good news because it is news of life and of resurrection: your death has become a new instrument of proclamation, an effective way to win over attempts by the power of men to keep you away from China, to isolate you and to offend you.

Holy Father, You now rest from the weariness of a lifetime. But we are certain that during your rest, you still work for China and love it with a faithful love. You could not come to us. But my people and my Church want to come to visit you as soon as possible, to visit your tomb, which will be ever more a place of life. Please make this day come soon. Let this be done."

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See also
04/04/2005 CHINA – VATICAN
Condolences for the Pope and new arrests of bishops and priests in Peking
04/05/2005 Vatican – China
Afraid of the pope, China closes its doors
by Bernardo Cervellera
04/13/2005 VATICAN
Three million mourners in Rome for Pope's funeral
04/08/2005 vatican
Card. Ratzinger: The love of Christ, the dominant force of our beloved Holy Father
by Joseph Ratzinger
04/08/2005 VATICAN
A million people attend John Paul II's funeral
The Pope's legacy in the two Koreas
Turkey, an ecumenical and inter-religious gesture for John Paul II
Three million mourners in Rome for Pope's funeral
May Russian Catholics harvest the fruits of the Pope's labour
Tributes to the Peoples' Pope
Pope, example of humility to Iraqi Christians
N Koreans hold Mass for late Pope
Prayers and mourning for Pope's funeral throughout Asia
A million people attend John Paul II's funeral
Rome prepares for the funeral of John Paul II
Asia united in St Peter's to say goodbye to the Pope
The Pope's love shall make the Church blossom in China
Mgr Capalla: The Pope's legacy for the Philippines: a culture of life and missionary zeal
Rome flooded with pilgrims who want to pray before the body of the Pope
North Korea sends condolences for Pope's death
Emotion and pride over the Pope among Kazakhs
A mystic and missionary Pope touched the heart of Muslims in Bangladesh
The missionary Pope, a great friend of all Koreans
Taiwan – Vatican – China
Taiwanese president, Chen Shuibian, to attend the Pope's funeral
Pope like a new John the Baptist, says Patriarch of Damascus
The pope, an unforgettable personality for Christians and Muslims in Pakistan
The Pope's legacy is in his message of peace, says Bishop of Karachi
The Pope, an inspiration to perfection, says Buddhist monk
John Paul II, a preacher of peace, says Wahid
vietnam - vatican
Vietnamese honour the holy man who never visited them
Indonesia remembers the Pope of dialogue and tolerance
India mourns the death of the Pope who beatified Mother Teresa and honoured Gandhi
Card Sfeir and Pres Lahoud in Rome for Pope's funeral
Assad will attend Pope's funeral
Condolences for the Pope and new arrests of bishops and priests in Peking
From Heaven the Pope will continue to pray for Iraq, says the Bishop of Mosul
The Pope: Lebanon mourns the loss of a steadfast defender of the land of the cedars
The Pope was always close to the sufferings of the peoples of the Holy Land, says Patriarch Sabbah
Dalai Lama mourns John Paul II, "a true spiritual practitioner"
india - vatican
Sr Nirmala: the Pope and Mother Teresa, united in a shared vision about life and the world
hong kong - china - vatican
Pope s regret was "not to have the chance to visit China", Bishop Zen says
In Japan, the Pope is remembered as "a father".

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pp. 176
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