Beijing (AsiaNews) - Tens of thousands of Chinese Catholics in China prayed for at least one hour's Adoration of Blessed Sacrament on Sunday, June 2, in response to the call by the Holy See to pray with Pope Francis and the universal Church. The designated hour of 5-6 pm, Rome time, for the adoration was 11 pm to 12 midnight the same day in China.
As some parishes in China are located in remote countryside with no regular public transportation at night, Catholics held the prayer at daytime or in the early evening of June 2. Still, Catholics in many places stayed up for the vigil through midnight, and some continued with their 24-hour adoration.
During the adoration, Catholics had meditation, singing, Bible reading and praying particularly the two intentions of Pope Francis for those who suffer from slavery and warfare as well as for the tortured women and children.
To show their communion with the Holy Father, Bishop Lucas Li Jingfeng of Fengxiang (Shaanxi) led all the parishes in the whole diocese to pray in front of the Blessed Sacrament at the late hour of 11 pm to12 midnight. All ended with a benediction of the Eucharist.
In Nanyang diocese (Henan), Zhenping parish held the adoration at 11 pm (Beijing time). Participating Catholics said, "At this moment, we feel the beauty of being in communion with the Pope and the universal Church, and that our Church is one, holy, catholic and apostolic," Faith Press in China reported.
According to a report published by Tianren, a website run by Wenzhou diocese (Zhejiang), in eastern China, more than 30,000 Catholics of the diocese, in eight parishes, participated in the Eucharistic adoration on June 2, following the instruction of their Coadjutor Bishop Peter Shao Zhumin, who is not recognized by Chinese government, as a response to Pope Francis' call and a sign of unity with the universal Church.
The parishes are Yongjia, Wenzhou, Pumen, Pingyang, Yongqiang, Rui'an, Jiangnan and Yueqing.
At Yongqiang, about 3,000 Catholics joined the four-hour adoration program from 8 pm to midnight. They listened to two lectures on "One God, one faith" on the meaning of being Church and being in communion with the pope as well as on the promotion of 24-hour Eucharistic adoration in the parish. The Catholics also celebrated a group's first anniversary of adoration of Blessed Sacrament. At the adoration, a few parishioners shared their testimony of faith. The faithful sang hymns on the Blessed Sacrament and prayed the Mysteries of Light. The prayer ended with a benediction at midnight.
In Zhouzhi diocese (Shaanxi), central China, although Bishop Martin Wu Qinjing of the diocese is restricted in Xi'an city, the parish of Xinping celebrated a Mass on the Feast of Corpus Christi, followed with a Eucharistic adoration in the early evening. In his homily, Parish Priest Father Zong Guangyuan told the faithful about the significance of the adoration and the meaning of the two prayer intentions of the Holy Father, Faith Press reported.
Also in Shaanxi, hundreds of Catholics in Tongyuan parish of Sanyuan diocese gathered for an hour's adoration toward midnight. The parishioners had Bible reading, hymn-signing, benediction and prayers for the needs of humanity, as called by Pope Francis. "Many were moved to tears," a news report of Sanyuan diocese said.