05/25/2008, 00.00
VATICAN
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Pope calls for solidarity with China's earthquake victims and Christians

Benedict XVI greets some of the Chinese who participated in the Day of Prayer for the Church in China that was held in Rome, urging them to be credible witness to the love of Jesus and faithful to the “rock of Peter”. He expresses hope that the population affected by the quake may soon get back to normal, through international solidarity as well.

Vatican City (AsiaNews) – The Pope again expressed his solidarity today towards China’s earthquake victims. Again he mentioned the Day of Prayer for the Church in China that was celebrated yesterday and called on the Virgin of Sheshan to support Chinese Catholics’ commitment and loyalty to Peter.

Among the 40,000 people who today took part in the recitation of the Regina Caeli in St Peter’s Square there was an unusual presence, that of many Chinese faithful holding up a banner. Most of them came to Rome yesterday from across Italy to celebrate the Day of Prayer, crowding Saint Mary Major Basilica where hundreds of Chinese priests celebrated Mass with Card Ivan Dias, head of the Vatican’s missionary dicastery.

Turning to them after the recitation of the Marian prayer, Benedict XVI spoke about the victims of the earthquake for the second time since 14 May.

“I entrust in God’s merciful love all your compatriots who have died in the last few days as a result of the earthquake that struck a large section of your country,’ he said directly addressing the Chinese group. “I reiterate my personal closeness to all those who are going through a time of angst and tribulations,” he added. “Together with you I call on Mary, Help of Christians, Our Lady of Sheshan, to 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,” and “always be credible witnesses to this love, ever clinging to the rock of Peter on which the Church is built.”

Previously the Pope had mentioned that in many parts of Europe celebrations for the Corpus Domini were underway today.

“The Eucharist is a school of charity and solidarity,” he said. “Those who are nourished by the Bread of Christ cannot remain indifferent to those who are still without their daily bread even in this day and age. Many parents barely provide for themselves and their children. It is a problem that the international community has a hard time to solve. The Church not only prays ‘Give us today our daily bread’ but, following the example of its Lord, is committed in every way to ‘multiply the five loaves and two fishes’ with a myriad of initiatives of human promotion and sharing so that no one is lacking of what they need to live.”

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