Day of Prayer for China: Msgr. Peter Shao still in the hands of the police. Prayer to Our Lady of Sheshan
The Bishop of Wenzhou (Zhejiang) had been kidnapped even before Easter. Pilgrimages continue to Sheshan: at least 80 groups - about 17,000 people - have arrived so far. Penance, prayer and recitation of the Rosary for the Church in China. Readings of Benedict XVI’s Letter to Chinese Catholics.
Shanghai (AsiaNews) – Prayers for the return of Bishop Peter Shao Zhumin of Wenzhou (Zhejiang) continued today, May 24 feast day of Our Lady Help of Christians, as well as the World Day of Prayer for the Church in China.
Bishop Shao has been called by the religious affairs officials on May 18, Since then, it has not been seen. On May 22, he asked for a backpack with wine to celebrate Mass. Today, a Wenzhou source told AsiaNews, the whereabouts of Bishop Shao is not known.
Bishop Shao, who is not recognized by the Chinese government, was named by the Holy Father to lead the diocese of Wenzhou. Bishop Shao was last detained during Holy Week in April, but returned after Easter.
In Sheshan, pilgrims continued to pray at the Marian shrine since April 29. There have been at least 80 registered groups of pilgrims from Shangahi diocese and other dioceses, totaling 17,000 pilgrims, visiting the Marian shrine in Sheshan from April 29 to May 29, , according to a notice issued by Shanghai diocese.
Other dioceses included Handan and Xingtai (Hebei); Wenzhou (Zhejiang), Changzhi and Taiyuan (Shanxi); Tianshui (Gansu); Mindong (Fujian); Tianjin; Guizhou; and Suzhou (Jiangsu).
Pilgrimage groups to Sheshan pilgrimage site must be led by a priest, and have to apply beforehand.On May 10, the Shanghai diocese held its diocese’s pilgrimage at Sheshan. Hundreds of priests, sisters, seminarians, Church staff members and parishioners took part in the pilgrimage. The Catholics gathered and prayed at the Three Saints’ Pavilion. It was presided over by Father Lu Qinglin, the dean of Punan deanery of Shanghai.
Father Lu, in his homily, told the faithful to pray fervently and entrust their prayers to the Blessed Mother and ask Saint Joseph to help the Church in China, especially Shanghai diocese. The Mass continued at the Basilica, and was presided over by Father Wu Jianlin of Shanghai and concelebrated with more than 40 priests.
As this year marks the centenary of Our Lady of Fatima, the faithful were reminded to do penance, to pray for world peace and to recite the rosary every day.After the Mass, Father Wu led the Catholics to pray the Prayer to Our Lady of Sheshan, composed by emeritus Pope Benedict XVI in 2007.
This May, many Catholics posted on wechat this Prayer Our Lady of Sheshan and the full text of Pope Benedict’s Letter to the Catholics in China, and calling the others to re-read and reflect on the papal letter.
On May 17, 17 sisters of the Presentandine Sisters Convent of Shanghai Diocese made their vows – 13 with perpetual vow and 4 first vow – before Father Wu at the Assumption of Our Lady Church in Qibao, Shanghai.