UCAN needs your support
You are why we do what we do - report, describe, comment, review. It is to bring to your eyes just what life is like for believers across Asia that we publish UCAN.
But as you know, the effort needs to be sustained if it is to have continuing effect.
UCAN publishes some 150 stories a week in four languages across six websites. We are grateful to benefactors in Europe and the US who support us. But those countries and the Church there are under increasing financial strain and their generosity no longer covers our costs.
We need financial help from our readers to sustain our efforts. Our reporters, editors, video producers and photographers all have families and we need to support them. They do excellent jobs, but they can't do their jobs for nothing.
Will you help us to sustain UCAN? Please click here to help.
Thanks in anticipation.
Fr. Michael Kelly SJ
After 10 years, Venerable Allegra is to be beatified
Beatification at last for Chinese Bible translatorA bronze statue of Venerable Gabriele Allegra in Acireale, Sicily
- ucanews.com reporter, Hong Kong
- Hong Kong
- August 30, 2012
The Italian friar was best known for producing the first full translation of the Catholic Bible in Chinese, which has led to him being known as the â€śSt. Jerome of China.â€ť
The beatification ceremony will take place on September 29 at the Cathedral of Acireale, in his home town of Catania in Sicily.
Father Joseph Ha, who heads the Order of Friars Minor in Hong Kong, said the news was â€śa surprise to many of us.â€ť
When asked if Sicily has been chosen as the venue for the ceremony in order to avoid provoking the Beijing government, he said it was â€śa good guess, very reasonable.â€ť
Cecilia Chui of the Hong Kong Catholic Biblical Association described the beatification as an honor to Chinese Catholics worldwide. â€śWe feel gratified and proud,â€ť she said.
â€śIt is very meaningful that the Holy See beatifies Venerable Allegra in chorus with the Second Vatican Councilâ€™s 50th anniversary this year.â€ť
Venerable Allegra and his colleagues published the Chinese Bible in 1968, three years after Vatican II promulgated Dei Verbum (Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation), which stated that â€śeasy access to sacred scripture should be provided for all the Christian faithful.â€ť
The Studium Biblicum version, considered to be the most faithful to the original manuscript, is still the main Chinese version used today. â€śIts publication had a far-reaching significance for the promotion of biblical ministry in Chinese-speaking Catholic communities around the world,â€ť said Chui, who also serves as liaison secretary for the Biblical Servicing Center of the United Chinese Catholic Biblical Association.
The beatification was originally set for October 2002, after the Holy See had certified a miracle attributed to Venerable Allegraâ€™s intercession. However, the ceremony was then postponed indefinitely.
Since then, the Hong Kong diocese and the Order of Friars Minor made numerous requests to the Vatican to resume the process, without success. Â Fr. Ha said he did not know why the Holy See has now decided to go ahead.
â€śThe Vatican postponed the beatification in 2002 so as not to further provoke negative response from the Chinese government after the canonization of the Chinese martyrs in 2000,â€ť he said.
Arriving China in 1931, Venerable Allegra made the translation of the Bible from the original Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek into Chinese his lifeâ€™s work. He also set about producing an accompanying commentary and introduction.
He instituted the Studium Biblicum in Beijing in 1945 to pursue these tasks. It relocated to Hong Kong three years later because of political turmoil.
Between 1961 and 1963, he went to Singapore to head a social center established by the Vatican, which aimed to write andÂ distributeÂ anti-communist literature in Asia.
He died in Hong Kong in 1976. The local Bishop John Baptist Wu applied for his canonization cause in 1984 and the Holy See declared him Venerable Servant of God 10 years later.
The Hong Kong Franciscans will organize a prayer meeting on September 29 and a memorial Mass on October 4 to celebrate his beatification. Two pilgrimage groups will set off to Acireale to join the ceremony.
Chinese Bible scholars to meet in Malaysia
Italian Missioner Who Translated Bible Into Chinese Honored On 100th Anniversary Of Birth
Catholic Biblical Federation To Focus On China