Pope asks for Mother Mary's guidance on China

Pontiff asks Catholics around the world to join with China's faithful on special feast day
Pope asks for Mother Mary's guidance on China

Pope Francis waves to the crowd from the window of the apostolic palace overlooking St. Peter's Square during the Regina Coeli prayer on May 21. (Photo by Andreas Solaro/AFP)

Vatican City
May 22, 2017
Pope Francis has asked the Blessed Mother to help discern the path for the church in China during his audience at the Vatican May 22.

"On May 24, let us all join spiritually with the Catholic faithful in China on the feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary Help of Christians," venerated at the Sheshan Shrine in Shanghai, according to Vatican Radio.

The feast day was proclaimed World Day of Prayer for the Church in China in Pope Benedict XVI's 2007 letter to Chinese Catholics as an act of solidarity and solicitude with China's faithful.

During his address, the pope said to Chinese Catholics that "we look to our Mother Mary to help us discern God's will regarding the concrete path of the church in China and may he support us in his generosity of love."

He said, "Mary encourages us to offer our personal contribution to communion among believers and to the harmony of the whole of society," adding that "let us not forget to bear witness to the faith with prayer and love, keeping us open always to encounter and dialogue."

Chinese Catholic communities in different parts of the world are commemorating World Day of Prayer for the Church in China's 10th anniversary this year.

The Vatican is currently negotiating with China regarding the issue on bishops' appointments but observers described normalization between the two parties as a long-winding road as bishops' appointments is just one of the many thorny issues to resolve.

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