Vatican City, May 24, 2010. Pope Benedict XVI has asked
that Catholics worldwide unite in a day of prayer for
Catholics in China this May 24, in the month dedicated
to the Blessed Virgin Mary.
In response to the Pope’s exhortation,
we also invite our readers to accompany us in prayer
on this day by going to Mass at your parish,
by praying a rosary on your own or as a
family, or perhaps by making a visit to Christ in
the Eucharist or to an image of Our Lady.
has also written the following text for the occasion: a
Prayer to Our Lady of Sheshan.
to Our Lady
Virgin Most Holy, Mother of the Incarnate Word and
venerated in the Shrine of Sheshan under the
title "Help of Christians",
the entire Church in China looks
to you with devout affection.
We come before you today
to implore your protection.
Look upon the People of God
and, with a mother’s care, guide them
along the paths
of truth and love, so that they may always be
a leaven of harmonious coexistence among all citizens.
you obediently said "yes" in the house of Nazareth,
allowed God’s eternal Son to take flesh in your virginal
and thus to begin in history the work of
You willingly and generously cooperated in that work,
allowing the sword of pain to pierce your soul,
the supreme hour of the Cross, when you kept watch
standing beside your Son, who died that we
From that moment, you became, in a
the Mother of all those who receive your
Son Jesus in faith
and choose to follow in his
footsteps by taking up his Cross.
Mother of hope, in
the darkness of Holy Saturday you journeyed
with unfailing trust
towards the dawn of Easter.
Grant that your children may
discern at all times,
even those that are darkest, the
signs of God’s loving presence.
Our Lady of Sheshan,
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,
of the world to Jesus.
In the statue overlooking the
Shrine you lift your Son on high,
offering him to
the world with open arms in a gesture of love.
Help Catholics always to be credible witnesses to this love,
ever clinging to the rock of Peter on which the
Church is built.
Mother of China and all Asia, pray
for us, now and for ever. Amen!