Vatican Radio REPORT: Pope Francis has called Christians worldwide to prayer this Friday for our brothers and sisters in China. Speaking at the end of his general audience in Italian, the Holy Father noted that Friday, May 24th, is the day dedicated to the liturgical memory of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Help of Christians, who is venerated with great devotion at the Shrine of Sheshan in Shanghai.
He said : “I urge all Catholics around the world to join in prayer
with our brothers and sisters who are in China, to implore from God the grace to
proclaim with humility and joy Christ, who died and rose again; to be faithful
to His Church and the Successor of Peter and to live everyday life in service to
their country and their fellow citizens in a way that is consistent with the
faith they profess.
Making our own a few words of prayer to Our Lady
of Sheshan, together with you I would like to invoke Mary : " 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, and of the world to Jesus".
Mary, Virgin most faithful, support
Chinese Catholics, render their commitments, which are not easy, more and more
precious in the eyes of the Lord, and nurture the affection and the
participation of the Church in China in the journey of the Universal
In May 2008 Pope-emeritus, Benedict XVI, composed a special
prayer for the Feast of Our Lady Help of Christians (May 24), venerated at the
shrine of Sheshan, near Shanghai. He also designated May 24 as the yearly World
Day of Prayer for China and asked that we recite this
Below we publish the full text of the prayer to Our
Lady of Sheshan
Virgin Most Holy, Mother of the
Incarnate Word and our Mother,
venerated in the Shrine of Sheshan under the
title "Help of Christians",
the entire Church in China looks to you with
We come before you today to implore your
Look upon the People of God and, with a mother’s care, guide
along the paths of truth and love, so that they may always be
leaven of harmonious coexistence among all citizens.
When you obediently said
"yes" in the house of Nazareth,
you allowed God’s eternal Son to take flesh
in your virginal womb
and thus to begin in history the work of our
You willingly and generously cooperated in that work,
the sword of pain to pierce your soul,
until the supreme hour of the Cross,
when you kept watch on Calvary,
standing beside your Son, who died that we
From that moment, you became, in a new way,
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
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
and 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
Help Catholics always to be credible witnesses to this love,
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!
SHARED FROM RADIO VATICANA