Pope urges Friday prayers for Church in China
Catholic World News - May 22, 2013
On May 22, Pope Francis reminded his weekly public audience that the coming Friday, May 24, would be the feast of Our Lady of Sheshan, the day set aside by Pope Benedict XVI for prayer for the Church in China.
Chinese Catholics traditionally make a pilgrimage to the Marian shrine at Sheshan, near Shanghai, on the feast day. Pope Francis urged Catholics throughout the world to join in prayer, to support the faithful in China. The Pope suggested a prayer:
Our Lady of Sheshan, in their everyday struggles, sustain the commitment of all those in China, so that they may continue to believe, to hope, to love, and so they may never fear to speak of Jesus to the world and of the world to Jesus. Mary, Virgin most faithful, support Chinese Catholics. Make their commitments, which are not easy, ever more precious in the eyes of the Lord and help the affection and the participation of the Church in China to grow in the path of the universal Church.
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May. 22, 2013 6:48 PM ET USA
It's even more important to pray for China given that the communist government, via the government-backed Bishops’ Conference of the Catholic Church in China (BCCCC), has imposed new regulations the selection of bishops. One of the additional rules states that bishops must support the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party and its socialist system.