By Jim Fair

Pope Francis on May 24, 2020, offered prayers for the Catholic faithful in China and assured them of the support of the universal Church. In China, today is the feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Help of Christians and Patroness of China.

The Holy Father’s comments came after praying the Regina Caeli from the Library of the Apostolic Vatican Palace. He also focused his March 2020 prayer message and video on the Christians of China.

“Let us unite ourselves spiritually with the Catholic faithful in China, who celebrate today, with particular devotion, the feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Help of Christians and Patroness of China, venerated in the Sheshan Shrine in Shanghai,” the Pope said. “We entrust the Pastors and faithful of the Catholic Church in that great country to the guidance and protection of our Heavenly Mother, may they be strong in faith and firm in fraternal union, joyful witnesses, and promoters of fraternal charity and hope and good citizens.

“Dearest Catholic brothers and sisters in China, I want to assure you that the universal Church, of which you are an integral part, shares your hopes and supports you in the trials of life. She accompanies you with prayer for a new effusion of the Holy Spirit so that the light and beauty of the Gospel can shine in you, power of God for the salvation of anyone who believes.

“In expressing to all of you once again my great and sincere affection, I impart to you a special Apostolic Blessing. May Our Lady protect you always!”

Benedict XVI wrote to a letter to the Catholics in China, signed by the Pope on May 27 2007, the solemnity of Pentecost. In that letter, Benedict also assured Chinese Catholics of the closeness of the Church and praised their faithfulness to Christ.

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