ASIA/CHINA - The diocese of Shang Hai celebrates 450 years of the birth of the Servant of God Paul Xu Guang Qi

Shang Hai (Agenzia Fides)-The solemn commemoration of 450 years of the birth of the Servant of God Paul Xu Guang Qi took place yesterday, April 24, in the diocese of Shang Hai, before his tomb and places linked to him. Even today, the Chinese Christians, and the Chinese in general, keep with devotion and gratitude the memory of Paul Xu Guang Qi (April 24, 1562 - November 8, 1633), attributing many honorary titles to him such as "the Shanghainese sage ", astronomer, mathematician, Mandarin of the court ... but the most popular is the "Servant of God", as he led the Christian faith in Shanghai and in China, thanks to his friendship with Fr. Matteo Ricci, the great Jesuit missionary who brought him to conversion in 1603 and baptized him.
According to information which Fides received, many priests and faithful of Shang Hai yesterday gathered at the tomb of Paul Xu. After a brief summary of the life of one who is considered a milestone in the history of the first evangelization of China, spent in simplicity, they all prayed for evangelization and to be capable of the same testimony of faith today, invoking his intercession. Finally, they also prayed for the beatification of Paul Xu.
Mgr. Aloysius Jin Lu Xian, SJ, Bishop of the Diocese of Shang Hai, dedicated to the figure of Paul Xu his pastoral letter on the occasion of 400 anniversary of the foundation of the diocese, indicating three features of this "pillar of Christianity" and the father of Catholicism in Shanghai: religious faith, civic and moral commitment in favor of justice. Mgr. Jin has always really wanted the cause of Paul Xu’s and Fr. Matteo Ricci’s beatification . In another message, titled "Xu Guangqi: a man for all seasons", the Bishop of Shang Hai compared Paul Xu to another politician saint and martyr, St. Thomas More. (NZ) ( Agenzia Fides-25/04/2012 )

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