Shi Jia Zhuang (Agenzia Fides) - "The Holy Door is closed, but the mercy of the Lord is upon us forever; the proclamation of the Lord's mercy continues; the door of mercy in our hearts remain open forever; the work of mercy continues": with this spirit, the Catholic communities of continental China closed the Holy Doors of the different dioceses on Sunday, 13 November, as indicated by Pope Francis, in communion with the universal Church. From the immense steppes of Inner Mongolia, which closed 6 Holy Doors, to the South of Hu Bei, from the north of He Bei to the east coast of Wen Zhou, there were numerous initiatives in the Year of Mercy, as Agenzia Fides learns from Faith. The rite of the closing of the Holy Door was the occasion to make a brief summary of the Holy Year or to carry out some gestures that indicate the commitment to continue the witness of mercy.
His Exc. Mgr. An Shu Xin, Bishop of the Diocese of Bao Ding in He Bei province, presided at the solemn closing of the Holy Door, one of the three opened in the diocese, in the important Marian Shrine of Dong Lu, in front of thousands of faithful.
In his homily he stressed the gifts of mercy: conversion, forgiveness, charity work. "While we opened the Holy Door, the door of our heart opened, and will remain forever open thanks to the constant nourishment of the mercy of the Lord which filled us. It purified, strengthened us in faith and converted us. It has made us missionaries of his mercy. We, therefore, bring the message of the good news to all brothers and sisters, because the closing of the Holy Door indicates a new horizon in the life of the Church".
In the Diocese of Ji Nan the closing of the Holy Door was accompanied by a significant gesture:
delivery of the diploma to the catechists who completed the three-year training course. The diocesan Bishop, Mgr. Zhang Xian Wang, recalled: "We opened 5 Holy Doors, organized the pilgrimage, the first diocesan Youth Day, the works of mercy and many other initiatives. In the future may every word, every action be a testimony of the mercy of God that we received".
The Diocese of Yi Chang, in the Province of Hu Bei, during the closing of the Holy Door recalled that this year received 40 groups of pilgrims and organized the pilgrimage of groups of faithful of the diocese in China and abroad (Holy Land, Rome, France and Poland), as well as a hundred visits to the sick, elderly, while the evangelization group carried out the service of reception 24 hours a day at the Holy Door of the Cathedral dedicated to St Francis.
The faithful of the Diocese of Su Zhou, Jiang Su province, have a special reason for happiness, since during their pilgrimage to Rome they were received by the Pope in St. Peter's Square. For them it was "an extraordinary grace of God".
In Inner Mongolia more than 30,000 faithful crossed through the Holy Door during the pilgrimage, over 6000 made a pilgrimage abroad, especially in Rome and Holy Land.
A series of testimonies on mercy marked the closing of the Holy Door of the Diocese of Han Zhong, in Shaan Xi Province. Those who spoke confirmed their determination to be "missionaries of mercy" so that "the door of mercy in our hearts remain open forever".
The Diocese of Xi Chang, in the province of Si Chuan, during the closing ceremony of the Holy Door also conferred the missionary mandate to "missionaries of mercy". (NZ) (Agenzia Fides 18/11/2016)