Naples (Agenzia Fides) - On Sunday, May 21, at 11.30 am, the Chinese Catholic community in Italy will gather in Naples, in the parish of St. Mary of Constantinople at the Museum, to celebrate the World Day of Prayer for the Church in China. According to information sent to Fides, in addition to the Chinese Catholic community in Naples, there will also be the presence of Chinese faithful living in other Italian cities. The Day, usually celbrated on May 24, coincides with the liturgical feast of Mary Help of Christians, but the celebration was anticipated to Sunday, May 21, to encourage the participation of the faithful.
During the solemn Eucharistic concelebration in Italian and Chinese, which will be presided over by Cardinal Crescenzio Sepe, Archbishop of Naples, and animated by the Chinese community, there will be prayers for different intentions: so that the Church "preaches the Gospel in every corner of the earth with truth and vigor"; so that the Lord gives all the Bishops of China "a firm faith" so that they "are conscious of leading the flock that God has entrusted to them"; for all the Chinese people, so that they "soon receive faith in Christ"; for all the Chinese faithful living in Italy and their compatriots, so that they "take the opportunity of their immigrant state to approach the knowledge of our faith".
The "World Day of Prayer for the Church in China" was established by Pope Benedict XVI ten years ago, in the letter sent to Chinese Catholics on May 27, 2007, a solemnity of Pentecost, with these words: "Dearest Pastors and All Faithful May 24, dedicated to the liturgical memory of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Help of Christians - who is venerated with such devotion in the National Shrine of Sheshan in Shanghai - could in the future become an opportunity for Catholics all over the world to join in prayer with the Church that is in China". In addition to China, the Day is celebrated by the various communities of the Chinese diaspora spread throughout the world, in union with the universal Church and the Successor of Peter. (SL) (Agenzia Fides 16/05/2017)