Beijing (Agenzia Fides) - The fervent devotion to St. Joseph, Patron of China, which has been handed down for several generations among Chinese Catholics, is rediscovered every year with further enthusiasm in March, the month dedicated to the Saint. This special bond is made evident by the fact that in China many churches, ecclesiastical structures, seminaries, national and diocesan religious congregations, charitable institutions (orphanages, homes for the elderly), schools are dedicated to St. Joseph. The Chinese sanctuaries dedicated to the Saint welcome pilgrims and faithful from all parts of China and abroad.
As the websites of various dioceses, consulted by Agenzia Fides inform, a solemn Eucharistic celebration opened the month dedicated to Saint Joseph on 1 March, in the presence of numerous pilgrims in the Sanctuary on Mount Pinyin, in the province of Shandong.
In the cathedral of the Archdiocese of Wenzhou in Zhejiang Province over 300 faithful took part in the Eucharist on February 28th for the opening of the month of St. Joseph. During the Eucharist the statue of the patron Saint of China was blessed. The priests invited the faithful "to always walk in the footsteps of the Saint, especially in times of difficulty, of restlessness and of inner loss". "We have to live intensely the month of March, praying for the Church, for priests and laity, for the family, for all the brothers in the faith and for all the fathers", said Fr. Hu, local parish priest.
The Chinese are very devoted to the Saint not only because he is the putative father of Jesus and spouse of the Virgin Mary, but also because he is the Patron of China (decision approved during the first council of Chinese ecclesial affairs, in 1924) and of missions in China. He is a symbol of humility, simplicity, authenticity, diligence and obedience, all virtues that Chinese culture and tradition hold supremely important. His "silence", lived in dedication and service to Mary and the Child Jesus, has a special value. During this period the Chinese baptized, and among them many young people, pay homage to the Saint, entrusting their life to his intercession. (NZ) (Agenzia Fides, 7/3/2018)