ASIA/CHINA - Reopening of shrines after 3 years. Chinese Catholic communities are preparing for the Marian month

Tuesday, 25 April 2023 local churches   marian devotion   pilgrimages   sanctuaries  

Beijing (Agenzia Fides) - "We can join the universal Church, remembering the prayer intention of Pope Francis and imitating Our Lady the Virgin Mary in following Christ her Son, to reveal the face of the Risen Lord and live a new life". With these words, the Archdiocese of Beijing embraces and accompanies the enthusiasm with which many Chinese Catholic communities are preparing to experience the gestures and practices of Marian devotion during the month of May, which is traditionally dedicated to Our Lady. Pilgrimages, rosaries, hours of adoration, processions and solemn Eucharistic celebrations, works of charity. The doors of shrines, churches and chapels will always be open, after years of forced closures due to the pandemic. And dioceses such as Beijing and Shanghai have already published the program of celebrations and timetables for daily community prayer, including the provisions and logistical indications that must be followed in order to take part.
The Marian shrine of Housangyu, in the Mentougou district, on the outskirts of Beijing, is a beloved place for Marian devotion among Beijing Catholics. The diocese has arranged that the pilgrimages for the month of May take place according to the division of parishes: every Sunday in May, one of the four most important parishes in central Beijing will take care of the organizational aspects of the pilgrimage and the Eucharistic celebration, including those related to public order (a large influx of pilgrims is expected throughout the month).
Also in Shanghai, everything is prepared to welcome the many pilgrims and devotees who wish to visit the Sheshan Shrine during the month of May. The diocesan pilgrimage office has published a guide to guarantee the correct development of pilgrimages, knowing full well that Chinese Catholics have a deep Marian devotion and a special affection for Our Lady of Sheshan. Using new digital technologies in a functional way, as is the case with access to all public places in China, access to the Shrine will also require reservation and registration through the digital QR code (with the identity document). The diocese has published the form and the QR to download in advance, accessible on the site, and has also published the times of the masses and the contact details of the priests on the diocesan website responsible for organizing pilgrimages.
After three years of pandemic, the crowds of Chinese pilgrims will return in May to deposit their sorrows, their expectations and their gratitude at the feet of Our Lady of Sheshan, the Virgin Mary, represented in a singular pose, while she lifts the baby Jesus by above his head, to show him to everyone as a trophy, as a sign of victory. (NZ) (Agenzia Fides, 25/4/2023)