Beijing (Agenzia Fides) - New priestly ordinations, solemn Eucharistic celebrations, neighborhood processions, pilgrimages to shrines, rosaries prayed in small groups among neighbors, following the "method of the Visitation of Mary: thus, with spontaneous initiatives that flourished in the wake of Tradition, the Catholic communities of mainland China are living the beginning of the month of May, traditionally dedicated to the veneration of the Virgin Mary.
With their traditional Marian devotion, Chinese Catholics are also spiritually preparing for the World Day of Prayer for the Church in China, which is celebrated every year on May 24, which coincides with the feast of Mary Help of Christians. The Day of Prayer for the Church in China was instituted by Pope Benedict XVI, with the Letter to Chinese Catholics that he signed on the solemnity of Pentecost in 2007.
On May 2, the diocese of Nanjing welcomed two new priests. The new priests together invoked the guidance of the Holy Spirit on their priestly journey, entrusting their prayer to the intercession of the Virgin Mary to be good collaborators of the Bishop and good shepherds at the service of the People of God.
In the solemn opening mass of the Marian month celebrated in the parish of Hefei, six altar boys carried the statue of Our Lady in procession to the altar, followed by the faithful.
During his homily, the parish priest Wei Jiale urged everyone to "learn the humility and meekness of Our Lady, and to respond to the Lord's call to each one of us".
In other Chinese Catholic communities, the Marian month has begun by resuming the "method of the Visitation of Mary", the pious practice inspired by the Magisterium of Pope Francis and experienced especially in the difficult moment marked by the pandemic. As was the case during long periods marked by social lockdowns and bans on gatherings, Catholic families take turns welcoming the statue of Our Lady of the Parish into their homes and apartment blocks, praying the Holy Rosary together with other Catholics from the neighborhood. The small groups become "cenacles of prayer", experiencing the closeness that blossoms from communion in faith in Jesus, in their daily life. (NZ) (Agenzia Fides, 3/5/2023)
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