Shanghai (Agenzia Fides) - Thousands of Catholics from the diocese of Shanghai took part in the pilgrimage to the Shrine of Our Lady Help of Christians in Sheshan, led by Bishop Joseph Shen Bin. Under a torrential rain, the Bishop and all the pilgrims prayed the Rosary and also the prayer to Our Lady of Sheshan composed in 2007 by Pope Benedict XVI. More than fifty priests from the diocese also took part in the pilgrimage, which took place on Wednesday May 17, who then concelebrated the solemn Eucharist with Bishop Shen in the basilica dedicated to Our Lady.
During his homily, Bishop Joseph Shen Bin urged everyone to follow the example "of Our Lady, to trust in God and to live with Christian strength and mercy in all circumstances. Make yourselves a blessing and a gift of tenderness for others in society, in the Church, in the parish and in the family", the Bishop urged, calling on all the members of the Church of Shanghai to cooperate in the mission of the Church to proclaim the Gospel, familiarizing themselves with the treasures of Christian doctrine, and behaving virtuously with everyone. In particular, the Bishop invited nuns and priests to be "zealous operators in the proclamation of the Gospel and in pastoral care, promoters of unity and harmony, and people full of concern for the baptized", working in unity and a spirit of collaboration for the growth of the ecclesial community.
The communal recitation of the prayer to Our Lady of Sheshan composed by Pope Benedict XVI took place at the conclusion of the Eucharistic liturgy. In his letter to Chinese Catholics, dated May 27, 2007 (the day the Solemnity of Pentecost was celebrated that year) Pope Benedict wrote that May 24, "dedicated to the liturgical commemoration of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Help of Christians - which is venerated with such devotion in the Marian shine of Sheshan in Shanghai, could become in the future an occasion for Catholics from all over the world to join the Church in China in prayer.
At the end of their pilgrimage, Bishop Shen Bin and all the participants together invoked the protection of Our Lady, "so that Our Lady of Sheshan may bless the prosperity of our country, the healthy growth of the Church in China and the renewal of the diocese of Shanghai". (NZ) (Agenzia Fides, 19/5/2023)
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