Friday, 23 May 2008

World Day of Prayer for China

The Holy Father has declared May 24th World Day of Prayer for China. Below I have printed the general intercessions for this from the Poor Clare Colettine Sisters in N. Wales.

Celebrant
Today the Holy Father has asked us to pray for our brothers and sisters in China. It is the feast of Our Lady Help of Christians; in Shanghai, Our Lady of Sheshan. As we pray we ask her to lift the Church as she lifts the Christchild beyond the reach of the Dragon.

Reader
We pray for the Church in China, divided between ten million loyal underground Catholics who have been faithful to the unity of the Church under Peter and for four million Chinese ‘Patriotic’ Catholics who, though they have compromised with the state, yet seek reconciliation.
We make the prayer of Christ our own; Lord, that they may be one.

Response: shi tamen he-er-wei-yi  使他们合而为一

We pray for our beloved father, Benedict XVI, who has proclaimed an indulgence for those praying for the Chinese Church on this day, even if they are hindered from travelling to Shanghai; may the whole people of God grow in the Lord’s love.
Shi tamen he-er-wei-yi

We remember our Chinese confessors who are suffering imprisonment and torture even as we pray that they may be one.
Shi tamen he-er-wei-yi

We pray for all the priests of the Diocese of Shanghai who are loyal to our Holy Father, and who now have soldiers guarding their presbyteries so that they cannot to to Sheshan or organise their faithful to attend; that they may be one.
Shi tamen he-er-wei-yi

We pray for the loyal Catholic laity who are aware that if they are recognised while attempting to attend the Patriotic celebrations at Sheshan, will be arrested, that they may be one.
Shi tamen he-er-wei-yi

We pray for the bishops of the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association who have betrayed fellow believers to imprisonment, that they may find forgiveness and that they may be one.
Shi tamen he-er-wei-yi

We pray for the Chinese government that they may abandon their neurotic fears of Christianity for common sense, that they may discover and become one in the truth.
Shi tamen he-er-wei-yi

We pray for the victims of the earthquake, the violent repression in Tibet and elsewhere, that those who have died may discover the Lord and be one with Him.
Shi tamen he-er-wei-yi

We pray for the Beijing Olympic Games that somehow, despite all that has gone before, the Lord may use it to advance freedom of the Chinese people, that they may be one in their search for justice.
Shi tamen he-er-wei-yi

Celebrant
We now lay be fore the Mother of God the prayer our Father Benedict has offered for this occasion:

Virgin Most Holy, Mother of the Incarnate Word and our Mother, venerated in the Shrine of Sheshan under the title "Help of Christians," the entire Church in China looks to you with devout affection.

We come before you today to implore your protection.

Look upon the People of God and, with a mother's care, guide them along the paths of truth and love, so that they may always be a leaven of harmonious coexistence among all citizens.

When you obediently said "yes" in the house of Nazareth, you allowed God's eternal Son to take flesh in your virginal womb and thus to begin in history the work of our redemption.

You willingly and generously co-operated in that work, allowing the sword of pain to pierce your soul, until the supreme hour of the Cross, when you kept watch on Calvary, standing beside your Son, Who died that we might live.

From that moment, you became, in a new way, the Mother of all those who receive your Son Jesus in faith and choose to follow in His footsteps by taking up His Cross.

Mother of hope, in the darkness of Holy Saturday you journeyed with unfailing trust towards the dawn of Easter.

Grant that your children may discern at all times, even those that are darkest, the signs of God's loving presence.

Our Lady of Sheshan, sustain all those in China, who, amid their daily trails, continue to believe, to hope, to love.

May they never be afraid to speak of Jesus to the world, and of the world to Jesus.

In the statue overlooking the Shrine you lift your Son on high, offering him to the world with open arms in a gesture of love.

Help Catholics always to be credible witnesses to this love, ever clinging to the rock of Peter on which the Church is built.

Mother of China and all Asia, pray for us, now and for ever. Amen!


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4 comments:

Tom in Vegas said...

Love what you did here, Rita!

I'm so glad the Holy father has called for a day of prayer for the victims of the earthquake in China. All those poor people. It breaks the heart.

Also, "There may be one fold and One Shepard." How TRUE! The Chinese government likes to circumvent the Vatican's authority by "installing" their own cardinals.

Rita said...

Don't forget to thank our loving sisters in Christ, the Poor Clares for their prayers.

ukok said...

Rita, when my Mum became Catholic 2 years ago, she chose St. Colette as her Patron Saint...(or the Saint chose mum)....and around that time she also found that very same website and has been receiving monthly newsletters by email from the Colettine Sisters!

In fact, we holiday in Llanrug for 5 weeks a year and mum and Dad have a static caravan there and they can spend as many as 4 months of the year there...we were all talking about making a visit to the sisters at some point, while we are in Wales :-)

Rita said...

St Colette found me, before I found the Poor Clare Colettine's of N Wales too! I had an interest in the Beguines and started hearing St Colette's name mentioned as she had started out as a Beguine, before becoming an anchorite, before her inspired reformation of the Franciscans.

The sisters have all been very good to me over the years. We have never met, but I do hope to get up there someday.

I tend to pray asking for St Colette's intercession when I need to be tough and keep my mouth shut!