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Today is the day that Benedict XVI designated to be a World Day of Prayer for China, particularly our Chinese Christian brothers and sisters. The Catholics in China, indeed, all Christians in China have not been respected for the their belief in Jesus Christ and His sacrament, the Church. Pope Francis has reminded us of this act of charity. 


At Wednesday’s General Audience in Rome, Francis recalled that under the patroness of Our Lady, Help of Christians, we go to God. 


The Chinese Catholics venerate under the title of Our Lady of Sheshan, Shanghai.


Pope Francis said:


I urge all Catholics around the world to join in prayer with our brothers and sisters who are in China, to implore from God the grace to proclaim with humility and joy Christ, who died and rose again; to be faithful to His Church and the Successor of Peter and to live everyday life in service to their country and their fellow citizens in a way that is consistent with the faith they profess.



Making our own a few words of prayer to Our Lady of Sheshan, together with you I would like to invoke Mary: Our Lady of Sheshan, sustain all those in China, who, amid their daily trials, 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.



Mary, Virgin most faithful, support Chinese Catholics, render their commitments, which are not easy, more and more precious in the eyes of the Lord, and nurture the affection and the participation of the Church in China in the journey of the Universal Church.”



Benedict XVIs prayer for today, inaugurated in 2008 for the Feast of Our Lady Help of Christians; 
Our Lady of Sheshan, states:

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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.


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 cooperated 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 trials, 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!