After the Regina Caeli on Sunday, Pope Francis noted the World Day of Prayer for China
May 24 is the feast of Mary, Help of Christians, especially revered in China, where she is the patroness of the country.
Since 2007, with Benedict XVI’s letter to the faithful of China, her feast day has been a World Day of Prayer for the Church in China.
This year, the feast coincides with the feast of Mary, Mother of the Church, which is celebrated each Monday after Pentecost.
For the feast, the basilica in Shanghai welcomes great throngs of people, not only from China but from other countries around the world.
Pope Francis mentioned China’s devotion to Our Lady on Pentecost Sunday, after praying the Regina Caeli.
He encouraged everyone to join in prayer for Chinese Christians, “our dearest brothers and sisters.”
Here is what he said:
Tomorrow the Catholic faithful in China celebrate the Feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Help of Christians, and heavenly Patron of their great country.
The Mother of the Lord and of the Church is venerated with particular devotion in the Sheshan Shrine in Shanghai, and is invoked assiduously by Christian families, in the trials and hopes of daily life.
[Read about the devotion and shrine below:]
How good and how necessary it is that the members of a family and of a Christian community are ever more united in love and in faith! In this way, parents and children, grandparents and grandchildren, pastors and faithful can follow the example of the first disciples who, on the solemnity of Pentecost, were united in prayer with Mary as they awaited the Holy Spirit.
Therefore, I invite you to accompany with fervent prayer the Christian faithful in China, our dearest brothers and sisters, whom I hold in the depth of my heart. May the Holy Spirit, protagonist of the Church’s mission in the world, guide them and help them to be bearers of the happy message, witnesses of goodness and charity, and builders of justice and peace in their country.