Catholics pray in front of the Basilica of Our Lady of Sheshan in Shanghai, China Catholics pray in front of the Basilica of Our Lady of Sheshan in Shanghai, China 

Pope expresses closeness to pastors and faithful in China

At the end of the Regina Coeli, Pope Francis recalls the memory of the Blessed Virgin Mary Help of Christians, inviting the Church to unite in prayer with Chinese Catholics

By Francesca Merlo

After the recitation of the Regina Coeli on Sunday, Pope Francis turned his thoughts to Pauline Marie Jaricot, founder of the Work of the Propagation of the Faith, who is to be beatified on Sunday afternoon in Lyon for the support of the missions. The Pope noted that "this faithful laywoman, who lived in the first half of the 19th century, was a courageous woman, attentive to the changes of the times with a universal vision of the Church's mission". The Pope asked that her example bring about in everyone the desire to participate, with prayer and charity, in spreading the Gospel throughout the world. 

Laudato si' week

Pope Francis then recalled that Sunday marks the opening of Laudato si' Week, "to listen ever more attentively to the cry of the Earth, which urges us to act together in caring for our common home". For this initiative, the Pope thanked the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development and the many participating organisations, before inviting everyone to participate.

Mary Help of Christians

Finally Pope Francis looked ahead to Tuesday, the Memorial of the Blessed Virgin, Mary Help of Christians, whom the Pope noted is "particularly dear to Catholics in China who venerate Mary, Help of Christians as their Patroness in the Shrine of Sheshan in Shanghai, in many churches throughout the country, and in their homes". The Pope noted that this "happy occasion" offers him the opportunity "to assure them once again of my spiritual closeness". The Pope assured those gathered that he is "attentively and actively following the often complex life and situations of the faithful and pastors", and that he prays every day for them.

"I invite all of you to unite yourselves in this prayer so that the Church in China, in freedom and tranquility, might live in effective communion with the universal Church, and might exercise its mission of proclaiming the Gospel to everyone, and thus offer a positive contribution to the spiritual and material progress of society as well".

Thanks for Italian pro-life event

Finally, the Pope expressed his gratitude to those participating in Italy's national Scegliamo la vita (Let’s Choose Life) event taking place yesterday. "I thank you for your dedication in promoting life and defending conscientious objection, which there are often attempts to limit," concluding, "let us remember that life is a gift from God! It is always sacred and inviolable, and we cannot silence the voice of conscience."

22 May 2022, 12:27