Thursday, May 01, 2008

May 5th: China - Our Lady of China

Feast Day: May 24th

(Picture: The Mary Page)
A Marian sanctuary in the village of Tong Lu near Peiping. In 1900 the village was attacked by about ten thousand rioters during the Boxer Rebellion. In their rage they started to shoot skyward where a woman dressed in white had appeared, but her apparition did not fade. The crazed mob was put to flight at the appearance of a strange horseman. Father Wu, a Chinese priest, admitted having prayed to Mary for help. A church was built on the site, honoring a picture of Mary and the Christ Child which was placed over the main altar. During the progress of the Red Revolution, the people had the treasured painting copied, and when the Chinese Communists destroyed the Tong Lu church the copy was burned. But the original picture known as Our Lady of China had been hidden and is now thought to be in the possession of some faithful priests living in disguise. (Fr. John A. Hardon)
You can find a little more detail at Catholic Culture. The Cardinal Kung Foundation has lots of information about the persecution of the Catholic Church in China, including a list of bishops and priests imprisoned for their faith, and this description of the feast day of Our Lady of China at Dong Lu in 1994.

The picture above was painted by John Lu Hung Nien and was circulated on a prayer card for the persecuted Christians of China with this prayer:
Almighty and eternal God, Comforter of the afflicted, and Strength of the Suffering, grant that our brothers of China who share our faith, may obtain, through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary and our Holy Martyrs, peace in Thy service, strength in time of trial, and grace to glorify Thee, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
The same picture was used for a mosaic given by Chinese-American Catholics to the National Shrine at Washington (scroll down to the bottom of the page). Here are some more images of Our Lady of China posted A Catholic Mum in Hawaii. According to the Cardinal Kung Foundation the official image of Our Lady of China is the one shown below:

Prayer to Our Lady of China (by Mother Teresa)

Our Lady of China, help of christians, intercede with your son, the Redeemer of mankind that those in pain may find relief and comfort and that so much suffering may not remain fruitless.

Obtain light for those who guide the destiny of the Chinese Nation, that they may not lack the necessary wisdom, in searching for the good of all, which has at its basis respect for Truth, Justice and Freedom.


Theresa said...

Such a beautiful image!

Karen E. said...

This is such a beautiful series, Kathryn!

Sara said...

Thank you for presenting all of this -- we are jumping in tomorrow, and I just know this will enrich the whole family.
What a blessing!