Our Lady of China

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Statue of Our Lady of China at the National Shrine of Our Lady of China, Meishan (梅山鄉) CHIAYI, Taiwan

Our Lady of China (Simplified Chinese: 中华圣母, Traditional Chinese: 中華聖母, pinyin: Zhōnghuá Shèngmǔ) is the name given to an apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Donglu, China, first appearing in 1900.

History[edit]

At the close of the 1924 Shanghai Synod of Bishops in China, the first national conference of bishops in the country, Archbishop Celso Costantini (剛恆毅), Apostolic Delegate in China, along with all the bishops of China, consecrated the Chinese people to the Blessed Virgin Mary. In 1941, Pope Pius XII designated the feast day as an official feast of the Catholic liturgical calendar.[1]

In 1973, following the Second Vatican Council, the Chinese Bishops conference, upon approval from the Holy See, placed the feast day on the vigil (day preceding) of Mothers Day (the second Sunday of May).[1]

The Apparition[edit]

During the Boxer rebellion, a great number of soldiers attacked the village of Donglu, Hebei. The village consisted of a small community of Christians founded by the Vincentian Fathers. The Virgin Mary appeared in white, and a fiery horseman (believed to be St Michael) chased away the soldiers. The pastor, Fr Wu, commissioned a painting of Mary with Christ child dressed in golden imperial robes. This painting became the image of Our Lady, Queen of China. Donglu became a place of pilgrimage in 1924. The image was blessed and promulgated by Pope Pius XI in 1928.[2]

Veneration[edit]

There is a mosaic of Our Lady of China in the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, DC, established and dedicated in 2002 under the Most Rev. Michael J. Bransfield [3] There has been some controversy because the image used in the mosaic is not the officially approved image of Our Lady of China, but instead uses the image of Our Lady of China and Baby Jesus painted by John Lu Hung Nien. The late Cardinal Thomas Tien Keng-Hsin, the first Chinese Cardinal, used this image for the prayer card for the persecuted in China, which was widely promoted in the U.S.A. and Canada.[4]

Several churches, chapels, and pastoral centers around the world, predominantly those focused on ministry to Chinese-speaking Catholics, have adopted the name, including a mission in Washington, DC. St. Genevieve's Chinese Roman Catholic Church, Fresno, California also honors Our Lady of China. There is a Chapel of OUr Lady of China in the Diocese of Brooklyn, New York.[5]

The National Shrine of Our Lady of China is located in Binondo, Manila. There is also a Shrine of Our Lady of China in Quezon City, Metro Manila, and a Chapel of Our Lady of China in Binondo Church, Manila. There are a number a churches in the Philippines dedicated to Our Lady of China: the Church of Our Lady of China in Baguio City, the parish of Our Lady of China in Mindanao Chinatown, Davao City; and Chapels to honor her in Santa Maria Parish Church, Iloilo City, and Sacred Heart Chinese Church, Cebu City. Our Lady of China is regarded as a patroness of Chinese-Filipinos.

The Our Lady of Sheshan is another, similar apparition which has attained like acclamation and fame among Chinese Christians.

Notes[edit]

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