Prayer to Our Lady of Sheshan
by Pope Francis (on 22 May 2013)
“Our Lady of Sheshan, support the commitment of all those in China who among their daily labours continue to believe, to hope and to love, so that they may never be afraid to talk to the world about Jesus and about the world to Jesus”.
Mary, faithful Virgin, sustain Chinese Catholics, make their challenging tasks ever more precious in the eyes of the Lord, and give growth to the affection and participation of the Church which is in China on the journey of the universal Church."
Prayer to Our Lady of Sheshan
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.
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!
"Mary has always served as a role model to be a woman for me but I only realised how moving the way she loved when I started to pray to her more often. I have always been hearing that Mary is very close to Jesus and we all know that. But what I didn't really know was how the way she loves Jesus can be imitated by us. When we realise how humane and tenderly she loves Jesus and she loves us, then we would realise that we are all called to do the same."
Magdalene gives her 些關於瑪麗 in English & Mandarin.
"Now when I think about my mum, my grandmum and all the women in my life, I think of some aspects and I can see the image of Mary in their lives and how they effect my life and they teach me to be a good woman, a wonderful woman. Mary is a model for me and shows me how to be a good Catholic woman."
Mandy gives her 些關於瑪麗 in English & Chinese.
- Flash is required!
"I started to know our Virgin Mary through my grandma .. My grandma always prayed the rosary every day, she was very practicing. I didn't know what the rosary was about but she always told me that if I prayed to the Virgin Mary, she would help me, she would bless me. My grandma passed away two years ago and I started to try to push myself to get into the rosary, to know more about this, because my grandma was such a grateful person, practicing her faith with Our Lady, Mary. So I would like to say that I want to be a person who is loved and I would like to stay with Our Lady, so that is why I want to know more about the rosary."
Sisi gives her 些關於瑪麗 in English & Mandarin.
Pope John Paul II's Message from the Philippines to Catholics in China
during his apostolic journey to the Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Australia & Sri Lanka
Manila, Thursday 12 January 1995 - in English & Italian
"From Manila, where I have come for the celebration of the Tenth World Youth Day, I wish to send a special and affectionate greeting to all Chinese Catholics who make present and visible on Chinese soil the Church of Christ, One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic, a community of faith, hope and charity.
Dear brothers and sisters of the Church in China, I am well aware of the difficulties amid which you are called to bear witness to your faith in Christ. The Second Vatican Council speaks of the whole Church in a way that is very applicable to your experience: "Like a pilgrim in a foreign land, the Church presses forward amid the persecutions of the world and the consolations of God, proclaiming the Cross and Death of the Lord until he comes (cf. 1 Cor. 11:26). By the power of the Risen Lord she is given strength to overcome patiently and lovingly the afflictions and hardships which assail her from within and without, and to show forth in the world the mystery of the Lord in a faithful though shadowed way, until at the last it will be revealed in total splendour" (Lumen Gentium, 8).
To you, dear Catholics of China, Divine Providence has entrusted the task of living the faith in the midst of a people of ancient cultural traditions. You are called to be "the salt of the earth" and "the light of the world", "that all may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven" (Mt. 5:16). Keep your gaze fixed then on "Christ, the light of the nations". Do not be afraid: he has overcome the world (cf. Jn. 16:33), he is with you always (cf. Mt. 28:20).
Your witness will be all the more eloquent if it is expressed in words and deeds of love. Jesus said so: "By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another" (Jn. 13:35). Love among yourselves, first of all, but love also for all your Chinese brothers and sisters: a love which consists of understanding, respect, forbearance, forgiveness and reconciliation within the Christian community; a love which involves service, self–sacrifice, fidelity, hard work, honesty and justice in society as a whole.
Genuine love however cannot be separated from truth. Saint Paul reminds the Ephesians to: "live by the truth and in love" (Eph. 4:15). Dear brothers and sisters, the profound unity which marks every Catholic community throughout the world must be based on the truth which shines forth in the Gospel and on the charity which is born of the heart of Christ. This must also be the case with you! Every day I pray for you, asking the Lord to help you remain united as living members of the one Mystical Body of Christ.
Unity is not the result of human policies or hidden and mysterious intentions. Instead, unity springs from conversion of the heart, and from sincere acceptance of the unchanging principles laid down by Christ for his Church. Particularly important among these principles is the effective communion of all the parts of the Church with her visible foundation: Peter, the Rock. Consequently, a Catholic who wishes to remain such and to be recognized as such, cannot reject the principle of communion with the Successor of Peter.
How many testimonies of faith, how many messages of fidelity I have received from communities throughout China! Bishops, priests, Religious and lay people have wished to reaffirm their unshakable and full communion with Peter and the rest of the Church. As Pastor of the Universal Church, my heart greatly rejoices at this. I earnestly invite you all to seek paths to communion and reconciliation, paths which draw their light and inspiration from the Truth himself: Jesus Christ.
I entrust all of you to the maternal protection of Mary, Queen of China.
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God the Father and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen."
If you'd like to give Our Lady a bunch of flowers by saying your something about Mary,
(or give your response to 1 of the other Totus2us podcasts)
please, pretty please, do get in touch with the Totus2us team
- as well as hopefully bringing you joy,
you'd be really helping Totus2us ♥
Totus tuus ego sum et omnia mea tua sunt.
Accipio te in mea omnia. Praebe mihi cor tuum, Maria. - St Louis de Montfort
Blessed John Paul II took his motto Totus Tuus from this quote.
"I am totally yours and all that I have is yours.
I accept you for my all. O Mary, give me your heart.”
Saint Francis Xavier, Jesuit missionary, in his Letter of 22 October 1552:
There are numerous decrees forbidding entrance to China... But, aside from the dangers of prison and maltreatment, there are even greater ones that people here do not suspect... In the first place, loss of hope and trust in God, when it is for love of him and for his service that we are about to make his Law known and Jesus Christ, his Son, our Redeemer and our Lord, as he well knows. Since, in his blessed mercy, he has communicated these desires to us, to fail now in trust in his mercy and power before the perils we may run for his service is a far greater peril than all the harm God's enemies might cause us. If it matters to his greater service, God will keep us from all the perils of this life... Hence we have for our guard the Lord's word: “Whoever loves his life in this world will lose it and whoever loses it for God's sake will find it” (cf. Jn 12,25). And this like it: “Anyone who sets their hand to the plough and looks back is not worthy of the Kingdom of God.”
As for us, bearing in mind these dangers of soul, which are so much greater than those of the body, we are all the more sure and certain of confronting bodily dangers... Therefore, however it may be, we are determined to go to China.