Benedict XVI’s Prayer to O.L. of Shenshan, for the Chinese People – also a Fr. Z request

If readers in different countries could record this prayer in their native tongue and send me the audio file (mp3), I could post them.  Especially welcome would be Chinese, in the various forms, Mandarin, Cantonese, Wu, Hakka, etc.  Find links below to the Vatican’s translations in Chinese and Major European languages.



In the meantime, would you stop what you are doing and prayer this prayer, even silently?  Do this especially on 24 May, which Benedict XVI has designated.

Benedict XVI’s 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!


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    15 Responses to Benedict XVI’s Prayer to O.L. of Shenshan, for the Chinese People – also a Fr. Z request

    1. Padre Steve says:

      I am glad to know my congregation is right there with the Holy Father in praying for China! Our Salesian communities around the world have been praying the Novena to Mary Help of Christians this year in a special way for China as well. The Rector Major designated China as the special intention for the novena before the earthquake, but it seems most fitting now. God bless! Padre Steve, SDB

    2. KK says:

      I was told recently that when Card. Ratzinger first came to Rome, his Marian devotion was nothing compared to what it is now. It was exposure to JPII’s and “seeing it work” that nurtured it within him. Has anyone else heard this?

    3. Richard says:

      I am delighted to see this – as I read some other sites I come to the conclusion that God only listens to prayers in Latin

    4. Lauren says:

      KK,

      I’ve never heard that. What I have read is that once he was elected, he said to his secretaries: we (or I) need to start praying the rosary everyday.

    5. Andrew Rabel says:

      What is so beautiful about this prayer to Our Lady of Sheshan, is the theology underpinning it seems to be a most marvelous theological expression of Mary as Coredemptrix.

      In the last couple of weeks on Zenit, a lot of attention has been given to the request of the 5 cardinals, for the Holy Father to solemnly define Our Blessed Mother as Coredemptrix, Mediatrix, and Advocate. (Just this last week there was an interview with Cardinal Viyathil, and Cardinal Telesphore Toppo, is a keen liturgist as well!)

      I don’t know what Fr Z thinks about this, but along side this Benedictine Marshall Plan we are all witnessing liturgically (and the participants kneeling for Holy Communion from the Pope in the Corpus Christi procession is the latest chapter of this!), would this dogma coming at this time, also facilitate this process, in addition to truth spreading everywhere, as opposed to the error which is so pervasive in liturgy, catechetics, and church life in general? Catholic politicians are with a few noble exceptions, pretty useless, as the recent pro-choice group receiving holy communion during the Pope’s recent visit to the US showed.

      Mary has always had the title of the Conqueror of all Heresies, and no doubt many of the problems in the contemporary Church are due to the fact that her dignity and role in Christ’s plan of salvation, is not fully appreciated.

    6. Adam Zhou says:

      Asianews is carrying an interview with Cardinal Zen about the World Day of Prayer for China.

      The reference in the papal prayer of the People of God acting as a “leaven of harmonious coexistence among all citizens” seems to consciously echo current CCP policy buzz words about building a “harmonious society”, especially if one reads the Chinese version.

      It is perhaps also timely to link to Cardinal Ratzinger’s preface to the Chinese edition of ‘Salt of the Earth’, which sheds much light on his current approach to China. The link provided is an English translation, but readers can find the Chinese text here if they want it.

    7. Adam Zhou says:

      To quote the said preface, “Of course we should not imagine that this new movement of Christianity is a kind of movement aimed at winning the battle quickly. Victories quickly obtained are also quickly lost. We can see this from the relatively short-lived world established by Mao Zedong. Don’t worry. Lasting things grow slowly, quietly, and patiently, and even under various torments.” Perhaps this prudential approach is also applicable in another context, if we substitute “Mao” with “Annibale”?

    8. Lu says:

      Check out http://www.cardinalkungfoundation.org. You can be a sort of prayer sponsor for a particular priest in China, and we have added a prayer for China that they sent to us at the end of our Rosary. Lu

    9. J. Wong says:

      …Mother of China and all Asia, pray for us, now and for ever. Amen!

      …zhong1guo2 zhi1 mu3 ?ya4 zhou1 zhi1 mu3 ?xian4 zai4 zhi2 dao4 yong3 yuan3 ?qing3 chang2 wei2 wo3 men qi2 qiu2 ?ya4 meng4 ?

    10. Vincent S. says:

      At the Shrine to Our Lady of She-Shan there is a large billboard-sized sign with images of the Holy Spirit that says “Go and Tell Them” and the passage “I will make you fishers of men”. I found it to be a powerful reminder of God’s presence in all lands, and a symbol of hope for the future of the Church in China. Let us hope that this day of prayer for the Church in China may hasten the day when Catholics can “Go and Tell Them” with freedom.

    11. Bill says:

      My wife, a native Chinese, says the simplified Chinese version is a bit odd. Apparently it uses some odd forms, and mixes in some traditional Chinese characters. Her comment was that it will not be readily understood by most Chinese….

    12. John says:

      While the Chinese version of the prayer is not 100% desirable and some wording could be improved and made more elegant, but to say it will not be understood by most Chinese is somewhat exaggeratory. As a Chinese myself, I am very sure most Chinese Catholics do understand what the prayer says, and in fact Chinese Catholics, both open and underground churches, have already been praying this prayer (the prayer has been posted on many Chinese Cathilic web sites, and I know some priests in China even preached on this prayer during homily).

      There is only one traditional character (“?”, which means “he” for a deity; the current standard version should be “?”) in the simplified version of the prayer. Not every Chinese character was simplified during the character reform, and all, except one, characters that appear in the simplified version of the prayer are current standard characters.

      (To me, it’s interesting that sometimes the talk of traditional and simplified versions of Chinese charcaters often sounds like the extraordinary and ordinary forms of the Roman Rite :-))

    13. Theodorus says:

      While the Chinese version of the prayer is not 100% desirable and some wording could be improved and made more elegant, but to say it will not be understood by most Chinese is somewhat exaggeratory. As a Chinese myself, I am very sure most Chinese Catholics do understand what the prayer says, and in fact Chinese Catholics, both open and underground churches, have already been praying this prayer (the prayer has been posted on many Chinese Catholic web sites, and I know some priests in China even preached on this prayer during homily).

      There is only one traditional character (“?”, which means “he” for a deity; the current standard version should be “?”) in the simplified version of the prayer. Not every Chinese character was simplified during the character reform, and all, except one, characters that appear in the simplified version of the prayer are current standard characters.

      (To me, it’s interesting that sometimes the talk of traditional and simplified versions of Chinese characters often sounds like the extraordinary and ordinary forms of the Roman Rite :-))

    14. Theodorus says:

      Sorry, there was a delay and I didn’t realize it had been posted.

    15. Adam says:

      For those interested, the Shanghai Scrap blog has some photos and commentary of the pilgrimage to Sheshan from Saturday. Find them at http://www.shanghaiscrap.com.