Gate of Heaven – 20 years today

Catholics used to put the words Porta Caeli over the doors of their churches.

But another gate, the Gate of Heavenly Peace or Tian’anmén was the site of a terrible thing 20 years ago.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. mrsmontoya says:

    Ah, Fr., I too thought of this today.

  2. Jacob says:

    It was a tragedy, but what is even more of a tragedy is that the young people of the PRC today, instead of advocating for freedom like those who came before them, are by and large looking for bourgeois materialist comforts as a state controlled capitalism reigns supreme.

    The state cowed them and then gave them bread and circuses…

  3. Theodorus says:

    I was only 15 when the tragedy happened, and I was in Guangzhou. Fortunately we were able to receive almost uninterrupted news reports from Hong Kong TV and radio programs, the tragedy let me see the true face of the red dragon. It was also the year that I learned about what happened to Cardinal Kung of Shanghai and the underground Catholic Church in China. Later that year I started to learn the Catholic faith through the Vatican Radio and Radio Veritas of Asia and eventually converted to Roman Catholicism (despite that my family has been Protestant for four generations).

  4. I was 21 and working as a title examiner that summer. Most of us were college students and recent graduates. One young woman was a Chinese studies major. She gave all of us an informed view of what was happening during the run up to the massacre. (If I recall correctly, there were weeks of relatively peaceful demonstrations.) She never seemed at ease, as though she knew how it would end. And she did.

  5. Dinsdale says:

    June 4, 1989 marks another anniversary in the communist world: it is the anniversary of the date in which the Polish people threw off the yoke of communism, a revolution in which the Church played no small part through its mediation, guidance, and through the blood of martyrs such as Fr. Jerzy Popieluszko.

    Tyrranies eventually fall.

  6. mrsmontoya says:

    Theodorus : Welcome! despite the fact that MY family were Protestant missionaries in China for 3 generations. We are all working our way to the Truth at the center, though we come from many points of the compass. \”The Man in the White Shirt\” shows that virtues are universal to Mankind – Courage is only one of them.

    I will join you as an official member of the Catholic church when I receive Confirmation in August this year.

  7. Matt Q says:

    Very sad. Too bad it’s an anniversary to be marked as status quo rather than a milestone for something better. The brave guy in that picture should be presented as yet another model of courage against evil. I’ve heard different commentaries about that day from Western media people who were there and say that guy has never been seen or heard of again. It’s all anecdotal but the sentiment is that he was executed right that.

    God bless and welcome to all you new converts and those who read this blog. We pray there is something to glean from all we chat about which helps one grow in the Faith.

  8. Theodorus says:

    Congratulations, mrmontoya!!

  9. Jay says:

    May Our Lady bless and protect her children in China and anywhere in the world where the Name of her Son is persecuted.

  10. Kimberly says:

    Could anyone tell me what happened to the lone young man that stood in front of the tanks. They always stop the film when it comes to that point. What a brave man!

  11. Gary Keith Chesterton says:

    The fate of “Tank Man,” as he has come to be called, is unknown.

  12. LCB says:

    What happened to “Tank Man”? The truth is, no one knows.

    The Chinese claim they never found him, but if they did find him you can be sure that his life would end with a bullet to the back of the head.

    Tiananmen Square is the great shame of the Western World. One of those rare moments when the world could have been utterly transformed for the good– and our greed for low cost consumer goods got in the way of helping.

  13. Margaret says:

    One of my favorite Marian images is Our Lady, Empress of China. May she bring the True Faith and true freedom to her sons and daughters in China.

  14. Thanks for posting it. May Mary Help Christians, Queen of China, helps our country’s conversion.

  15. Jane says:

    There was no heavenly peace there 20 years ago.

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