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Our Lady of She-Shan, China

Commemorated on May 24
Our Lady of She-Shan, China
n 1864, a Chinese religious took Sheshan (Shanghai) a painted image for him, and venerated as Help of Christians. The devotion spread each May 24 and celebrate the festival.
Today is the largest Christian sanctuary in East Asia and there is a statue of the Virgin holding the Child Jesus with open arms in blessing, resembles the idea of a large cross over all China.
However, the Shrine of Our Lady of Sheshan is under the control of the Patriotic Association, the National Catholic Church does not recognize the supreme spiritual authority of the Holy Father.
Along the Boading Dong Lu, who remains steadfast and loyal to the Vatican, are the most important shrines in the country.
The shrine dedicated to Our Lady of She Shan is located in Song Jiang district, close to the metropolis of Shanghai.
In 1863, the then superior of the Jesuit community in Shang Hai bought Southern Sheshan mountain from where you can see a beautiful panorama with a bamboo forest side.
A Buddhist monastery was abandoned at the site. The remaining buildings were demolished.
There a rest house for the Jesuits with a small adjacent chapel was built and work began on the construction of the Shrine. 's March 1, 1868, the then Bishop of Shang Hai Adrien Languillat SJ Bishop, consecrated the chapel and blessed image of Mary Help of Christians. Every year, on May 24, the feast of Mary Help reach many faithful.
During the attack of the rebel army of Tai Ping, the superior of the Jesuit community of Shang Hai, p. Gu Zhen Sheng, climbed the mountain of Sheshan and invoked the Virgin: "If the diocese is saved from threatening rebel attack, build a basilica to thank the special protection of Our Lady."
The diocese did not suffer any damage. In September 1870 the father Gu announced its invocation to the Virgin and the promise to build a temple in gratitude : a statement by the faithful explained all the details of the situation asking bid for the construction of the basilica.
The May 24, 1871, provided for the feast of Mary Help of Christians, thanks to the generous contributions of the faithful, the Bishop of Shang Hai, Bishop Languillat, could lay the foundation stone of the new basilica to the presence of over 6,000 faithful.
The April 15, 1873 the same Languillat consecrated Bishop and inaugurated the great basilica on the top of the mountain. Since then Our Lady of She Shan has become the special protector of the Diocese of Shang Hai.
On 1 and May 24 Basilica welcomes pilgrims not only from China but also from different countries of Asia.
According to the request of Bishop Languillat Pope Pius IX in 1874 granted the benefit of the indulgence to all pilgrims who met the pilgrimage to this shrine during the month of May. The following year the community of Shang Hai also install several bells.
Amid the mountain, Catholics have the church built in 1894 Zhong Shan (meaning just "amid the mountain") dedicated to Mary Mediatrix. Then also built three chapels dedicated respectively to the Virgin Mary, St. Joseph and the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
Above the door of the church, according to Chinese tradition, there are two letters: "Rest a while by the small chapel half-way up the hill and offer your homage subsidiary. The sanctuary is up at the mountain top. Climb a few steps more and implore the mercies of the Mother of God "(Chinese translation of" Guide to the Catholic Church in China 2004 "). Along the trails have also been placed the 14 Stations of the Cross.
After some interventions necessary for the restoration and expansion of the temple, the present sanctuary dedicated to Our Lady Help of Christians in Sheshan is in Romanesque style, is 56 meters long, 25 wide and 17 high with a bell 38 meters.
On top of the bell tower has been placed a bronze statue of the Virgin that weighs 2 tons and is 3.87 meters tall. The Basilica of Our Lady of She Shan can accommodate more than 3,000 worshipers and is known as the first basilica in East Asia. It is the building of the largest Christian church in East Asia.
Every May, the church becomes a destination for pilgrims coming from all over the country for their annual pilgrimage, praying the Way of the Cross, the Rosary and attend Mass at this holy place.
Traditionally, many Catholics in the area were fishermen, who made the pilgrimage by boat. This tradition continues among local Catholics, with the result that the creeks around She Shan is often filled boat in May.
After the revolution, and restored to the Catholic community, the basilica resumed life each year particularly in the month of May come faithful throughout China and the Asia to pay homage to the Virgin.
Benedict XVI has published the "Pope Prayer to Our Lady of Sheshan" Virgin venerated in the famous shrine of Sheshan, on the occasion of the Day of Prayer for the Church in China, celebrated on Saturday, May 24, 2008 .
The desire of the Pope is that this sentence is read around the world that day, the liturgical memorial of Our Lady, Help of Christians, venerated with this title by thousands of faithful in Sheshan.
This is the text of speech:


Blessed Virgin, Mother of the Incarnate Word and our Mother, 
venerated under the title "Help of Christians" in the Shrine of Sheshan, which addresses the whole Church with devotion in China, today we come before you to implore your protection. 
Look upon the People of God and guide him with motherly care 
for the ways of truth and love, to always be 
a leaven of harmonious coexistence among all citizens. 
docile With 'yes' uttered in Nazareth, you allowed that 
the eternal Son of God became flesh in your virginal womb and 
thus to begin in history the work of Redemption, 
in which dedication willingly and generously cooperated, 
allowing the sword of pain to pierce your soul, 
until the supreme hour of the Cross, when on Calvary, standing beside your Son, who died that we might live. since you became, in a new way, the Mother 
of all those who receive your Son Jesus in faith 
and continue taking your Cruz. 
Madre of hope in the darkness of Holy Saturday meeting salisteal Easter morning with unwavering confidence, gives your children the ability to discern at all times, even in the darkest, the signs of God's loving presence. 
Lady our of Sheshan, sustain all those in China, 
amid their daily trials, continue to believe, to hope and to love, 
to never be afraid to speak of Jesus to the world and the world to Jesus. 
In the statue overlooking the Shrine you your Son 
into 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 Asia, pray for us now and forever. Amen.



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