At the end of the Regina Coeli on Sunday, May 24, Pope Francis greeted Chinese Catholics, showing them his support, affection, prayer and closeness. He reminded them that the Feast of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary, Help of Christians and Patroness of China. Vatican News published the Holy Father’s words:
“Dear Catholic brothers and sisters in China, I would like to assure you that the universal Church, of which you are an important part, shares your hopes, and supports you in life’s trials. We accompany you in praying for a new outpouring of the Holy Spirit, so that the light and beauty of the Gospel, the power of God for the salvation of believers, may shine in you.”
Vatican News also recalls how the feast of Mary Help of Christians was celebrated for the first time in 2007 by Pope Benedict XVI with a letter addressed to Chinese Catholics. It also recalls how the World Day of Prayer for the Church in China is celebrated every year on May 24. Moreover, Pope Francis, from the start of his pontificate, has always shown concern for the Asian country. On Sept. 22, 2018, the historic provisional agreement between the Holy See and the People’s Republic of China was reached. Cardinal Parolin, Vatican Secretary of State, defined it as a point of arrival from a long journey, but above all, as a starting point for a new phase of collaboration for the good of the Chinese Catholic community and for harmony in all of society.