Our Lady of China
Our Lady of China (Simplified Chinese:
中华圣母, Traditional Chinese: 中華聖母, pinyin: Zhōnghuá Shèngmǔ) is the name given to
an apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Donglu, China, first appearing in
At the close of the 1924 Shanghai Synod of
Bishops in China, the first national conference of bishops in the country,
Archbishop Celso Costantini (剛恆毅), Apostolic Delegate in China, along with all
the bishops of China, consecrated the Chinese people to the Blessed Virgin Mary.
In 1941, Pope Pius XII designated the feast day as an official feast of the
Catholic liturgical calendar.
In 1973, following the Second Vatican
Council, the Chinese Bishops conference, upon approval from the Holy See, placed
the feast day on the vigil (day preceding) of Mothers Day (the second Sunday of
During the Boxer rebellion, a great
number of soldiers attacked the village of Donglu, Hebei. The village consisted
of a small community of Christians founded by the Vincentian Fathers. The Virgin
Mary appeared in white, and a fiery horseman (believed to be St Michael) chased
away the soldiers. The pastor, Fr Wu, commissioned a painting of Mary with
Christ child dressed in golden imperial robes. This painting became the image of
Our Lady, Queen of China. Donglu became a place of pilgrimage in 1924. The image
was blessed and promulgated by Pope Pius XI in 1928.
There is a mosaic of Our Lady of China
in the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in
Washington, DC, established and dedicated in 2002 under the Most Rev. Michael J.
Bransfield. There has been some controversy because the image used in the mosaic
is not the officially approved image of Our Lady of China, but instead uses the
image of Our Lady of China and Baby Jesus painted by John Lu Hung Nien. The late
Cardinal Thomas Tien Keng-Hsin, the first Chinese Cardinal, used this image for
the prayer card for the persecuted in China, which was widely promoted in the
U.S.A. and Canada.
Several churches, chapels, and pastoral
centers around the world, predominantly those focused on ministry to
Chinese-speaking Catholics, have adopted the name, including a mission in
Washington, DC. St. Genevieve's Chinese Roman Catholic Church, Fresno,
California also honors Our Lady of China. There is a Chapel of OUr Lady of China
in the Diocese of Brooklyn, New York.
The National Shrine of Our Lady of China
is located in Binondo, Manila. There is also a Shrine of Our Lady of China in
Quezon City, Metro Manila, and a Chapel of Our Lady of China in Binondo Church,
Manila. There are a number a churches in the Philippines dedicated to Our Lady
of China: the Church of Our Lady of China in Baguio City, the parish of Our Lady
of China in Mindanao Chinatown, Davao City; and Chapels to honor her in Santa
Maria Parish Church, Iloilo City, and Sacred Heart Chinese Church, Cebu City.
Our Lady of China is regarded as a patroness of Chinese-Filipinos.
The Our Lady of Sheshan is another,
similar apparition which has attained like acclamation and fame among Chinese
to Our Lady of China
Our Lady of China, pray for us. Pray for the Church
in China. In Chinese culture, yellow is an imperial color, at one time
worn only by emperors and empresses. Our Lady is Queen of Heaven, and
her son is Christ the King.
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