|Chinese Catholics carry a statue of Our Lady of Sheshan in procession in May 2009 (CNS/UCAN)|
Shanghai (AsiaNews) – Thousands of Catholics have come on pilgrimage to the shrine of Our Lady of Sheshan, on the feast day of Mary Help of Christians. But according to the Diocese of Shanghai, the lists of pilgrims include at least 20,000 people who made the journey during the month of May. Others are praying throughout China in their own communities.
Since Benedict XVI launched the World Day of Prayer for the Church in China in his Letter to Chinese Catholics (2007), 24 May has been an important date.
In his letter, the Pope emeritus called on Chinese Catholics to join him in prayer to boost their unity, love and pray for their persecutors, receive from the Churches of the whole world "fraternal solidarity and solicitude" as well as persevere in bearing witness.