Mariology

“Mondays with Mary” – Our Lady of China (Donglu)

During the Boxer Rebellion in China, in April of 1900, around 10,000 hostile troops attacked a small Christian mission village made up of 700-1000 Christians. The mission village was founded by the Vincentian Fathers. As the soldiers attacked the little village, the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared over the village dressed in brilliant white attire and with a very intense bright light shining around her. Angry at her appearance, the hostiles began to shoot into the sky, however, only have a few short moments, they began to flee. They fled in fear because they were being chased by a fiery horseman, possibly St. Michael the Archangel.

The Pastor at the time, Father Wu, prayed that Our Lady would intercede and save the small village. To honor Our Lady in saving the small village of Christians, a church was built in her honor to remind all there of the Blessed Mother’s love, intervention, and protection of the village.

The Pastor also commissioned a painting based on the image of the Dowager Empress Cixi, that would serve as a background for the image of Our Lady hold the Christ Child. When the commissioned artist finished the painting, it was hung above the main altar in the Dong Lu Church. From that moment on, the church became a place of pilgrimage for the faithful. The image became known as “Our Lady of China” or “Our Lady Queen of China” after the first synodal gathering of Catholic Bishops took place in the country during the year of 1924.

Our Lady of China – painted by John Lu Hung Nien (1924).

The image of Our Lady of China was officially promulgated in 1928 by Pope Pius XI. In 1932, he also officially approved the site of the apparition as a Marian Shrine. In 1941, his successor, Pope Pius XII, gave the feast an official place on the Catholic liturgical calendar. Unfortunately, the shrine was demolished and set on fire later that year after a Japanese artillery bombardment during World War II.

Thirty-two years later, in 1973, the Conference of Chinese Bishops chose to move the feast day on the day preceding Mother’s Day, normally the second Sunday in May. In 1992, the Shrine was rebuilt in northern China.

On May 23, 1995, 30,000 plus Catholics of the unofficial Church (underground Church) gathered on the site of the Donglu shrine to celebrate Mass on the Feast of Our Lady, Mary Help of Christians. Four Bishops and nearly 100 priests from the underground Church were in attendance. During the opening prayer and during the consecration, witnesses claimed to have seen the sun spinning from right to left and rays of light of different shades in the sky. The acclaimed miracle lasted for nearly 20 minutes. Images of Our Lady, the Child Jesus, the Holy Family, the Heavenly Father, and the Holy Spirit were seen by the faithful.

Our Lady of China is celebrated and venerated throughout the world, most notably in the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C., and throughout much of the Philippines. The National Shrine of Our Lady of China is located in Binondo, Manila.

Mosaic image of Our Lady of China (Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Washington, D.C.)

Our Lady of China…Pray for Us

Sources:

“Our Lady of China.” Saint Zita of Lucca | MaryPages, http://www.marypages.com/china,-our-lady-of-en.html.

“Our Lady Of Dong Lu, China – Marian Apparitions | O Clarim in English.” O Clarim in English MARIAN APPARITIONS 77 Aokpe Nigeria Comments, http://www.oclarim.com.mo/en/2017/03/10/our-lady-of-dong-lu-china-marian-apparitions/.

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