CHINA – VATICAN
The bishop, not recognized by the government, wishes to thank the Holy See for helping them in the moment of the coronavirus crisis. A novena also to ask God for an end to the epidemic in Europe. Caritas Hong Kong collects funds and masks for Italy. Former Chinese students in Italy collect donations for the Gemelli Polyclinic and other hospitals.
Rome (AsiaNews) – The diocese of Wenzhou (Zhejiang) has decided to launch a fundraiser to buy surgical and protective masks to be sent to Italy and the Holy See, to meet the needs and dire lack of equipment created by the demands of the coronavirus pandemic.
Msgr. Pietro Shao Zhumin is bishop of the diocese. He is not recognized by the government, and is often arrested or sequestered. This is his attempt to express gratitude, especially to the Holy See which in February sent 700,000 masks to China – at the height of the crisis – a part of which were distributed to Wenzhou. The bishop also promoted a prayer novena among his faithful to stop the epidemic in Europe.
Several other Chinese dioceses – such as Xian – are collecting donations to help Italy which is currently the country with the highest number of coronavirus victims. Even the Caritas of Hong Kong is holding fundraisers and gifting masks to Italy.
AsiaNews also received news of fundraisers by former Chinese students in Italy to be donated to the Gemelli Polyclinic and other healthcare institutions.
Below the text of the appeal by Msgr. Shao Zhumin.
Communication regarding donations addressed to areas affected by the epidemic
To all of my brothers and sisters in the Lord of the diocese,
Peace to you!
The Coronavirus epidemic is affecting the whole world, reaping innocent lives, including many healthcare workers who have laid their lives down in their service. This situation has cast a shadow of fear over our own existence. Right now, Europe who had provided us with help in our time of need is seriously hit by the epidemic, in particular the Holy See and Italy.
Due to the lack of protective materials, cases of infection increase day by day, with an extremely high mortality rate; many cases of contagion have also been confirmed within the clergy and religious congregations. During the epidemic period in our country, the Holy See prayed for the epidemic in China, giving us many protective materials. According to some sources, the Holy See donated 70 thousand protective masks to China, a part of which was reserved for the Wenzhou area. This gesture of love still warms our heart today. Now that they are threatened by the coronavirus, we must in turn restore everything we have received. We held a novena so that the epidemic in China could be contained; now we also pray for these areas affected by the coronavirus.
Therefore, I decided to make an appeal:
1. Let us continue to hold a novena for the epidemic, in particular so the epidemic in Europe may be contained;
2. Each parish priest must collect donations within his own parish, to purchase masks and protective suits. The faithful are asked to do everything possible to help their brothers and sisters in the affected areas;
3. The deadline for donations is the fifth Sunday of Lent, and parishes will deliver them to the diocese.
During the period of Lent, the words of the apostle Saint Paul continue to echo in my heart: “We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body” (2 Cor. 2, 4-10 ). We are all the Body of Christ, let this love be expressed also in our life. God bless you for your generosity!
The bishop of the diocese of Wenzhou