CANONIZATIONS: GREAT ENCOURAGEMENT TO CHURCH IN CHINA, SAYS CARDINAL
Rome, (NE) The canonization of several Chinese martyrs to take place on October 1 "is a great
honour for the Chinese people and a great encouragement for the Church in China", said Cardinal
Paul Shan Kuo-hsi, Bishop of Kaohsiung, in declarations to Fides agency. The Cardinal will be
present for the celebration on October 1 and the next day he will preside a Thanksgiving Mass in St
Peter's Basilica. "Since I was a child I use to pray for this day", he said, recalling that "everyone has
their saints and now China has too!"
"Saints are important in the Church. In Europe all the particular Churches in the different countries
have their own saints. On the Asian continent, Japan, Korea, Vietnam, the Philippines all have their
canonized saints and martyrs." The Church was established in China much earlier than in these other
countries. More than 700 years ago Franciscan missionary Giovanni da Montecorvino arrived in
China and he became the first Archbishop of Peking, Cardinal Shan recalled.
The Chinese Bishop also expressed his sadness for the reaction of the Chinese government to the
canonization. "I think it is a mistake to give the event a political interpretation… In other cases, the
governments of Japan, Philippines, Vietnam did not react in this way: they saw the canonization of
the martyrs as a great honour for the nation." The Cardinal also informed that in China a novena has
been prayed in every diocese as a preparation, and on October 28 in Taipei a solemn Mass of
Thanksgiving will take place.
The canonization "will be a source of great encouragement for the Christians who are persecuted.
Catholics have prayed and hoped for this, for a long time. I remember many years ago when I was
a child and I lived in China we used to pray for the canonization of our martyrs because this is a
great honour for us and a call to be witnesses of the faith. Our motives are only religious, not