Over 30,000 Catholics from the unofficial Church had gathered for Mass on May 23, 1995, at the Dong Lu shrine on the vigil of the Feast of Our Lady, Mary Help of Christians. There were four bishops of the unofficial Church concelebrating the Mass, and nearly 100 unofficial priests standing in the open field.
Suddenly, during the opening prayer and again during the consecration, the people observed the sun spinning from right to left. Light rays of various shades of color emanated from the sky. Participants saw Our Lady of China and the child Jesus in the sky. The Virgin Mary appeared as a beautiful lady in white, surrounded by light. They also saw the Holy Family, the Heavenly Father, and the Holy Spirit. The phenomenon lasted about 20 minutes.
The Public Security barred all pilgrims from joining anyone on the hill. The police forced people back into buses and trains without offering any explanation. Still, as many as 100,000 of the faithful successfully reached the area by finding alternative ways to get there to celebrate the Feast of Mary Help of Christians on May 24, 1995.
An official government announcement forbade anyone from going to the Dong Lu shrine. The Chinese government mobilized 5,000 troops, supported by dozens of armored cars and helicopters. They destroyed and leveled that Marian shrine, confiscated the statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary and arrested many priests.
However, the picture of Our Lady of China survived and remains intact. Only a copy of that picture was actually used in the church. The original picture had been hidden in the wall behind the copy, and this was recovered safely. It is now in the protective custody of Chinese priests who carry out their activities secretly.
The Cardinal Kung Foundation is promoting the celebration of an annual Mass for the persecuted underground Roman Catholic Church in China. The Foundation has chosen the Sunday that falls before October 1st as the annual date for this Mass. October 1st is the National Day of the founding of the People’s Republic of China and also the anniversary of Pope John Paul II’s canonization of the 120 blessed martyr saints of China.
Although the Church has not issued an official judgment of the overall apparitions at Dong Lu, China, Pope Pius XI’s establishment of the church there as an official Marian Shrine constituted implicit approval.