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Vatican mourns the death of Chinese Bishop Aloysius Jin Luxian, S.J

Vatican City, 30 April 2013: Bishop Aloysius Jin Luxian, S.J, Coadjutor Bishop of Shanghai, passed away on 27 April at the age of 96, said a communique from the Secretary of State of the Vatican City. He was born in 1916 in the district of Nanshi of the city of Shanghai. Attracted by the spirituality and life of the Society of Jesus, he joined the Jesuits in 1938 and took his first religious vows on 8 September 1940. After completing his studies in philosophy and theology, he was ordained priest in the Cathedral of Shanghai 19 May 1945.

Between 1947 and 1948 he completed his religious education in Paris, then from 1948 to 1950 he attended the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, where he obtained a degree in theology. During the summer vacation he went to Germany, France and England, to learn various languages. With the advent of the Republic of China, in 1950 he was called at home and, as a result of the political events of the time and the expulsion of the foreign Jesuits, in 1951 he was appointed rector of the Regional Seminary.

In 1955 he was arrested and subjected to lengthy interrogations. He was sentenced to 18 years in prison, plus 9 for rehabilitation. He was released after 27 years in prison.

In 1982 he was allowed to reopen the seminary to Sheshan. In 1985 he agreed to be consecrated bishop for the diocese of Shanghai, but without papal approval. He received papal approval after 15 years, becoming Coadjutor Bishop of Shanghai, after having expressed his loyalty to the Pope and asking forgiveness for his illegitimate ordination.

The Archbishop was a key personality in the history of the Catholic Church in China over the last 50 years. He was a man of great culture. His preparation, his studies in Italy, proficiency in several European languages ​​and his human sympathy enabled him to keep in contact with various personalities and enjoy the esteem and respect of many.

Under the leadership of Bishop Aloysius Jin Luxian, the diocese of Shanghai has had a great development. The pastoral care of the Bishop was impressive, modernizing in many ways the Diocese and trying to keep it under the guidance of the pastors. He had particular attention to the preparation of new priests and religious, by launching the appropriate training facilities, such as the well-known Major Seminary, opened in 1985 in Sheshan.

One of the last acts of the Bishop Jin was the Pastoral Letter on the occasion of Chinese New Year of the Dragon (23 January 2012), entitled "Xu Guangqi: A man for all seasons." In it, the prelate urged the faithful to follow the example of Paul Xu Guangqi, the first high ranking Catholic of the empire, a friend of Father Matteo Ricci.

The diocese of Shanghai has about 150,000 Catholics, one hundred priests, 6 deaneries, 37 parishes and 140 churches, In its territory is located the famous pilgrimage Marian Shrine of Sheshan.

In 2012 was published the first volume of his memoirs "By learning and re-learning from 1916 to 1982", which is the most significant events of his life. In his life he sought to keep alive the love of Christ and the Church, in loyalty to their country and its culture.
Source: VR Sedoc


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