Last Holy See appointed Bishop dies at the age of 92
The religious funeral took place yesterday of the last Chinese Bishop appointed by the Holy See.
Bishop Matthias Duan Yinming of Wanxian, died on Wednesday at the age of 92. He had been in hospital since last August.
His body will be cremated after a civil funeral today, and the ashes kept at the Sacred Heart church at Longbao, a suburb of Wanxian in central China.
Thousands came to pay their last respects to the Catholic Bishop who was loved and esteemed by all. The priests who assisted him at his bedside day and night to the end, told the Rome-based news agency Fides that Bishop Duan's last words were of encouragement for the young clergy especially and for his people.
"Be faithful to your ministry, take care of the people and build up the Church".
A sign that he was held in high esteem by all was the official statement issued by the Chinese government for the death of the Catholic prelate, which says: "Bishop Duan did much for China and for the Catholic Church in China. He was loved and esteemed by all".
Loyal to the Universal Church and the Bishop of Rome, he was quoted as saying: "I pray for the Pope every day, for his mission, his health and I ask the Holy Spirit to sustain the Pope's service to humanity. I would also like to express to him my profound loyalty. On behalf of Chinese Catholics: I can say that they love him deeply, they pray daily for him and join me in this message of congratulations."