Chinese nuns first to take vows since 1949
Six nuns devoted their lives to Christ in Beijing were the first group of nuns in the country to take vows since Liberation in 1949.
Torrential rain did not prevent thousands of excited converts from congregating at the Xishiku Church, the biggest church in Beijing, to celebrate the historical moment a week ago. The vow ceremony took place before Fu Tieshan, chairman of the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association (the state-sponsored Catholic Church not aligned to the Vatican).
The 68-year-old Ying Mulan was the eldest among the six nuns. Born in a Catholic family, she was baptised eight days after her birth and educated in church schools. She became a doctor in her twenties.
Ying said her road to Catholicism was not that smooth, especially during the "cultural revolution" (1966-76). During the 20 years, she suffered a lot being forced to stop her medical practice and sent to the countryside to do hard labour. What's worst, she was forbidden to practise her religion.
"I saw the suffering as a test from God," said Ying philosophically, "I felt extremely honoured and happy when I was admitted to the mission in my later years."
5 Aug 2002