Below is Vatican Radio’s English translation of the note issued by the Vatican Secretary of State on the death of Bishop Aloysius Jin Luxian of the Diocese of Shanghai
On Saturday, April 27, His
Excellency Mons. Aloysius Jin Luxian S.I., Coadjutor bishop of Shanghai
(continental China), passed away at the age of 96.
was born on June 20, 1916 in the Nanshi district in the city of
Shanghai. In September 1926 he began his primary school studies at Saint
Ignatius College; then, in 1932, he entered Sacred Heart of Jesus
seminary, and later attended the Sacred Heart of Mary major seminary.
Attracted to the spirituality and life of the Society of Jesus, in 1938
he began his novitiate, and on September 8, 1940 he made his first vows.
Having concluded his studies in philosophy and theology at Xianxian
(Hebei), he was ordained to the priesthood on May 19, 1945 in the
cathedral of Shanghai.
Between 1947 and 1948 he completed his
religious formation in Paris. Then, from 1948 to 1950, he attended the
Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome where he received a degree
Theology. He spent his summer vacations in Germany, France, and England
in order to learn the respective languages.
With the advent of
the People’s Republic of China, he was called to return to his native
country in 1950 and, following the political events at that time and the
expulsion of foreign Jesuits, he was nominated the temporary rector of
the regional seminary of Xuhui (Shanghai) in 1951.
Fr Jin Luxian
was arrested the night of September 8, 1955 and was subject to a long
interrogation, ending with a trial in 1960: he was sentenced to 18 years
in prison, plus 9 years for rehabilitation. From 1963 to 1967 he was
then detained at Qincheng (Pechino) prison where, by reason of his
considerable knowledge of foreign languages, was made part of a group of
inmate translators who worked for the State. In 1967 he was transferred
to the rehabilitation centre in Fushun and in 1973 to another in
Qincheng where he remained until 1975. He was then sent to a labour camp
in Henan, and imprisoned again from 1979 to 1982: he was released after
27 years in prison.
In 1982 he received permission to reopen the
seminary in Sheshan. In 1985 Fr Jin Luxian agreed to be consecrated
bishop for the Diocese of Shanghai, but without papal approval. He
obtained approval some 15 years later, becoming the coadjutor bishop of
Shanghai, after having shown his fidelity to the pope and asking pardon
for his illegitimate ordination.
The prelate 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, his proficiency in various European languages and his human
compassion allowed him to keep in contact with various personalities and
enjoy the respect of many.
Under the leadership of Bishop
Aloysius Jin Luxian, the diocese of Shanghai developed a great deal. He
had a powerful pastoral commitment, modernizing the dioceses in many
ways and trying to ensure they remained under the leadership of the
pastors, using also to this end the respect which the civil authorities
had for him. He was particularly attentive to the preparation of new
priests and religions, launching proper formation facilities, such as
the Major Seminary, opened in 1985 in Sheshan (Shanghai), and giving
back, at the same time, a greatly appreciated service not only to his
dioceses, but also to China.
One of his final acts as bishop Jin
wrote the pastoral letter on the occasion of the Chinese new year of the
Dragon (January 23, 2012) with the title “Xu Guangqi: A Man for All
In it the Prelate invited the faithful to follow the
example of Paul Xu Guangqi, the first high-ranking Catholic in the
empire, friend of Fr. Matteo Ricci, by promoting the cause for his
There are 150,000 Catholics in the diocese of
Shanghai, some one hundred priests, six deacons, 37 parishes, and 140
churches. In its territory is one of the Marian Shrine of Sheshan, a
national pilgrimage site. The most important social institutions include
the house for the elderly, a house for spiritual retreats, a soup
kitchen, and the Typography of Qibao.
In 2012 he published the first volume of his memoirs, Learning and Re-learning 1916-1982,
in which he recounts the most significant times in his life. A life in
which he sought to keep the love of Christ and the Church alive, in
loyalty to his country and culture.