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February 24, 2010

Prayer & Song for China: St. Nikolai Velimirovich

(a children's song)

Great is our land, truly,
From Tibet all the way to the sea,
Gardens and fields spreadeth abundantly,
Mountains green, and rivers mighty.
China, China, our Cathay,
Land as paradise, 'tis fair and gay!

Great are our emperors,
All the way from Huang Di the glorious,
Of yore, our sages and builders,
Like Qin Shihuang and Confucius.
China, China, our Cathay,
Land as paradise, 'tis fair and gay!

But behold, Christ cometh,
Bringing the keys of Heaven;
With Him, let China shineth,
Of the Bread of Life shalt be as leaven.
Then shall China, our Cathay,
A true Paradise of God becometh this day.

Son of the East, King of the Universe,
Is crucified anew in the Occident,
Across the Great Wall doth He traverse,
Looking for shelter in the Orient.
China, China, our Cathay,
With Christ a true Paradise doth array.

Christ Everlasting, the King of Heaven,
To the East now offereth His Dominion,
And first inviteth the Chinese brethren.
Come unto Him, even if yellow in complexion!
China, China, our Cathay,
With Christ a true Paradise doth array!

Prayer for the Chinese People

O, Omniscient God, Sun above the suns, Light above the lights, Who encompassest in Thy sight all the creatures in heaven and on earth; Thou art the Only One Who knowest the number of Angelic hosts, and also of ants upon the sand, birds in the air and fishes in the water — pour down Thy mercy on the Chinese people, the most plentiful among Thy peoples inhabiting the earth, we pray Thee now.

Lord, Thou hast given unto the Chinese people great life wisdom, hence to know how to till the earth, to do commerce in honesty, to obey the government, to show filial piety, to keep the house neat, and to love order and harmony in everything.

But this wisdom can serve man only unto the grave, 'tis only a step away from the cradle of each mortal. The Chinese people so desireth of Thine everlasting Wisdom, O Lord, Who incarnate on earth in Thine Only-begotten Son, which doth carry the soul beyond the grave and lead her into the Kingdom of Heaven.

O Good Creator, O Boundless Love, can it be that Thy love could ever have a limit before the millions in Thy great Chinese nation? No, that cannot be! But Thou, in Thy marvelous providence hast established the time in which the Chinese people will come forth and venerate the Cross of Christ, receiving within themselves the most pure Blood of Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit.

Make that time come sooner, O Abundant in Mercy! Provide help to the missionaries of the Cross and Resurrection in the land of China! Open thou the doors of Thy grace to China, overlooking our iniquities. So the land of the yellow people would also reverberate with songs and exclamations: "Thy Nativity, O Christ, our God" and "Christ is risen from the dead!". O Most Holy Trinity, let it be so through the intercession of all the Apostles and Evangelists.

Let it be so, indeed!

Originally published in Serbian in the Little Missionary, 1934 — 1938. English translation by Igor Radev here.