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Birthdays to honour

Bishop Jin                  José Rizal

HONG KONG (SE): In Shanghai, activities were organised to celebrate the centenary of the birth of the late Bishop Aloysius Jin Luxian on June 20 and in the Filipino community what would have been the 155th birthday of independence icon, José Rizal, was marked on June 19.

In the run up to Bishop Jin’s centennial, his reputation was much marred as his legacy was manipulated publicly to promote the concept of an independent Church in China and laud the role played by the government Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association, which is widely regarded as a meddlesome bureau in Church affairs.

Bishop Jin walked a difficult path in life and, as a Jesuit, always lived by the motto of the society, give More.

A bust of Rizal stands guard in the main entrance of the Philippine Consulate General in Hong Kong, flanked by the national flag, which he did not live to see, and the flag of the Association of Nations of Southeast Asia, which his country strongly supports.

Bishop Jin died of natural causes in Shanghai on 27 April 2013, while Rizal met his death in front of a Spanish firing squad in his native Philippines on 30 December 1896 at the age of 35, failing by two years to see his beloved native land declare its independence from Spain.

The memory of both men has been a strong inspiration to those who took up their causes, but the ongoing obstacles that are placed in their way may make it difficult for them to rest in peace.

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