Skip to main content

Dong-Lu Shrine

Dong-Lu Shrine

Q: What do we know about Dong-Lu?

A: There are three apparitions listed for 1900 in China: one in Beijing (apparition of Our Lady dressed in white accompanied by St. Michael as warrior with big white wings surrounded by a multitude of angels). A monument was erected to commemorate this. Again, during the revolution of the Boxers there was a weeping statue of Our Lady in the village of San Tai Dse. The weeping ceased only after the enemy soldiers put an end to their siege and withdrew from the village. The third alleged apparition occurred in Dong-Lu. Here, again, we have a wonderful Lady appearing in the skies recognized by many people as Mary, and implored to protect the city. As the town had indeed been spared from war and destruction, a beautiful church was built to thank Mary for the protection received and to keep alive the event and its importance.

It is reported that a Chinese priest moved among the defenders of Dong-Lu and constantly invoked the Mother of God to save his people. The bullets of the rebels failed to shatter the apparition posed over the Mission Church. Other sources report that the rebels were put to flight by a "strange horseman." The Chinese pastor of Dong-Lu, desiring to commemorate the unusual occurrence, secured a painting of the Dowager Empress Tze-Hsi dresssed in her magnificent imperial robes. He took it to an artist, and had him paint the image of the Madonna with the Christ child. This picture of the queenly Virgin Mother, dressed in the sumptuous robes of a non-Christian empress, was hung in the little church at Dong-Lu which then became a place of pilgrimage, and reportedly still is (1946). The Madonna of Dong-Lu is addressed as Our Lady of China.

The image was proclaimed Our Lady of China at the 1924 Synod of Shanghai. At the same gathering, also known as national council, Bishop Henri Lecroart made the proposal to consecrate all of China, Mongolia, Manchuria and Tibet to Mary under the title, Queen of China. The consecration was made by the Apostolic Delegate, C. Constantini, on June 12, 1924.

Image of our Lady of China. Mary seated with a toddler Jesus standing on her knee. Both wearing crowns.

Addendum: Background of Our Lady of China.

Our Lady of China appeared near Beijing. It stands in a village named Dong-Lu. A Poor Mission was started there by the Vincentian Fathers. It was a poor place, perhaps the poorest in the whole region, formerly called "the place of beggars." In 1900, there were some seven hundred Christians gathered about the little hamlet. Suddenly, the famous Boxer rebellion swept China and grew to such proportions, that even small places like Dong-Lu could not escape its fury. In April 1900, a force of ten thousand rioters attacked Dong-Lu. The soldiers, in senseless rage, started to shoot into the sky. Then suddenly they fled, frightened, and never came back again. According to the legend, a woman in white appeared above the settlement, and the rioters' bullets were aimed at her. When the apparition did not fade, the attackers had not even time to reorganize because a strange horseman put them to flight. Soon after, they had disappeared beyond the horizon. Father Wu, a Chinese priest, confessed to his flock that he invoked the help of Mary. A new church was built on the site and Father Wu placed a picture of Our Lady on the main altar. He asked the painter to dress Our Lady in the royal robes of the dowager Empress Tzi-Hsi. The image of the Blessed Virgin in the royal robes of the pagan Empress, with the Christ Child on her knees, is a vivid expression of Chinese tradition. It is a shrine of the Mother and her Son. Though her robes be pagan, she belongs to every age, to all people and to every race. As was told and promised in the Old Testament: "I am the mother of fair love, and of fear, and of knowledge, and of holy hope."

The Dong-Lu church was completely destroyed recently by the Chinese Communists, but the picture of Our Lady of China remains intact because only a copy of the picture was used in the church. The original was hidden in the wall behind the copy, and this was recovered and found intact. It is now in possession of Chinese priests who carry out their activities in disguise.

All About Mary includes a variety of content, much of which reflects the expertise, interpretations and opinions of the individual authors and not necessarily of the Marian Library or the University of Dayton. Please share feedback or suggestions with


Marian Library

Roesch Library
300 College Park
Dayton, Ohio 45469 - 1390

Study Mary

Study the theology and history of Mary at the University of Dayton.

Learn More

Keyword Search

Would you like to begin a new keyword search?

Get Started