Chinese Catholic Posters
October 7, 2022 by Amy Welborn
I started making this part of a “Random” post – but then went down a rabbit hole, so here we are. It gets it own post.
I entered the rabbit hole here – via this Propagandopolis – a Twitter feed, but also a website that sells poster reproductions of old-school propogancda of all kinds – a thread on Chinese Catholic images.
Which then led me to this website of historic Christian Chinese posters. Phew. If you want to focus on Catholic images, just click here or enter “Catholic” in the search box.
Between 1927 and 1951 millions of Christian posters entered the Chinese market. Printed by the thousands onto the cheapest paper, most were used in street preaching and teaching. Others were hung in tearooms and shop windows, or put up with starch and brooms on city gates and local temples. The bright-colored posters briefly attracted attention before they tore, were covered by a more current notice, or dissolved in the rain. These visual messages competed aggressively for the soul of China. The Center for Global Christianity & Mission, funded by the Henry Luce Foundation, is pleased to make hundreds of these rare images digitally accessible and searchable for the first time.
It’s fascinating. Some of the images are representations of Biblical stories, others are catechetical in nature. I present a sample below, but by all means, go check it out yourself. Clicking on each image will take you to the page on the website.
How many Sacraments are there?
Top: Sacrifice to God
Picture in the middle: What is the Mass?
Bottom: Mass is the Great Sacrifice offered to God, in which the Blessed Eucharist is consecrated.
Top right: Cain and Able sacrifice to God
Top left: [Melchizedek] sacrifices to God
Bottom right: Animal Sacrifice
Bottom left: Emperors Sacrifice to Heaven
Title: To Save the World
Upper Right: Sacrificing his only son in order to manifest his respect and love for Heaven’s command
Lower Right: Giving up one’s office and losing one’s honor sitting in prison revering the Lord for all of one’s life
Upper Left: The consequence of original sin caused God the Provider ([Yehehua] Yi le) to utterly abandon his bodily glory
Lower Left: In order to redeem humans from sin, he prayed until holy blood flowed
Bottom: All the people of the world who receive this teaching rely on the special favor that comes from the blood that flowed on the holy cross, and are able to receive salvation of their souls and rise to Heaven.
Top: Why do you join the church?
Middle: To worship God
Couplets in the picture: Right – The grace of incarnation is greater than all [creation?]
Left – Atoned for man’s sin to heal all the living
Bottom: To save our souls
On the cross: True blessings from heaven
Top right corner: Creator of Heaven and Earth
Top left corner: Creator of the angles and humanity
Bottom right: Creator of all things
Bottom left: True Lord
Right side: Saint Moses
Bottom right: God’s Ten Commandments
On the tablets: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10
Left: Saint Peter
Bottom: The Church’s Four Precepts
On the book: The Church’s Four (Precepts)
Who is the head of the Catholic Church?
Top: The Holy Church is established by our Lord Jesus himself. All believers in the world belong to one church, just like one body.
Middle: Who is the head of the Catholic Church? The invisible head of the Church is Jesus, the Son of God.
Bottom: The visible head of the Church is the Pope, the successor of St. Peter.
Top picture: Under Jesus’ feet, from right to left: Europe, America, Australia, Africa, Asia
Bottom picture, from right to left: How is the Catholic Church different from other religious bodies? The Catholic Church is one, holy, catholic and apostolic, and is therefore very different from every other religious body.
Are members of the Church in communion?
Top: Are members of the Church in communion with each other?
Bottom: All members of the Church are in communion with each other. If I do some good work, others have a share in it; if others do good works, I have a share in them.
Middle words from right to left: Corporal works of mercy
Save the souls in Purgatory
Spiritual works of mercy
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