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Saint's Peace Project

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Saint's Peace Project
Steadfast diplomacy—strengthening mutual assistance for mutual benefits

Vice President Chen leads delegation to attend canonization ceremony of Mother Teresa of Calcutta


The Holy See announced in 2015 that the canonization of Mother Teresa of Calcutta would take place on September 4, 2016. In light of the 74-year history of formal diplomatic ties between the Republic of China (Taiwan) and the Holy See, the importance of our bilateral cooperation and exchanges, Mother Teresa's 1985 visit to Taiwan, and the service that her Missionaries of Charity are still providing in Taipei and Tainan, President Tsai Ing-wen appointed Vice President Chen Chien-jen to attend the canonization ceremony as her special envoy. The vice president, a devout Catholic, led a delegation to attend the ceremony, and convey sincere best wishes to the pope on behalf of the government, people, and Catholic brethren of Taiwan.

The codename of the vice president's trip, Sheng Ho, literally means "saint's peace," and refers to attending Mother Teresa's canonization ceremony to show respect for the 1979 Nobel Peace laureate's contributions to world peace. Vice President Chen and his wife, accompanied by National Security Council Deputy Secretary-General Tseng Hou-jen (曾厚仁) and Deputy Foreign Minister Wu Chih-Chung (吳志中), boarded a plane on the evening of September 2 to depart for the Holy See, and returned to Taiwan in the early morning hours of September 8.

Itinerary (Local time)



The canonization of Mother Teresa at the Holy See attracted worldwide attention. Vice President Chen, acting as Taiwan's deputy head of state, attended a formal and public international event held by a diplomatic ally. With the world watching, he interacted with senior Holy See clergy members and envoys from around the globe. This clearly demonstrated the Holy See's friendship toward Taiwan, and highlighted our religious freedom and democracy. The visit thus helped to strengthen the alliance of shared values between Taiwan and the Holy See, enhanced our nation's international status, and burnished Taiwan's positive image.


Vice President Chen's trip marked the first visit to the Vatican by a top Taiwanese leader under President Tsai Ing-wen's administration. The vice president and his delegation received warm hospitality and high-level courtesies from the Holy See. Vice President Chen exchanged greetings with Pope Francis, met with Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin, and attended a social function with senior members of the Holy See clergy. All these activities helped to build friendships at the Holy See, and thus strengthened and consolidated the diplomatic relationship.


During his meeting with the Vatican Secretary of State, Vice President Chen personally handed over a €100,000 check for earthquake relief. Cardinal Parolin offered praise and thanks for the donation, which helped to strengthen and highlight the long-standing cooperation and partnership between Taiwan and the Holy See in the area of international humanitarian aid.

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