Vatican City(AsiaNews) - The feast of Corpus Domini, which is celebrated today in many countries, "is a great act of public worship of the Eucharist, a Sacrament in which the Lord remains present beyond the time of celebration". The feast day also renews the tradition of Eucharistic adoration, whose importance Benedict XVI marked last Thursday by celebrating it in Rome.
In today's Angelus, the pope mentioned this religious practice. However, he focused his thoughts on Sunday services in Emilia-Romagna, and the areas hit by a recent quake. After the Marian prayer, he spoke about World Blood Donor Day, which is celebrated today, sponsored by the World Health Organization, expressing his "great appreciation" for blood donors, whose gift is a "form of solidarity that is indispensable to so many sick people."
"The feast of Corpus Domini," he said before the Marian prayer, "is a great act of public worship of the Eucharist, a Sacrament in which the Lord remains present beyond the time of celebration, staying with us forever as hours and days go by. Saint Justin, who left a communion to those present, had deacons bring bread to those who were absent."
For this reason, "the most sacred place in a church is where the Eucharist is held. Hence, I cannot think without being moved by the many churches seriously damaged in the recent earthquake in Emilia Romagna in which the Eucharistic body of Christ in the tabernacle remained under the rubbles."
"With great affection, I pray for these communities who must gather outdoors or in big tents with their priests to celebrate Holy Mass. I thank them for their witness and for what they are doing on behalf of the entire population. It is a situation that brings out even more the importance of being united in the name of the Lord. It also brings out the power of the Eucharistic Bread, also known as the 'pilgrims' bread. From sharing this bread comes and renews itself the capacity of sharing life and goods, carrying one another's burdens, and being hospitable and welcoming."