Vatican City (AsiaNews) The "Special Year" of the Eucharist is not far from the John Paul's thoughts. In today's Angelus he mentioned the upcoming International Eucharistic Congress in Guadalajara (Mexico) inviting the faithful to come next Sunday, October 17, to St Peter's Square for the solemn mass. Broadcast live, the celebration will inaugurate the Year of the Eucharist and coincide with the Congress' closing in Mexico.
Some days ago the Pope released Mane nobiscum, Domine (Stay with us, Lord), an apostolic letter whose purpose is to lead faithful to understand the meaning and the gestures of the Eucharist. "By acknowledging the Risen Christ in breaking the bread," the Pontiff said, "let the faithful be prepared to bear witness through charity and hard work".
As proof that the Eucharist is for Christians the source of mission and hard work the Pope, speaking before the Marian prayer, reminded people of the 25 years of Caritas in Rome, years of commitment to the poor and the needy.
Among those gathered John Paul II also greeted the participants to the 'Social Week' organised by Italian Catholics that was recently held in Bologna to discuss "Democracy: New Scenarios, New Powers".
In his letter the Pope reminds Christians that the Eucharist is a "great school" of peace, solidarity and communion and must inspire those responsible for political, social and cultural life.
Here is what John Paul II said before the Angelus:
Today, the International Eucharistic Congress opens in Guadalajara, Mexico; its theme: The Eucharist, Light and Life of the New Millennium. I spiritually join this important ecclesial event that marks the beginning of the Year of the Eucharist.
For this special Year, I have addressed an Apostolic Letter that begins with Mane nobiscum, Domine (Stay with us, Lord) (cf. Lk, 24: 29). May this invocation echo in every Christian community; may the faithful who acknowledge the Risen Christ "in the breaking of the bread" (Lk, 24: 35) be prepared to bear witness through charity and hard work.
A privileged demonstration of the local Church's charity is the diocesan Caritas. In Rome, Caritas is celebrating 25 years since its founding. I thank God for the many good deeds that have come about in these years and encourage the Church community to continue teaching and helping the poor and the needy. Let us commend these intentions to the intercession of Mary, the Most Holy, "Eucharistic Woman" (Ecclesia de Eucharistia, ch. VI).
After the Angelus the Pope said:
Greetings to the participants in the 'Social Week' organised by Italian Catholics that was recently held in Bologna to discuss "Democracy: New Scenarios, New Powers"! May the ideas coming out of this important meeting further stir the Italian Church community into bearing more incisive witness in every walk of the country's life!
Next Sunday afternoon, I shall preside over a solemn celebration that will launch the Year of the Eucharist for the entire Church. I shall do so in spiritual communion with all those who will be bringing to an end the International Eucharistic Congress in Guadalajara, Mexico. I invite the faithful to come in great numbers for this important ecclesial event so that together we may honour Christ, Light and Life of the New Millennium.