Thursday, 9 November 2006
Venerable Brothers in the Episcopate and in the Priesthood,
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Your visit gives me great pleasure and I greet you all with affection. In the first place, I greet Cardinal Jozef Tomko, whom I thank for expressing your common sentiments and for telling me about your Plenary Assembly, which has been taking place in the past few days.
I cordially greet the Members of the Pontifical Committee for International Eucharistic Congresses and the National Delegates who have taken part in this Meeting in order to prepare together for the upcoming 49th International Eucharistic Congress. It is scheduled to take place in Quebec in June 2008.
I next greet the representatives of the Local Preparatory Committee of this great ecclesial event, as well as the small but significant group of Adorers of the Eucharist.
You come from various parts of the world and the purpose of your Meeting is to prepare for this International Eucharistic Congress: a celebration of special importance to the whole of the Church. As Cardinal Jozef Tomko has just recalled, it constitutes a unanimous response of the People of God to the Lord's love, supremely manifested in the Mystery of the Eucharist.
It is true! The Eucharistic Congresses that take place from time to time in different places and on different continents are always a source of spiritual renewal, an opportunity to become better acquainted with the Blessed Eucharist, which is the most precious treasure Christ has bequeathed to us. They are also an encouragement to the Church to spread Christ's love in every social milieu and to witness to it unhesitatingly.
Moreover, ever since your praiseworthy Pontifical Committee was established, its proposed goal is "to make ever better known, loved and served Our Lord Jesus Christ in his Eucharistic Mystery, the centre of the Church's life and of her mission for the world's salvation".
Each one of these Eucharistic Congresses therefore represents a providential opportunity to solemnly show to humanity: "The Eucharist, a gift of God for the life of the world", as the basic text for the upcoming Congress says.
This Document was presented during your Meeting by Cardinal Marc Ouellet, Archbishop of Quebec, to whom I address a special greeting. Not only those who have the opportunity to take part in person but also the various Christian communities who are invited to join it in spirit will be able to benefit from the special graces that the Lord will dispense at the International Eucharistic Congress.
In those days, the Catholic world will keep the eyes of its heart on the supreme mystery of the Eucharist in order to draw from it a new apostolic and missionary impetus. This is why it is important to prepare oneself well and I thank you, dear brothers and sisters, for the work you are carrying out to help the faithful on every continent to understand ever better the value and importance of the Eucharist in our lives.
Furthermore, the presence among you of several representatives of the Adorers of the Eucharist and the mention that you made, Cardinal Tomko, to the "Federación Mundial de la Adoración Nocturna", enables me to recall how helpful the rediscovery of Eucharistic Adoration is for many Christians.
In this regard, I am pleased to think back to my experience last year with the young people in Cologne on the occasion of World Youth Day, and in St Peter's Square with the children preparing for their First Communion accompanied by their families and catechists.
How great is humanity's need today to rediscover the source of its hope in the Sacrament of the Eucharist! I thank the Lord because many parishes, as well as celebrating Holy Mass devoutly, are educating the faithful in Eucharistic Adoration, and I hope also in view of the upcoming International Eucharistic Congress that this practice will continue to spread.
Dear brothers and sisters, as you well know, the next Post-Synodal Exhortation will be dedicated to the Eucharist. It will present the suggestions that were made at the last Synod of Bishops, dedicated precisely to the Eucharistic Mystery, and I am sure that this Document will also help the Church to prepare and to celebrate with interior participation the Eucharistic Congress that will be taking place in June 2008.
From this moment, I entrust it to the Virgin Mary, the first and incomparable adorer of Christ in the Eucharist. May Our Lady protect and accompany each one of you and your communities and make the work you are doing fruitful, with a view to the important ecclesial event in Quebec.
For my part, I assure you of my remembrance in prayer and warmly bless you all.
© Copyright 2006 - Libreria Editrice Vaticana
Copyright © Dicastero per la Comunicazione - Libreria Editrice Vaticana