“Without Sunday, we cannot live”

Source: FSSPX News


During the Angelus on May 22, Benedict XVI recalled the importance of Sunday for the Catholic faithful and greeted the participants of the Eucharistic Congress in Bari. The pope stressed that “each parish is called to rediscover the beauty of Sunday, the day of Our Lord.” He emphasized the theme of the Eucharistic Congress: “Without Sunday, we cannot live.” In his Apostolic Letter, on the occasion of the year dedicated to the Eucharist Mane nobiscum Domine, published on October 7, 2004, John Paul II had already reiterated the importance of Sunday.

“I am happy today to greet the participants of the Eucharistic Congress of the Italian Church, which has begun in Bari,” declared the pope. “While waiting to go there myself next Sunday for the Eucharistic celebration, I am united spiritually to this important ecclesial event.” The pope called to mind all of “the children, teenagers and young people who will make their first communion around this time.”

On May 22, the Cardinal Vicar of the diocese of Rome and president of the Italian Bishops Conference, Camillo Ruini, special envoy of the pope to this 24th National Eucharistic Conference in Bari, presided over the opening Mass. Benedict XVI will be there for the closing Mass on May 29. This will be the first apostolic visit to Italy of his pontificate.

On May 15, an ecumenical celebration took place, presided over jointly by Cardinal Walter Kasper, president of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the Unity of Christians, and by representatives from Orthodox churches. – The town of Bari keeps the relics of Saint Nicolas, patron saint of Russia, and is a place of pilgrimage for the Orthodox.

During the Congress, special attention was given to young people. They were given a special village as a place of recollection for both personal and community prayer, and a room for forums. 1,500 civil protection volunteers and 1,000 others from the diocese of Bari are in charge of welcoming some 20,000 participants. For the final two days, approximately 300,000 faithful are expected for the papal Mass.

The Italian Eucharistic Congress takes place on two occasions over 10 years, and this year it will gather together 226 dioceses and 25,000 parishes of the Peninsula. The previous Congress took place in Bologna in September 1997. John Paul II was there for two days.