VATICAN CITY, OCT. 13, 2004 (Zenit.org).- John Paul II emphasized the importance of the Blessed Sacrament when he made his farewell at the end of the general audience.
“At the beginning of the Eucharistic Year, make every effort to follow Jesus, the Way, Truth and Life,” the Pope urged the crowd of 16,000 people gathered today in St. Peter’s Square. He particularly addressed the young people, the sick and newlyweds on hand.
“Be frequent adorers of the Most Holy Eucharist!” he exhorted.
In his new apostolic letter “Mane Nobiscum, Domine” (Stay with Us, Lord), the Pope said the Year of the Eucharist is meant to help the faithful discover the meaning of the Blessed Sacrament. The special year begins Sunday.
John Paul II says in the letter that he would be pleased if two objectives are achieved during this Year of the Eucharist: a greater valuing of Sunday Mass and the intensification of Eucharistic adoration.
The Office of Liturgical Celebrations of the Holy See said today that the opening celebration of the Year of the Eucharist will begin in Rome at 5:30 p.m. Sunday at the altar of the Confession in St. Peter’s Basilica.
John Paul II will preside at the Mass, which will be followed by exposition, adoration and Benediction.
Millions of pilgrims will follow the ceremony live by television link from Guadalajara, Mexico, site of the International Eucharistic Congress.
This Thursday the Holy See will present a document from the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments, entitled “Year of the Eucharist: Suggestions and Proposals.”