Prelates Visit Prisoners and the Sick in Guadalajara

«People Who Reflect the Crucified Face of Christ»

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GUADALAJARA, Mexico, OCT. 13, 2004 ( Cardinals, bishops and priests attending the International Eucharistic Congress visited hospitals and prisons to comfort inmates and patients with Jesus’ message of salvation.

On Tuesday, a day dedicated to «the Eucharist as viaticum accompanying us on our pilgrim way,» the six premises of the Fray Antonio Alcalde Hospital were visited by the congress’s president, Cardinal Juan Sandoval Íñiguez, and three other cardinals.

One of those, Cardinal Jouzas Backis of Vilnius, Lithuania, said that «the message of Christ for the sick, in this Eucharistic Congress, is the same as that of the beatitudes, which are analogies of this world and those who suffer.»

«In this congress, we must find God who is in the Eucharist and who gives the strength to accept everything that he sends us,» he added. «If the Eucharist has any meaning anywhere, it is, precisely, in these people who reflect the crucified face of Jesus Christ.»

Priests from various Mexican dioceses visited the Tutelary Council for Offending Minors, where they offered first Communion to 12 inmates.

Eight bishops from three continents visited two penitentiary centers in Puente Grande, in the state of Jalisco. Six went to see high-risk male inmates and two visited a women’s prison.

Bishop Czeslaw Kozon of Copenhagen, Denmark, invited inmates to see the face of Jesus in fellow-prisoners.

Bishop Armando Ochoa of El Paso, Texas, reminded the 4,200 prisoners of Puente Grande that «Christ was also a prisoner like you, but he was innocent and our mission is to extend and bring to you the mercy of God.»

The women’s prison was visited by Archbishop Fernando Sáenz Lacalle of San Salvador, El Salvador, and by retired Bishop Thomas Daily of Brooklyn, New York.

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