On Closing of Synod and Year of the Eucharist

«Bread Broken for the Life of the World»

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VATICAN CITY, OCT. 23, 2005 (Zenit.org).- Here is a translation of Benedict XVI’s words before and after reciting the Angelus, at the end of the Mass that closed the Synod on the Eucharist and the Year of the Eucharist. He also he canonized five saints at the Mass.

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Dear Brothers and Sisters!

With today’s Eucharistic celebration in St. Peter’s Square, the assembly of the Synod of Bishops has closed and, at the same time, the Year of the Eucharist has ended, which our beloved Pope John Paul II opened in October 2004.

To the beloved and venerated synodal fathers, with whom I have been able to share three weeks of intense work in an atmosphere of fraternal communion, I renew my cordial gratitude. Their reflections, testimonies, experiences and propositions on the theme «The Eucharist, Source and Summit of the Life and Mission of the Church» have been gathered together to be elaborated in a postsynodal exhortation that, taking into account the different realities of the world, will help to portray the face of the «Catholic» community, oriented to live united, in the plurality of cultures, the central mystery of the faith: the redeeming Incarnation, of which the Eucharist is the living presence.

Moreover, today, as the images exposed on the facade of the Vatican basilica show, I have had the joy of proclaiming five new saints that, at the end of the Eucharistic year, I want to point out as exemplary fruits of communion of life with Christ.

They are Jozef Bilczewski, bishop of Lviv of the Latins; Gaetano Catanoso, presbyter, founder of the Congregation of the Veronican Sisters of the Holy Face; Zygmunt Gorazdowski, Polish priest, founder of the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph; Alberto Hurtado Cruchaga, Jesuit priest, Chilean; and the Capuchin religious Felice de Nicosia.

Each one of these disciples of Jesus was formed interiorly by his divine presence received, celebrated and adored in the Eucharist. Each one of them, moreover, lived with different hues a tender and filial devotion to Mary, mother of Christ. These new saints, whom we contemplate in heavenly glory, invite us to take recourse in every circumstance to the maternal protection of the virgin to make ever more progress on the path of evangelical perfection, supported by constant union with the Lord really present in the sacrament of the Eucharist.

In this way we will be able to live the vocation to which every Christian is called, namely, that of being «bread broken for the life of the world,» as World Mission Sunday reminds us, which we observe today. Particularly significant is the link that exists between the mission of the Church and the Eucharist. In fact, the missionary and evangelizing action is the apostolic diffusion of love that is found as though concentrated in the Blessed Sacrament.

Whoever receives Christ in the reality of this Body and Blood cannot keep this gift to himself, but is impelled to share it in courageous witness of the Gospel, in service to brothers in difficulty, in forgiveness for offenses. For some, moreover, the Eucharist is seed of a specific call to leave everything to go and proclaim Christ to those who still do not know him. Let us commend to Mary Most Holy, Eucharistic woman, the spiritual fruits of the Synod and of the Year of the Eucharist. May she watch over the path of the Church and teach us to grow in communion with the Lord Jesus to be witnesses of his love, in which is the secret of joy.

[Translation by ZENIT. At the end of the Angelus, the Pope greeted pilgrims in several languages. In English, he said:]

I greet all the English-speaking visitors present at today’s Angelus. Let us ask the Lord, through the intercession of our newly canonized saints, that Christians everywhere will grow in love and veneration of the most holy Eucharist and become active supporters of the Church’s mission to the world.

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