“Society will be disfigured by consumerism if it is not transfigured by adoration.” The words of Bishop Dominque Rey of Fréjus-Toulon in south eastern France, who is organizing a congress on the theme of “Divine Mercy and Adoration” from July 19 to 24 this year.
The meeting is open to anyone who would like to have a new experience of Divine Mercy through the grace of the Eucharist, the organizers say. It will be held in the Basilica of Saint Mary-Magdalene, known as the “third tomb of Christendom”, in the town of Saint-Maximin-la-Sainte-Baume. The majority of the participants will come from France and English-speaking countries.
Bishop Rey explains more about the congress and its significance in the life of the Church today:
Can you tell us more about this congress?
Our society will be saved by Divine Mercy! The attacks against life and freedom, the inhumane pressures suffered in the workplace, religious fundamentalism, the economic and social crises, all generate much suffering and despair. This state of affairs reveals that our society is afflicted by a profound problem that man cannot remedy on his own, neither by his science nor by any other kind of progress. Yes, society will be disfigured by consumerism if it is not transfigured by adoration, which puts human beings back into a true filial attitude. Returning to the Father of All Mercies is the only hope for the world. Only by embracing the Divine Mercy can the human soul be freed from despair and filled with true joy. This is the reason for this Congress.
Jesus once said to St. Faustina: “Humanity will not find peace until it turns with confidence to My Mercy”. “The Throne of Mercy is the Tabernacle”. (Diary 300, 1484) Thus there will be no true peace in hearts, in families or in the world unless we turn to the Tabernacle. Adoration and Divine Mercy will be the two pillars of “Adoratio 2014”.
Why is the location of Saint-Maximin so important? What message can Mary-Magdalene give to our Church and our society today?
According to the Gospels, Mary-Magdalene was liberated from seven demons and had a radical experience of Divine Mercy as she fell at the feet of Christ. Deeply wounded at the Cross, her tears turned into unimaginable joy when she met the Risen Lord. She then ran to announce the Good News to the Apostles. The Risen Jesus remains alive today in the Eucharist and He still pours out torrents of mercy upon us, making us experience his victory over evil and death.
The diocese of Fréjus-Toulon has been placed under the patronage of Saint Mary-Magdalene. According to tradition, Mary-Magdalene spent the last thirty years of her life in a grotto in Sainte-Baume. In her last days she received Holy Viaticum and was buried in the place which would become Saint-Maximin. A basilica has been erected there in her honor. In this revered place of pilgrimage, known as the Third Tomb of Christendom, the intercession of Saint Mary-Magdalene is invoked in a special way and she obtains for us graces of mercy and a renewal of evangelical zeal.
The Eucharist celebrated, but also adored, is the source and the heart of all evangelization.
In practice how will this congress unfold?
The “Missionaries of the Most Holy Eucharist” have invited speakers from French and English-speaking countries who have all had a profound experience of the Divine Mercy. There will be teachings during the day and then prayer vigils in the evening. We will have the privilege of listening to great witnesses such as: Joseph Fadelle (a convert from Islam), Mother Miriam (a convert from Judaism, also known as Rosalind Moss), John Pridmore (an ex-gangster from the East End of London), Zachary King (an ex-Satanist with an extraordinary conversion story), as well as Sister Briege McKenna. All of these witnesses will share with us something of their own unique and fascinating journey.
The congress will take place during the time of the traditional festivities in honor of Saint Mary-Magdalene. Her relics will be solemnly processed through the streets of Saint-Maximin. The 22nd of July will be spent in Sainte-Baume with a pilgrimage to Saint Mary Magdalene’s grotto.
Bishop Dominique Rey
The organizers say that participants must find their own accommodation but a dining service will be provided. Times of prolonged adoration and a beautiful celebration of the Sacred Liturgy will help each person present to return to the essentials of the Catholic Faith. For further information see: www.adoratio2014.com