Eucharist Congress recalls first papal visit to India

The relics of Blessed Pope Paul VI were presented for veneration on Saturday.

Mumbai: (UCAN) 

The National Eucharistic Congress in Mumbai concluded on Sunday recalling the landmark event of 38th International Eucharist Congress held at the same venue where Pope Paul VI became the first pope to visit India in 1964.

The Nov. 12-15 event included several programs to help recall the 50-year-old historical event and also to display the unity and cultural verity of Indian Catholic Church.

The programs began with a procession exhibiting the verity of Indian Catholic as participants from various tribal and linguistic regions walked in their regional dress, carrying their diocesan flags.

Four Indian cardinals and more than 70 bishops from India's three rites — Latin, Syro-Malabar and Syro-Malankara — besides representatives of laity, clergy and religious from almost all of India's 168 dioceses attended the event.

The program included Mass in three rites and catechesis on the congress theme, "The Eucharist: nourished by Christ to nourish others."

The presidential chair for the Eucharistic Celebration was the same as that Blessed Pope Paul VI used when he visited India. The chalice and altar too are of the International Eucharistic Congress, a press release said.

A film of the 1964 event was also screened on during the Nov. 12-15 event, giving senior citizens among the delegates a moment of nostalgia, and for the younger generation a chance to see the magnitude of the witness to faith and fervor of their parents and grandparents.

The relics of Blessed Pope Paul VI were presented for veneration on Saturday. Blessed Pope Paul VI, with his benevolent and gentle attitude, empathized with the people of India on his visit here for the celebration of the 38th International Eucharistic Congress in 1964.

Archbishop Salvatore Pennacchio helped the archdiocese have the relic of Blessed Pope Paul VI – a piece of the vest he was wearing when he was stabbed, encased in a reliquary.

Testimonies by Christians–some working for the betterment of the oppressed and others who have been persecuted–were much appreciated. The event also witnessed faith-based cultural programs from regions like Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh and the Northern regions.

The national Eucharistic Congress has created an opportunity for Catholics to experience worship in the rites that are in communion with each other and draw spiritual benefit from them, said a press release.

Source: Press releases

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