28 June 2011
Apostolic Blessing from Pope Benedict XVI on the occasion of Ireland’s National Eucharistic Congress
Please see below the special message of Pope Benedict XVI, which was issued on behalf of the Holy Father by Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Vatican’s Secretary of State, on the occasion of Ireland’s National Eucharistic Congress in Knock on 25 and 26 June.
His Eminence Cardinal Seán Brady
Archbishop of Armagh
President of the Irish Episcopal Conference
The Holy Father was pleased to learn of the celebration of the Irish National Eucharistic Congress and he sends his warm and prayerful best wishes to you and to the Bishops, priests, religious and lay faithful of Ireland. His Holiness is spiritually united to all who, through prayerful reflection on the Eucharist, offer adoration, thanksgiving and praise to the living God for the saving sacrifice of Christ on the Cross, renewed in the celebration of every Holy Mass. He is confident that the frequent and worthy reception of the Bread of Life will guide all who, especially in this time of renewal, walk together the path of conversion, in truth, justice and charity, pursuing the gift of purification from sin by seeking and offering pardon and by strengthening the bonds of reconciliation and communion. He prays that by drawing nourishment from this Sacrament, their whole life will become, with Christ, an offering to God (cf. Sacamemtum Caritatis 71). Commending all the faithful people in Ireland to the intercession of Mary, Mother of the Church, the Holy Father cordially imparts his Apostolic Blessing.
Notes to Editors
- National Eucharistic Congress 2011
Archbishop Michael Neary, Archbishop of Tuam, read out the Apostolic Blessing from Pope Benedict XVI on the occasion of Ireland’s National Eucharistic Congress which took place on 25 and 26 June. All 26 dioceses on the island of Ireland were represented by the estimated 13,000 pilgrims who attended the Congress which took place in the Marian Shrine in Knock, Co Mayo. The Congress involved Morning Prayer and workshops on: adoration and prayer; young people and the Eucharist; reconciliation and forgiveness; and St Paul’s response to a divided Church. The Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick was administered to pilgrims before Mass. The high point of the National Eucharistic Congress was the celebration of Mass in the Basilica in Knock at which Cardinal Seán Brady was Principal Presider and which was concelebrated by 180 bishops and priests. Mass was followed by Benediction and a procession to the Apparition Chapel.
- Knock Shrine
Each Irish diocese makes an annual pilgrimage to the Marian Shrine and the nine-day Knock novena attracts ten thousand pilgrims every August. The story of Knock began on the 21 August 1879 when Our Lady, St Joseph and St John the Evangelist appeared at the south gable of Knock Parish Church. This miraculous apparition was witnessed by fifteen people, young and old. Knock is an internationally recognised Marian Shrine and was visited by Blessed John Paul II as part of his 1979 papal pilgrimage to Ireland. During his visit, which coincided with the Shrine’s centenary year, the late pope celebrated Mass at the Shrine and addressed the sick, their helpers and pilgrimage directors. Archbishop Michael Neary, Archbishop of Tuam, is the custodian of the Marian Shrine and Monsignor Joseph Quinn is parish priest of Knock. Please see: www.knock-shrine.ie
Catholic Communications Office Maynooth: Martin Long 00353 (0) 86 172 7678 and Brenda Drumm 00353 (0) 87 310 4444