The 52nd International Eucharistic Congress will get under way on Sunday in Budapest. The so-called Statio Orbis, the mass closing the congress, will be celebrated by Pope Francis at Heroes’ Square on Sept. 12.
The congress, which had to be postponed from 2020 due to the pandemic, will be the second one hosted by Hungary after the 1938 event. According to the event’s official website, the aim of the congress is to deepen “the knowledge and the respect for the Eucharist”.
Sunday’s opening ceremony at Budapest’s Heroes’ Square will begin with a cultural show which will be followed by a holy mass delivered by Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco, Archbishop Emeritus of Genoa.
One of the event’s highlights will be a holy mass at Kossuth Square on Sept. 11 celebrated by Cardinal Péter Erdő, Archbishop of Esztergom-Budapest which will be followed by a candlelight procession to Heroes’ Square. The mass will be preceded by a speech by Constantinople Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I.
In his welcome message in the official programme booklet for the congress, Cardinal Erdő calls on believers to “see what is important” and to do their best to help others. “Let generations show more solidarity to each other! Let us all seek what is most important: an encounter with Christ!” Cardinal Erdő said.
In his welcome address, Archbishop Piero Marini, President of the Pontifical Committee for the International Eucharistic Congresses, says that “with this Congress, worshippers from all over the world offer to today’s secularised society, deprived of the perspective of eternity, a Eucharistic celebration in which all can encounter God in the humanity of the Lord Jesus.
“Here, in the heart of Europe, around the table of the Lord, a new people of God is being born; and God’s children, with their cultural, ethnic and social differences, are showing a new kind of solidarity to the globalised modern world,” the archbishop says. “It is here and then, in this heartfelt encounter of men and women from different lands, that the globalisation of love can become a reality, saying no to condescending distance, rejection and closure.”
In his message welcoming the congress, János Áder, the Hungarian president, said the event would offer “a special opportunity to pray together, to seek together God’s saving will and to discover again and again His image in each other”. It will offer the opportunity “to raise together the shield of faith and to proclaim the commandment of love,” the president said.
Featured photo via iec2020.hu