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4-Pope-Corpus-Christi

Holy Father backs global blood drive

— Pope Benedict XVI makes appeal on Sunday after Corpus Christi; remembers quake victims June 15 2012

Pope Benedict XVI used the prayer of the Angelus on the feast of Corpus Christi to call greater attention to the need for blood donors.

Supporting the World Heath Organisation’s World Blood Donor Day, the Holy Father addressed pilgrims gathered in St Peter’s Square after praying the Angelus and spoke to them of the important role played by those who donate blood.

Reinforcing the great importance of celebrating the Solemnity of the Most Precious Body and Blood of Christ, better known as Corpus Christi, Pope Benedict offered his ‘great appreciation’ to blood donors, whose gift is ‘a form of solidarity which is indispensable to so many sick people.’

 

Jesus under the rubble

The Pope also used his address to offer his continued prayers for the people in Emilia Romagna who are still affected by the recent earthquakes there. Reminding them that Jesus is with them under the rubble of the ruined buildings, Pope Benedict said: “The most sacred place in a church is where the Eucharist is held. Hence, I cannot think without being moved by the many churches seriously damaged in the recent earthquake in Emilia Romagna in which the Eucharistic body of Christ in the tabernacle remained under the rubble.

“With great affection, I pray for these communities who must gather outdoors or in big tents with their priests to celebrate Holy Mass. I thank them for their witness and for what they are doing on behalf of the entire population.”

 

Corpus Christi

Following the traditional noon prayer to Our Lady, Pope Benedict also reinforced the ‘great act of public worship’ involved in the celebration of the feast of Corpus Christi, and spoke directly to the English speakers gathered in St Peter’s Square.

“I greet all the English-speaking pilgrims present for this Angelus prayer,” he said. “Today’s Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ celebrates the Lord’s saving presence in the Most Holy Eucharist. At the Last Supper, on the night before his death on the Cross, Jesus instituted the Eucharist as the sacrament of the new and eternal covenant between God and man.

“May this sacrifice of forgiveness and reconciliation strengthen the Church in faith, unity and holiness.

“Upon all of you I invoke the Lord’s blessings of joy and peace!”

 

Pic: Pope Benedict XVI walks to distribute Communion during Mass marking the feast of Corpus Christi outside the Basilica of St. John Lateran in Rome June 7

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