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Monday, November 29, 2004


VATICAN CITY, NOV 28, 2004 (VIS) - Today John Paul II spoke about the beginning of Advent and preparation for the Italian National Eucharistic Congress before praying the Angelus with pilgrims gathered in St. Peter's Square.

  "Today a new liturgical year begins during which we will contemplate with particular fervor the face of Christ present in the Eucharist.  Jesus, Incarnate Word, who died and rose from the dead, is the center of history. The Church adores Him and discovers in Him the ultimate and unifying meaning of all the mysteries of faith: the love of God that gives life."

  "Precisely in these days in Italy," he continued, "preparation has begun for the 24th National Eucharistic Congress that will take place in Bari, Italy from May 21-29, 2005. "Without Sunday, We Cannot Live" is the them of this important ecclesiastical meeting which, by providential coincidence, will highlight the Year of the Eucharist.  I invite the whole ecclesial community in Italy to carefully prepare itself for this spiritual appointment by rediscovering 'with new strength the meaning of Sunday: its 'mystery,' the value of its celebration, its significance for the Christian and human life."

  After praying the Angelus, the Holy Father greeted a group of members of the Italian Red Cross to whom he expressed his appreciation "for the initiatives they promote in so many situations of need" and he hoped for "the complete success of the humanitarian activity that they carry out in Italy and abroad."

  Lastly, John Paul II addressed Ukrainian pilgrims present in the square, assuring them of his prayer for peace in their country.
ANG/SUNDAY:RED CROSS:UKRAINE/...                    VIS 20041129 (280)

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