By Vatican News
In a statement released by the Director of the Holy See Press Office, Matteo Bruni, it was announced that the 52nd International Eucharistic Congress has been postponed to September 2021. It had been scheduled to take place September 2020.
The decision was made “because of the current health situation and its consequences for the movement and aggregation of the faithful and pilgrims”.
In his statement, Bruni notes that the decision was taken by Pope Francis together with the Pontifical Committee for International Eucharistic[BR1] Congresses and the Hungarian Episcopate.
What a Eucharistic Congress is
Eucharistic Congresses are designed to promote devotion to and belief in Jesus Christ truly present in the Blessed Sacrament. In 1967, following the Second Vatican Council, the then Sacred Congregation of Rites wrote, “In Eucharistic Congresses Christians seek to understand this mystery more deeply through a consideration of its many aspects.” It emphasized the teaching of the Second Vatican Council, saying that during the Congresses, the faithful “should venerate [this mystery] through devotions and private prayers, especially by solemn processions, in such a way that all these forms of devotion find their climax in the solemn celebration of Mass”.
History of the Eucharistic Congress
The first Eucharistic Congress took place in France in 1881, during the pontificate of Leo XIII. Since that time, Congresses have been held throughout the world, in places as diverse as Jerusalem, Rome, Montreal, Sydney, Carthage (in Tunisia), Buenos Aires, and Manila. The most recent Eucharistic Congress was held in Cebu City in the Philippines[BR2] in 2016, with Burmese Cardinal Charles Bo serving as the papal legate.