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Year of the Eucharist begins with Pope's Apostolic Letter

Pope John Paul II's Apostolic Letter Mane Nobiscum Domine ("Stay with us, Lord") was launched on Friday by Cardinal Francis Arinze, who announced that its underlying theme is story of the two disciples on the road to Emmaus."

The Letter, which consists of an introduction, four chapters and a conclusion, begins with the words "'Stay with us, for it is towards evening,'" said Cardinal Arinze, who is prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments.

"This was the heartfelt invitation that the two disciples, walking towards Emmaus the very evening of the Resurrection, issued to the Wayfarer who had joined them along the road. Filled with sad thoughts, they could not imagine that that stranger was their very Master, by now risen."

The Year of the Eucharist takes place between now and next October.

In the 32-page document, the Holy Father indicates that he had planned for some time to declare a Year of the Eucharist. He says that he hopes the initiative will lead to a deeper appreciation for the central role of the Eucharist in the life of the Church, a greater respect for the norms of the liturgy, a more reverent attitude toward the Blessed Sacrament, and a more active participation in Sunday Mass.

Mane Nobiscum Domine is the third in a series of recent documents on the Eucharist. Pope John Paul offered his encyclical letter Ecclesia de Eucharistia in April 2003; it was followed one year later by an instruction on liturgical abuses, Redemptionis Sacramentum, prepared by the Congregation for Divine Worship.

"The Year of the Eucharist," said Cardinal Arinze, "will see the Church especially committed to living the mystery of the Holy Eucharist. Jesus continues to walk with us and to introduce us to the mysteries of God, opening us up to the deep meaning of Sacred Scriptures. At the summit of this encounter, Jesus breaks for us 'the bread of life'."

"The Eucharistic celebration nourishes the disciple of Christ with two 'meals'," he continued, "that of the Word of God and that of the Bread of Life. When minds are enlightened and hearts burn, signs speak. In the Eucharistic signs the mystery is in some way open to the eyes of the believer. The two disciples of Emmaus recognise Jesus as they break bread."

Pope presents Apostolic Letter to mark beginning of Year of the Eucharist (Catholic News Agency 8/10/04)
Apostolic letter opens Year of the Eucharist (Catholic World News 8/10/04)

Year of the Eucharist: tomorrow, to mark the publication of the Pope's latest Apostolic Letter, Fides opens a new section on the Year of the Eucharist October 2004 - October 2005 with information Papal teaching on the subject, Eucharistic Congresses, Synod of Bishops, how the Year will be celebrated around the world... (Fides 7/10/04)
Lettera Apostolica Mane Nobiscum Domine del Sommo Pontefice Giovanni Paolo II All'Episcopato, al Clero e ai Fedeli per l'Anno dell'Eucaristia (Italian)
Apostolic Letter Mane Nobiscum Domine of the Supreme Pontiff John Paul II (English - to come)
Pope John Paul's Apostolic Letter "Mane Nobiscum Domine" (Vatican Information Service 8/10/04)
"Mane nobiscum Domine" (Stay with us Lord!) latest Letter Apostolic written by John Paul II presented in the Vatican: the Pope does not ask for anything out of the ordinary (Fides 8/10/04)
Pope Hopes Year Boosts "Culture of Eucharist" (Zenit 8/10/04)
Depth, Not Novelty, Is Sought in Year of Eucharist (Zenit 8/10/04)
Eucharist Is School of Peace, Asserts John Paul II (Zenit 8/10/04)
Cardinal Arinze's Presentation of Apostolic Letter for Eucharistic Year (Zenit 8/10/04)
Eucharist and mission are inseparable ( 9/10/04)
The Wonder of the Eucharist: A Pastoral Letter from the Australian Bishops for the Feast of Corpus Christi (Australian Catholic Bishops Conference)
Bishops act to refresh Australian Church with Eucharist focus (CathNews 21/5/04)
Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments

11 Oct 2004