Ireland to host Eucharistic Congress

Dublin is to host the 50th International Eucharistic Congress in 2012, Pope Benedict XVI announced today.

Dublin is to host the 50th International Eucharistic Congress in 2012, Pope Benedict XVI announced today.

Thousands of pilgrims and members of the clergy from all over the world attended the 49th Congress in Quebec city this year, which ended today.

Pope Benedict’s homily in the final mass was broadcast live from Rome during which he revealed Dublin to be the location for the 2012 gathering.

Speaking from Quebec City Cardinal Sean Brady, Archbishop of Armagh and Diarmuid Martin, Archbishop of Dublin both welcomed the news.

“On behalf of the Catholic faithful of Ireland, we are honoured and humbled that the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, has chosen Dublin to host the 50th International Eucharistic Congress in 2012,” they said in a joint statement.

“While the theme for the next Congress has yet to be finalised, we are deeply conscious that 2012 also marks the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council.

“The purpose of the Congress is to deepen our knowledge of the Eucharist which in itself is central to our Catholic faith.”

It will be the second occasion that Dublin has hosted the international gathering, which is held every four years.

In 1932 the 31st International Eucharistic Congress was held in the capital from June 22 to June 26.

Tens of thousands of people then packed the Phoenix Park for the final public mass.

The first International Eucharistic Congress, held in France in 1881, gathered 300 people from all over Europe.

Its popularity grew over the next 125 years and now attracts 12,000 to 15,000 participants for a full week of celebrations, adoration, catechesis, cultural events and fraternal gatherings.

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