Journey of the Eucharist, Day 12

IMG_1306We made so many friends during these days of the Congress. One of them is Fr Meshak from Leshoto. He`s the official delegate of his country. Every Bishop’s Conference is supposed to send a representative. Most of the time, they are people chosen because of their stories and deep love for the Eucharist. Fr Meshak is an example of it. He`s a convert from Protestantism, and the Eucharist was what brought him to the Catholic faith. But what`s the most impressive is the history of the parish where he ministries. In the 90’s, four teenagers broke into the church and stole the Tabernacle. They brought it to the woods, smashed it and defiled the consecrated hosts. This event shocked the whole nation, and people from all over the country came to the parish to expiate for the sacrilege, even non-Catholics. The fervor of the people was so great that many people converted by their example. A Shrine was built in the place, and every year during Corpus Christi the whole diocese gathers there for a big Eucharistic procession.

The main event of this 12th day of the Congress was the First Holy Communion of 5,000 children. The First Communion Mass was held in the City Sport Stadium. Some of the first communicants were street children. It was really wonderful to see all those little boys and girls neatly dressed in white, ready to receive for their first time Jesus in their hearts. I asked God to be able to have such an innocent and pure heart to please our Lord.

Another Congress

Another very interesting thing about the Mass is that it was celebrated by Cardinal Emeritus Vidal. He received his first communion in the International Eucharist Congress of Manila in 1936 when he was a little boy. He mentioned in the homily that as a kid he thought that the cardinal celebrating the Mass was a queen, because of his long red vestments. Who would guess that that toddler would be a cardinal himself 80 years later?

After Mass, in the Stadium itself, we had a beautiful cultural presentation called “Sinulog”. That’s the celebration held every year in Cebu in honor of “Santo Niño”, the Child Jesus. It is very much like the Brazilian Carnival, except that it’s very religious. They have costumes, music and special dances all around the image of Santo Niño.  As they perform a very well-choreographed dance, they shout aloud “Pit Señor”, which means “call upon the Lord” in their native dialect.

We also call upon our Lord as this Eucharist Congress approaches its conclusion!

About Br Antônio Lemos LC

Br Antônio Lemos is from Curitiba, Brazil. He joined the Legion of Christ in 2006 after a couple of years as a Regnum Christi member. He is a big fan of the Brazilian national soccer team, 1980´s pop culture (specially movies), and St Thomas Aquinas. He is currently studying Theology in Rome.
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