THE town of Assisi wore flags and banners last Saturday for Italy's 13th National Eucharistic Congress, and the streets blazed at night with the light of 10,000 torches. Vast congregations filled the three Franciscan Basilicas and other churches for Midnight Masses, with general Communions.
In a broadcast from his summer residence at Castel Gandolfo on Sunday, to mark the close of the Congress, the Holy Father
said : " Be proud of your Faith. Demonstrate it openly, and do not keep it a secret."
The Holy Father warned individual God's action in all fields of n v ua and social
against those enemies of the Church who deny the Providence and power of God. "Their only aim." he said, " is to fight and make
n v ua and social His Holiness expressed his personal satisfaction that the Eucharistic Congress had been attended by the highest political, civic and religious authorities in the land.
Cabinet Ministers, members of the Hierarchy, prominent military leaders, scientists, artists and scholars were present as well as tens of thousands of other people.
Special processions and services for children were another notable feature of the congress, first to be held in Italy since 1937.
The choice of Assisi, home of Italy's patron saint, as the congress centre, was regarded as a significant choice, and the Papal Legate, Cardinal Schuster, Archbishop of Milan, referred in his inaugural sermon to the opening of another momentous happening in San Francisco—another city with which the great Saint of Assisi has close ties.
"The distinguished head of the United States Government opened that conference with the word 'Peace'," said the Cardinal. "To that we add in the name of St. Francis the word 'Goodness,' for without goodness peace will have no solid foundations."
The fervour and enthusiasm of the people, many of whom came in diocesan groups, headed by some 80 Bishops. were remarkable throughout the 4 days of prayers and devotions. And, in special study sessions, gatherings of theologians. philosophers. students and professional men discussed the mystery of the Blessed Eucharist in relation to their own work and vocations.