ON THE day he was to visit the Congress, Pope John Paul sent a special message to the sick at Lourdes and a meditation on the breaking of bread, together with a video recording. To the sick and disabled he said: "You are at the heart of the Congress, which celebrates the real presence of Christ under the humble sign of bread, of Christ who suffered and offered his Passion in order to enter into life and to open to us his Kingdom.
"God has permitted that I myself, at present, should experience weakness in my own body. It makes me feel all the closer to you. 1 understand all the better your trial." • "I invite you to offer your trial with me to the Lord who achieves great things through the Cross, To offer it so that the whole Church may experience through the Eucharist a renewal of faith and charity, so that the world may experience the blessing of pardon, of peace, of love."
In his message to all at the Congress, the Pope reminded them that the Mass and the Cross were one and the same. He said that all the baptised were a priestly people, though only ordained priests could effect the sacrifice of Calvary and the last supper. He invited them to follow Our Lady in uniting themselves with Christ to build a new world.