Mariological Congress to be 'greatest ever'
THE Mariological congress to be held at Lourdes this
September will he the greatest one ever held, Cardinal Tisserant declared last week at the conclusion of a three-day preparatory meeting in Rome. The Lourdes gathering would "mark the apex " of the year-long celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Apparitions of Our Lady at Lourdes.
The third International Mariological Congress, from September 10 to 14, will be followed immediately by the 10th International Marian Congress, from September 14 to 17. The Mariological congress is expected to draw theologians from aft over the world for discussions on the general theme " Mary and the Church."
The Marian congress will be on a popular level, and will aim at increasing devotion to the Blessed Virgin. The Pope has appointed Cardinal Tisserant papal legate to It.
The three-day preparatory meeting opened • with Mass celebrated at the papal altar at the Basilica of St. Mary Major by Cardinal Micara, Among those present were Bishop Theas of Tarbes and Lourdes and prelates and priests representing the 18 nations of the Church of Silence.
The Angelus Cardinal Micara in his sermon urged that people everywhere should pray the Angelus daily for the particular intention of the Church of Silence. "How particularly grateful would be the Heart of Mary," he said, " if this jubilee year would witness a renewal in the great Catholic family in a singularly fervent form the holy practice of reciting the Angelus."
The main sessions of the meeting were held in the auditorium of the Pontifical Antonian Atheneum. Among the 2,000 participants were Cardinal Pizzardo, Cardinal Aloiso Masella, Cardinal Agagianian, and Cardinal Costantini.
In an address in which he traced close ties between Lourdes and the Roman Pontiffs, Cardinal Agagianian said: "As a result of his service aslegate in Lourdes in 1934, there exists in the heart of Pius XII aside from any feeling of nostalgia -• a vision of Lourdes that is well-defined, clear and compelling."
This vision had been incorporated by the Pope, said the Cardinal, "in one of the most inspired canticles the Church's teaching authority has ever composed his great Marian poem, the Encyclieul letter Fulgens Corona of September 8, 1953."
President Mario Echandi, new President of Costa Rica, has expressed his desire for a Concordat with the Holy See. In his inaugural address to the Costa Rican Congress, he declared that "the government accepts and respects the sovereign power of the Church in the spiritual order." He added that the nation cannot attain its aims without the co-operation of both Church and state.