Following is the text of Pope Paul VI’s message to the 41st International Eucharistic Congress in Philadelphia:
To all of you in Philadelphia; to you, Americans; to you, men and women from all parts of the world, assembled for the International Eucharistic Congress.
It is the bishop of Rome who speaks to you, the successor of the Apostle Peter, the Pope of the Catholic Church, the vicar of Christ on earth.
He speaks to greet you, to assure you of his prayers, to have you hear in his voice the echo of Christ’s word, and thus, to some extent, to open up to you the deep meaning of the mystery that you are celebrating,
We ask you to be.silent, to be silent now and to try to listen within yourselves to an inner proclamation.
The Lord is saying: «Be assured, I am with you» (Matt. 28:20). «l am here» he is saying, «because this is my body! This is the cup of my blood!»
The mystery of His presence is thus enacted and celebrated: the mystery of His sacramental, but real and living presence. Jesus, the teacher of humanity, is here; Hi is calling for you (John 11:28).
Yes, He is calling you, each one by name. The mystery of the Eucharist is, above all, a personal mystery: personal, because of His divine presence — the presence of Christ, the word of God made man; personal, because the Eucharistic is meant for each of us. For this reason Christ has become living bread, and is multiplied in the sacrament, in order to be accessible to every human being who receives Him worthily, and who opens to Him the door of faith and love.
The Eucharist is a mystery of life. Christ says: «He who eats this bread shall live» (John 6:51).
The Eucharistic is a mystery of suffering, yes, and a mystery of death; a mystery of redemptive passion; a mystery of sacrifice, consummated by Christ for our salvation, it is the mystery of the cross, reflected and commemorated in the sacrament which makes us share in the Lord’s immclation, in order to associate us in His resurrection. Today in time, the Eucharist is the food for our earthly pilgrimage; tomorrow, in the life to come, it will be our everlasting happiness.
The Eucharistic is, therefore, a mystery of love. It makes all of us who eat the same bread into a single body (1 Cor. 10:27), living by means of one Spirit. It makes us one family: brothers and sisters united in solidarity with one another (Eph 4:16), and all of us dedicated to giving witness, in mutual love, to the fact that we really are the followers of Christ (John 13:35).
May it always be this way, beloved brethren, and sons and daughters.
With our apostolic blessing: in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.