From the Archdiocese of Dublin website:
Pope Benedict XVI received the International Eucharistic Congress Bell in Rome today, Wednesday 14th March. He blessed the Congress Bell and rang the Bell as part of preparations for the upcoming 50th International Eucharistic Congress 2012 (IEC2012).
The Pope received the delegation during a papal audience in St Peter’s Square at 10.30am on Wednesday, 14 March. The Holy Father rang the Bell which is calling people from across the world to Dublin for the Congress, which takes place from 10-17 June.
Colette Furlong, Pastoral Services Manager in IEC2012, presented Pope Benedict XVI with the first commemorative medal struck to mark this year's 50th International Eucharistic Congress. Sheena Darcy, IEC2012 Office Manager presented shamrock to the Holy Father.
|Sheena Darcy, IEC2012 Office Manager presenting shamrock to Pope Benedict XVI|
Later today the Bell will move to St Peter’s Basilica where it will remain for Mass at 5pm celebrated by Archbishop Piero Marini, President of the Pontifical Committee for the International Eucharistic Congresses. The Bell will be rung at Masses throughout Wednesday as an invitation to the Congress.
Speaking during the Bell Pilgrimage in Rome, Fr Kevin Doran, Secretary General of the 50th International Eucharistic Congress 2012, said: “It seems somehow appropriate that the Bell, on its way to visit Pope Benedict, was delivered on Tuesday afternoon [13 March] to the very office beside St Peter’s Square where Pope Benedict himself worked for over 20 years.”
Fr Doran added: “We are truly delighted that with this visit the Bell has brought parishes, schools and hospitals all over Ireland into a closer Communion with the Pope as we enter the final phase of preparation for the Eucharistic Congress.”
Journeying with the Bell are the four Eucharistic Congress Icons which represent the four parts of the Mass, and correspond to each of the four stages of the pastoral preparation programme for the Congress. The Bell calls people to prayer and the Icons offer rich themes for reflection.
Interview with Archbishop Martin availabe from Vatican Radio.
Video reports from RTE News available here.