Bishops around the world are encouraged to promote 60 hours of Eucharistic adoration for the sanctification of all priests, for new vocations, and for Pope Benedict XVI, who will celebrate 60 years as a priest on June 29.
Cardinal Mauro Piacenza, head of the Vatican’s Congregation of the Clergy, said this would be an ideal time to “gather around the pontiff and show him our gratitude, our affection and our communion for the service he offers to God and the Church.” Above all, he continued, it will show the commitment to “making the truth shine out in the world,” which characterizes his pontificate.
In his statement published June 16 by L’Osservatore Romano, the cardinal said the 60 hours of Eucharist adoration could be continuous or spread out over the month of June and should be embraced “particularly by priests.”
The statement was also signed by the congregation’s secretary, Archbishop Celso Morga Iruzubieta.
The Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus (the Day for Priestly Sanctification) would be an ideal day to conclude the Eucharist adoration, Cardinal Piacenza added.
Through this special initiative, the cardinal continued, “We could offer homage to the pontiff with an extraordinary crown of prayers and supernatural unity, that shows the real center of our lives, from which all missionary and pastoral effort springs forth, as well as the authentic face of the Church and her priests.”
The Congregation for the Clergy recommended meditating on biblical passages featuring the Apostle Peter, the first Pope. It specifically mentioned chapters 20 and 21 of the Gospel of John, in which the Lord asks Peter if he loves him more than the rest, and chapter 16 of the Gospel of Matthew, in which Christ tells him, “You are Peter, and on this rock I will build my Church.”
Pope Benedict was ordained on June 29, 1951, together with his brother, Msgr. Georg Ratzinger, at the Cathedral of Freising in Germany, on the Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul.