On Sunday, the day of the opening of the International Eucharistic Congress in Guadalajara, Mexico, on the theme "'The Eucharist, Light and Life of the New Millennium,' Pope John Paul II told pilgrims assembled for the Angelus in St. Peter’s Square that he “spiritually join[s] this important ecclesial event, with which the Year of the Eucharist will open," and prayed that Christians be moved by the Eucharist to a witness of effective charity.
His Apostolic Letter, the Pope pointed out, begins with the words “'Mane nobiscum, Domine' - stay with us, Lord. May this invocation be echoed in every Christian community: in recognizing the Risen Christ 'in breaking bread', may the faithful be ready to witness to Him with effective charity."
The Pope said that "a privileged expression of charity in the local Church is the diocesan Caritas. In Rome, Caritas is celebrating the 25th anniversary of its founding. I thank God for the many good fruits that have matured over the years and I encourage the ecclesial community to pursue formative work and service to the poor and needy."
Greeting participants in the Social Week of Italian Catholics meeting in Bologna on the theme 'Democracy: New Scenarios, New Powers,'" the Pope expressed his hope that it would offer new stimulus "for an ever more incisive witness in every milieu of the life of the country."
In conclusion he said that "next Sunday afternoon, in spiritual communion with everyone in Guadalajara, the International Eucharistic Congress will close and I will preside in St. Peter's Square at a solemn celebration for the opening of the Year of the Eucharist throughout the Church. I invite the faithful to participate in great numbers in this important ecclesial event, to render choral homage to Christ, light and life of the new millennium."