.- The Holy Father entrusted the Year of the Eucharist to Mary at the Sunday Angelus during his reflections on the Solemnity of Corpus Christi, "the solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ. This is the feast day of the Eucharist, the sacrament in which Jesus left us the living memorial of his Easter, the central event in the history of mankind."
"It is so beautiful," he said, "that on this occasion the faithful gather around the Most Holy Sacrament to worship it, they accompany it in processions through the streets and express with so many signs of devotion their faith in the living Christ and joy for His presence."
He underscored his announcement at the Corpus Christi procession last Thursday in Rome that from October 2004 to October 2005 there will be a Year of the Eucharist, culminating in a Synod of Bishops on the theme of the Eucharist. He noted that this special year "is within the framework of the pastoral project that I laid out in the Apostolic Letter 'Novo millennio inuente' where I asked the faithful 'to start out from Christ'."
Stating that "the Eucharist is at the heart of the life of the Church," the Holy Father said he would entrust the Year of the Eucharist "to Our Lady, 'the Eucharistic woman, ...she who, in the Year of the Rosary, helped us to contemplate Christ with her glance and her heart."
After the Angelus, the Pope pointed out that "tomorrow is the World Day of Blood Donors. Giving one's blood in a voluntary and free fashion is a gesture with a high moral and civic value. It is 'a gift for life' as the motto of this world day states. May donors, whom everyone greatly appreciates, increase in every part of the world."