Pope urges careful preparation for First Communion
By David Kerr
Pope Benedict XVI - Credit: Mazur
Pope Benedict XVI - Credit: Mazur

.- During his April 22 Regina Coeli address, Pope Benedict XVI said adults should bring reverence and love to the task of preparing children to receive their first Holy Communion.

“Dear friends, the Church at Easter time usually administers First Communion to children,” he noted in the midday address. “I therefore urge the pastors, parents and catechists to prepare this feast of faith well, with great fervor, but also with sobriety.”

Among the large crowd gathered in the sunshine of St. Peter's Square were thousands of Italian children who will make their first Holy Communion in the coming weeks. As Pope Benedict addressed them, the young pilgrims cheered and released hundreds of colored balloons into the Roman sky.  

The Pope told them their First Communion would mark “the moment when you too understand the importance of a personal encounter with Jesus.”

Christ promised the Church his continued presence in “the Word and the Eucharist,” the Pope said.

“Therefore, just as the disciples of Emmaus recognized Jesus in the breaking of the bread, so we meet the Lord in the Eucharistic celebration.”

Pope Benedict also spoke about the Scripture readings for the third Sunday of Easter. He noted that the disciples were “incredulous and frightened” when they first saw the risen Christ, initially mistaking him for a ghost. 

In response, Jesus showed his hands and feet which displayed the marks of the crucifixion. He also asked for food, and received a piece of baked fish.

Pope Benedict explained that these “very realistic signs” helped the disciples “open up to the gift of faith” – which in turn helped them “understand the things written on Christ ‘in the law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms’.”

The Pope reserved his final words for the children in St Peter’s Square, before leading the recitation of the midday Marian prayer. 

“May the Mother of God help us to listen attentively to the Word of the Lord and participate worthily in the Eucharistic Sacrifice, to become witnesses of the new humanity,” he declared.

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages


Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Dedicating art to San Juan de la Cruz
Dedicating art to San Juan de la Cruz
A state without territory elects new government
The renewal of the Legionaries of Christ
Presentation of the book "The Pastor"
Synod on the Family October 2014
Preferential option for the poor
God is alive, even in sport
'A forbidden God' named Best Film at the International Catholic Film Festival
Vatican backs a 'Pause for Peace' during World Cup final
The effects of religious violence in Sarajevo 
The origin of Corpus Christi 
Corpus Christi at the Vatican 
Homage to an Indian Cardinal
Train of the Child's Light
New book explaining gestures of the Mass
Encounter between Pope Francis and the Charismatic Renewal in the Spirit Movement.
Religious tensions subside amid Balkan floods
John Paul II Center for Studies on Marriage and Family
Saint John Paul II on cartoon
Syrian Christian refugees

Liturgical Calendar

July 25, 2014

Saint James, Apostle

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 20:20-28


Daily Readings

First Reading:: 2 Cor 4: 7-15
Gospel:: Mt 20: 20-28

Saint of the Day

St. James »


Homily of the Day

Mt 20:20-28


Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
Text only

Follow us: