Vatican concludes Lenten retreat, strengthened to bear witness to “God’s new and eternal covenant with humanity”

.- Saturday morning, the Vatican household concluded the annual Lenten spiritual excercises preached by Bishop Renato Corti of Novara, Italy. Cardinal Secretary of State Angelo Sodano presided at Mass and adoration of the Eucharist, concluding the exercises, which took place this past week.

Archbishop Leonardo Sandri, substitute for General Affairs of the Secretariat of State, read a message from the Pope following Mass, which was addressed to Bishop Corti. The Holy Father thanked him for the reflections he had proposed over these days, focused on the theme: "The Church at the service of the new and eternal covenant."

Pope John Paul II wrote that the theme, "in making reference to the Blood that flowed from the wounds of the Crucified Christ, especially from the wound in his side, evoke the significance of the Eucharistic Sacrament.’

“The Church,” he wrote, “'de Eucharistia vivit' (lives on the Eucharist), because from that Blood she comes into being and draws vigor for her daily commitment to the task of announcing the Gospel."

The Pope concluded the letter saying, "In the heart of the Church, we have come together around the mystery of the altar, in the knowledge that this is the pulsating center of the communion and the mission of the entire Christian people.”

Thanks also to the contribution that you have offered over these days - strengthened by a pastoral sensibility ripened through ministry by so many priests, seminarians and faithful - we feel a renewed and fervent zeal to start again from the Eucharistic Christ, and bear witness to the world of God's new and eternal covenant with humanity."

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