Rome, Italy, Aug 4, 2010 / 03:29 am
Benedict XVI underscored the importance of the Eucharist on Wednesday as a "treasure whose value cannot be measured." Illustrating a young third century martyr's dedication to the Body of Christ, he exhorted the tens of thousands of altar servers present at the audience to also give their lives in service to the Lord.
Vatican spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi estimated the number of people in St. Peter's Square at more than 80,000.
The Holy Father addressed the faithful in German, out of consideration for the native tongue of the great majority of the 53,000 young people present at the audience as part of a pilgrimage of European altar servers.
After donning a white pilgrim's handkerchief himself, he remembered St. Tarcisius in the catechesis. The young boy was martyred in Rome in the year 257 in the act of protecting the Eucharist and is now one of the patron saints of altar servers.