Vatican City, Jun 3, 2013 / 09:04 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis united churches from all world dioceses yesterday when he presided Eucharistic Adoration in Rome to mark the feast day of Corpus Christi.
He led the prayer, which consists of adoring the body of Christ, for worldwide Catholics who gathered in churches and cathedrals.
The pontiff presided the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ in front of thousands of people inside Saint Peter’s Basilica from 5 to 6 p.m. Rome time.
“In the feast of Corpus Christi we are called to worship the Lord, to adore the Lord in the presence of the Eucharist,” Father Charles Rochas told Vatican Radio June 2.
“Being invited by the Pope to adore the Blessed Sacrament is a strong and powerful way for all of us to stay focused on the center of our faith, the essential part of the Christian Faith, meeting the Lord himself,” said the priest who belongs to the diocese of Lyons, France.
He noted being a Christian “is all about being a friend of Jesus, and being a friend of Jesus is, all about staying with Him, and looking at Him and also being looked at by Jesus and being loved by Jesus himself.”
The idea for churches to be united worldwide in prayer today is linked to the Year of Faith with the theme “One Lord, one faith.”
Archbishop Rino Fisichella, who leads the Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelization, announced May 28 that there were two intentions for the Holy Hour.
The first was for the “Church throughout the world united today in Adoration of the Most Holy Eucharist,” that the Lord makes her ever obedient to his word so that she appears before the world as “beautiful, without spot or wrinkle, holy and without blemish.”
The second intention was dedicated to people around the world who are suffering from violence, drug or human trafficking, economic insecurity, and those who have been pushed to the margins of society.
The New Evangelization council had received responses from hundreds of dioceses worldwide, including all of those in Vietnam and South Korea.
The list is a virtual tour of the globe, stretching from Reykjavik, Iceland in the north, to dioceses in South Africa, Chile and New Zealand in the south.
Christ was also adored in the Eucharist in the Cook Islands, Samoa, Honolulu, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands and Guam.
Other countries with a large number of parishes or dioceses that participated were: the United States with 243, India with 163, Brazil with 56, and Italy with 50.
While Pope Francis prayed in Italian and Latin, the local Holy Hours were conducted in the local language.