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Rome Reports

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General Audience: Pope reflects on prayer of the Last Supper

Benedict XVI

“In the Eucharist, the Church responds to the command of Jesus: ?Do this in remembrance of me? repeated in the prayer of thanksgiving and blessing, and with this the words of transubstantiation of bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ.”

The pope recalled that as the bread and wine consecrated during Mass becomes Christ, that by receiving communion, a person?s weakness is transformed into strength. ;

Benedict XVI

“May our celebration of the Eucharist, in obedience to Christ’s command, unite us more deeply to his prayer at the Last Supper and enable us, in union with him, to offer our lives ever more fully in sacrifice to the Father.”

This general audience was also marked by 120 circus performers who occupied the front rows of the Paul VI Audience Hall. After greetings were made by the pope in seven languages, music was played as dozens of trapeze artists, jugglers and clowns transformed the hall into a circus ring.

Another member of the audience was this Cuban crocodile that was brought from a zoo in Rome. The animal had been confiscated from an Italian man who had it illegally and it will soon be returned to its home in Cuba. It now measure around 15 inches, but when full grown they can be over 10 feet long. ;