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Rome Reports

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Pope Francis: The Eucharist is not a symbol, it is Jesus giving himself entirely

Even as rain fell from the sky, thousands of pilgrims joined Pope Francis in St. Peter's Square to pray the Angelus. He spoke about the importance of attending Mass. POPE FRANCIS "Sometimes, about Mass, we hear this objection: ' What is the purpose of Mass? I go to Church when I feel like it, and I pray better alone.' But the Eucharist is not a private prayer or a beautiful spiritual experience. It is not only a commemoration of what Jesus did at the Last Supper. We say, to understand, that the Eucharist is the 'memorial'.� The Pope spoke further about the Eucharist. He explained that it is much more than a symbol or an image. The Eucharist, he said, is Jesus giving Himself. POPE FRANCIS "Jesus left us the Eucharist with a precise objective: That we can become one with Him.� With the Eucharist, Pope Francis explained, it is possible "to get in tune with the heart of Christ,� "assimilate your behavior,� and become "a person of peace.� POPE FRANCIS "We nourish ourselves with Him and remain in Him through the Eucharistic Communion. If we do it with faith, it transforms our life. It transforms it into a gift to God and a gift to our brothers.� Concluding his remarks, Pope Francis sent a greeting to the thousands of young people who were celebrating the 200th anniversary of the birth of Saint Don Bosco. Before leaving, as is customary, he asked the pilgrims to pray for him and to have a good Sunday and a nice lunch. AC/ATO CTV -JM BN Up:LOA