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The future Pope Francis on the Eucharist and Mary

March 14, 2013

During the 2005 Synod of Bishops, which was devoted to the Holy Eucharist, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio reflected on the Blessed Sacrament and the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Cardinal Bergoglio did not take part in the four most recent synods, which were devoted to the new evangelization, the Church in the Middle East, the Church in Africa, and the Word of God in the life of the Church.

Referring to the 2005 synod’s working document, Cardinal Bergoglio stated that “a phrase of the Instrumentum Laboris (n. 2) says that ‘we are to see if the law of prayer corresponds to the law of faith. We are to consider what the People of God believes and how the People of God lives, so that the Eucharist can become more and more the source and summit of the life and mission of … the Church.’”

Cardinal Bergoglio described this statement as “a very rich intuition that goes looking for Christ in his most humble beneficiaries and witnesses: in the holy faithful People of God, the people that, in their entirety, are infallible in believing.” (The cardinal’s statement is likely a reference to the Second Vatican Council’s teaching that “the entire body of the faithful, anointed as they are by the Holy One, cannot err in matters of belief.”)

Cardinal Bergoglio, citing an apostolic exhortation and two encyclicals by Pope John Paul II, added:

Our faithful people believe in the Eucharist as a priestly people (cf. Christifideles laici 1, 14). It is a qualitatively constant participation (cf. CFL 1, 17).

Our faithful people believes as a Eucharistic people in Mary. They tie together their affection for the Eucharist and their affection for the Virgin, our Lady and Mother (cf. Redemptoris Mater III, 44). In the “school of Mary”, Eucharistic woman, we can reread contemplatively the passages in which John Paul II sees our Lady as a Eucharistic woman, and see her not alone but “in the company of” (Acts 1:14) the People of God.

We follow here that rule of tradition by which, with different nuances, “what is said of Mary is said of the soul of every Christian and of the whole Church.” (Ecclesia de Eucharistia, 57). Our faithful people have the true “Eucharistic attitude” of giving thanks and of praise.

Remembering Mary, they are grateful for being remembered by her, and this memorial of love is truly Eucharistic. In this respect I repeat what John Paul II affirmed in Ecclesia de Eucharistia number 58: “The Eucharist has been given to us so that our life, like that of Mary, can become completely a Magnificat.”


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