The goal and purpose of International Eucharistic Congresses is to make Christian communities worldwide realize that the source and summit of the life and mission of the Church is the Eucharist!
We support and help to implement this goal.
Join in celebrating and preparing by having adoration in your own parish and Christian community.
PONTIFICAL COMMITTEE FOR INTERNATIONAL EUCHARISTIC CONGRESSES
ABOUT EUCHARISTIC CONGRESSES
1. What is a Eucharistic Congress?
A Eucharistic Congress should be considered according to the Roman Ritual De comunione et de cultu mysterii eucaristici extra missam (1973) n. 109, “as a gathering (statio) to which a local church invites the other churches of the same region or of the same nation or of the whole world”.
2. Who can convoke a Eucharistic Congress?
The Holy Father convokes an International Eucharistic Congress at the place proposed by a local Ordinary (Bishop) or by an Episcopal Conference. Even Bishops can convoke diocesan or national Eucharistic Congresses in their dioceses or respective countries.
The Pontifical Committee for International Eucharistic Congresses encourage, among other objectives, the celebration of national, diocesan, inter-diocesan and parish Eucharistic Congresses, which can possibly have an ecumenical and inter-religious dimension.
3. What are the ends of the Eucharistic Congress?
With the support of Episcopal Conferences and local bishops, National and diocesan Delegates – and National Committees, where set up – engage in fostering or taking those initiatives that, in accordance with the Church’s present norms, have the scope of increasing understanding and participation in the Eucharistic Mystery in all its aspects: from the celebration to worship extra missam, so that its influence permeates the whole of personal and social living.
4. What should be studied in preparing a Eucharistic Congress?
Documents needing to be studies in preparing a Eucharistic Congress are above all those of the Magisterium: the Instruction De cultu mysterii eucaristici (1967); the Roman Ritual De comunione et de cultu eucaristico extra missam (1973) nn. 110 – 111 and particularly the Encyclical Letter of Pope John Paul II Ecclesia de Eucaristia (2003). To express the particular features of every Congress it is indispensable to reflect on the pastoral applications of the basic text drawn up by the local committee.
5. What are the essential features that constitute the celebration of a Eucharistic Congress?
The Roman Ritual points out in no. 112 that the centre of every Eucharistic Congress is the celebration of the Eucharist, the source and summit of the whole Christian life. The celebration of the word of God and talks can contribute to examining the various aspects of the Eucharistic Mystery – aspects that are suggested by the theme of the Congress. The possibility of praying in common and of adoring the Blessed Sacrament in designated churches contributes to interiorizing these themes. Finally, Eucharistic processions can help to express a public and ritual dimension to the faith in the Eucharist, which is celebrated, reflected upon and re-affirmed during the Congress.
6. How long does a Eucharistic Congress last?
According to needs, resources and circumstances, a Eucharistic Congress can take place for a day or last for many days. When resources are limited, many dioceses can unite in a common celebration to employ their resources in the most effective manner.
7. A follow-up to the Congress?
To realise the fruits of a Eucharistic Congress it is indispensable to follow it up in dioceses and parishes through the committed endeavours of the permanent Delegates working in collaboration with pastoral centres.
The following was taken from the source Wikipedia, on December 9, 2021:
“In the Catholic Church, a eucharistic congress is a gathering of clergy, religious, and laity to bear witness to the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist, which is an important Roman Catholic doctrine. Congresses bring together people from a wide area, and typically involve large open-air Masses, Eucharistic adoration (Blessed Sacrament), and other devotional ceremonies held over several days. Congresses may both refer to National (varies by country) and International Eucharistic Congresses.
“Paschal Baylon is considered the patron saint of such eucharistic congresses.
The first International Eucharistic Congress owed its inspiration to Bishop Gaston de Ségur, and was held at Lille, France, on June 21, 1881. The initial inspiration behind the idea came from the laywoman Marie-Marthe-Baptistine Tamisier (1834-1910) who spent a decade lobbying clergy. The sixth congress met in Paris in 1888, and the great memorial Church of the Sacred Heart on Montmartre was the center of the proceedings. Antwerp hosted the next congress in 1890, at which an immense altar of repose was erected in the Place de Meir, and an estimated 150,000 persons gathered around it when Cardinal Goossens, Archbishop of Mechelen, gave the solemn benediction. Bishop Doutreloux of Liège was then president of the Permanent Committee for the Organization of Eucharistic Congresses, the body which has charge of the details of these meetings. Of special importance also was the eighth congress, held in Jerusalem in 1893, as it was the first congress held outside Europe.
In 1907, the congress was held in Metz, Lorraine, and the German government suspended the law of 1870 (which forbade processions) in order that the usual solemn procession of the Blessed Sacrament might be held. Each year the congress had become more and more international in nature, and at the invitation of Archbishop Bourne of Westminster the nineteenth congress was held in London, the first among English-speaking members of the Church. The presidents of the Permanent Committee of the International Eucharistic Congresses, under whose direction all this progress was made, were:
- Bishop Gaston de Ségur of Lille; Archbishop de La Bouillerie, titular of Perga and coadjutor of Bordeaux;
- Archbishop Duquesnay of Cambrai;
- Cardinal Mermillod, Bishop of Lausanne and Geneva;
- Bishop Doutreloux of Liège;
- Bishop Thomas Louis Heylen of Namur, Belgium.
After each congress this committee prepared and published a volume giving a report of all the papers read and the discussions on them in the various sections of the meeting, the sermons preached, the addresses made at the public meetings, and the details of all that transpired.
The last U.S. National Eucharistic Congress was held in Philadelphia in 1976, the next will be in 2024 in Indianapolis.
The International Eucharistic Congresses
|1st International Eucharistic Congress||June 1881||Lille||The Eucharist Saves the World|
|2nd International Eucharistic Congress||September 1882||Avignon|
|3rd International Eucharistic Congress||June 1883||Liège|
|4th International Eucharistic Congress||September 1885||Fribourg|
|5th International Eucharistic Congress||June 1887||Toulouse|
|6th International Eucharistic Congress||July 1888||Paris|
|7th International Eucharistic Congress||August 1890||Antwerp|
|8th International Eucharistic Congress||May 1893||Jerusalem||First congress held outside Europe.|
|9th International Eucharistic Congress||July 1894||Reims|
|10th International Eucharistic Congress||September 1897||Paray-le-Monial|
|11th International Eucharistic Congress||July 1898||Brussels|
|12th International Eucharistic Congress||August 1899||Lourdes|
|13th International Eucharistic Congress||September 1901||Angers|
|14th International Eucharistic Congress||September 1902||Namur|
|15th International Eucharistic Congress||June 1904||Angoulême|
|16th International Eucharistic Congress||June 1905||Rome|
|17th International Eucharistic Congress||August 1906||Tournai|
|18th International Eucharistic Congress||August 1907||Metz|
|19th International Eucharistic Congress||September 1908||London|
|20th International Eucharistic Congress||August 1909||Cologne|
|21st International Eucharistic Congress||September 7–11, 1910||Montreal||First Congress held in North America or the Western Hemisphere.|
|22nd International Eucharistic Congress||July 1911||Madrid|
|23rd International Eucharistic Congress||September 12–15, 1912||Vienna|
|24th International Eucharistic Congress||April 23–27, 1913||Malta|
|25th International Eucharistic Congress||July 22–25, 1914||Lourdes||The Eucharist and the Social Reign of Jesus Christ||Cardinal G. Pignatelli of Belmonte was the papal legate.|
|26th International Eucharistic Congress||May 24–29, 1922||Rome||The Peaceful Reign of Our Lord Jesus Christ in the Eucharist||Pope Pius XI officiated the Mass at the St. Peter’s Square; first congress after World War I.|
|27th International Eucharistic Congress||June 22–27, 1924||Amsterdam||The Eucharist and Holland||Cardinal Van Rossum was the papal legate.|
|28th International Eucharistic Congress||June 20–24, 1926||Chicago||First congress in the United States. Papal legate: Cardinal Bonzano. Hosted by Cardinal Mundelein, Archbishop of Chicago. Est worshippers: 500,000 at Soldier Field mass, 1 million at St. Mary of the Lake closing mass.|
|29th International Eucharistic Congress||September 6–9, 1928||Sydney||First congress in Australia. The procession of the Eucharist, headed by the papal legate Cardinal Cerretti, was witnessed by 500,000.|
|30th International Eucharistic Congress||May 7–11, 1930||Carthage||The Eucharist is Africa’s testimony||First congress held in Africa.|
|31st International Eucharistic Congress||June 22–26, 1932||Dublin||The Propagation of the Sainted Eucharist by Irish Missionaries||1500th anniversary of Saint Patrick’s arrival in Ireland. Catholic population of Ireland in 1932 was 3 million.|
|32nd International Eucharistic Congress||October 10–14, 1934||Buenos Aires||First congress in South America. Papal legate Cardinal Pacelli (later Pope Pius XII). Over one million people around Palmero Park heard a radio broadcast from the pope in Vatican City. Cardinal Pacelli celebrated High Mass and pronounced apostolic blessing on participants.|
|33rd International Eucharistic Congress||February 3–7, 1937||Manila||First congress in Asia and in the Philippines. Attended by 1.5 million from around the world. Pontifical Masses in Rizal Park, with hundreds of thousands at each.|
|34th International Eucharistic Congress||May 25–30, 1938||Budapest||Eucharist, the Bond of Love||Papal legate Cardinal Pacelli (later Pope Pius XII). Over 100,000 people from all over the world, including 15 cardinals and 330 bishops.|
|35th International Eucharistic Congress||May 27-June 1, 1952||Barcelona||Peace||First congress since the end of World War II. Attended by hundreds of bishops and church officials, including Cardinal Spellman of New York, and Cardinal Stritch of Chicago. The Cold War limited attendance from communist eastern European countries.|
|36th International Eucharistic Congress||July 17–24, 1955||Rio de Janeiro||Christ the Redeemer and His Eucharistic Kingdom|
|37th International Eucharistic Congress||July 31-August 7, 1960||Munich||City chosen by Pope Pius XII, who had been papal nuncio there. Attended by 430 bishops and 28 cardinals, including Cardinal Spellman of New York, Cardinal Cushing of Boston, and Cardinal Meyer of Chicago. Laid a foundation stone for a “church of atonement” near Dachau concentration camp. Closing Statio Orbis Mass celebrated on Theresienwiese Square.|
|38th International Eucharistic Congress||November 12–15, 1964||Bombay||First congress in a country withoiut a significant Christian population, aiming to dissemine the doctrine of the “real presence of Christ in the Eucharist.” Attended by Pope Paul VI, many cardinals, and 20,000 foreign visitors.|
|39th International Eucharistic Congress||August 18–25, 1968||Bogotá||The Eucharist as the Bond of Love||Attended by Pope Paul VI, Archbishop Carroll of Miami, and Archbishop Dearden of Detroit.|
|40th International Eucharistic Congress||February 18–25, 1973||Melbourne||“Love one another as I have loved you!”  |
|41st International Eucharistic Congress||August 1–8, 1976||Philadelphia||Hungers of the Human Family||Attended by 1,500,000 people, including 44 Cardinals and 417 bishops. Theme: “The Eucharist and the Hungers of the Human Family” (physical and spiritual hungers).. Mother Teresa and Dorothy Day were panelists at a conference on Women and the Eucharist. Future Pope John Paul II gave the homily for Freedom and Justice. US President Ford spoke of freedom and the Church’s work for peace. |
|42nd International Eucharistic Congress||July 16–23, 1981||Lourdes||“Jesus Christ, bread broken for a new world”||Organization: Henri Donze, Bishop of Lourdes; papal legate Cardinal Bernardin Gantin. Great number of young people, from Third World. Procession with candles successful.  This was the third time the congress was held at Lourdes.|
|43rd International Eucharistic Congress||August 11–18, 1985||Nairobi||The Eucharist and the Christian Family||Attended by Pope John Paul II.|
|44th International Eucharistic Congress||October 4–8, 1989||Seoul||Christ is our Peace||As he did four years prior, Pope John Paul II attended the congress, holding the Solemn Mass entirely in Korean on the final day. The two principal objectives were: promoting a deeper understanding of the Eucharist; and living the eucharistic faith in the reality of our world. Attendance was reported to be around 1 million.|
|45th International Eucharistic Congress||June 7–13, 1993||Seville||Christ Light of Nations||The first post-Cold War congress, Pope John Paul II addressed the congress and declared, “I hope the fruit of this congress results in the establishment of perpetual Eucharistic adoration in all parishes and Christian communities throughout the world.”|
|46th International Eucharistic Congress||May 25-June 1, 1997||Wrocław||Freedom as Reflected in the Eucharist||Attended by Pope John Paul II. The congress addressed the distinction between “freedom” and “liberty.”|
|47th International Eucharistic Congress||June 18–25, 2000||Rome||The third to be celebrated in Rome, the congress was the first of its kind to be celebrated in a Jubilee Year.|
|48th International Eucharistic Congress||October 10–17, 2004||Guadalajara||Pope John Paul II, being too ill to attend, named Cardinal Josef Tomko as Papal Legate. The Congress ended with a celebration of the Mass in the Jalisco Stadium in Guadalajara, with a live link up to a simultaneous Mass celebrated in St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, celebrated in the presence of Pope John Paul II. These simultaneous Masses marked the beginning of the Year of the Eucharist which ran from the International Eucharistic Congress to the General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops in October 2005.|
|49th International Eucharistic Congress||June 15–22, 2008||Quebec City||The Eucharist, Gift of God for the Life of the World||This congress coincided with the 400th anniversary of the city’s founding. The closing celebration took place on the Plains of Abraham, attended by tens of thousands of pilgrims. Pope Benedict XVI’s message was broadcast live, in both French and English, from the Apostolic Palace in the Vatican, via giant screens set up on the meadow. The Pope announced the next Congress was to take place in Dublin, Ireland, in 2012.|
|50th International Eucharistic Congress||June 10–17, 2012||Dublin||The Eucharist: Communion with Christ and with one another (drawn from Lumen gentium)||The congress coincided with the 50th anniversary of the inauguration of the Second Vatican Council. In addition to the daily celebration of the Eucharist, there were over thirty workshops and presentations daily on various themes associated with the Eucharist. For many years, the Church has failed to respond appropriately to child abuse by clergy. The blessing of a Healing Stone by Archbishop Diarmuid Martin, as well as a personal meeting between the Papal Legate, Cardinal Marc Ouellet, and survivors of clergy sexual abuse, were among the ways in which the issue was addressed. The Pope delivered a pre-recorded address to the closing ceremony on June 17.|
|51st International Eucharistic Congress||January 24–31, 2016||Cebu City||Christ in You, Our Hope of Glory (From the Letter of St. Paul to the Colossians)||The second time in the Philippines, including Manila in 1937. Pope Francis appointed the first Cardinal of Myanmar Cardinal Charles Maung Bo as the Papal Legate.|
|52nd International Eucharistic Congress||September 5–12, 2021||Budapest||“In You (=in Eucharistic Jesus) is the source of all our blessings.” (Cfr.: Ps 87, 7)||This is the second time Hungary will be hosting after 1938.|
|53rd International Eucharistic Congress||2024||Quito||This will be in the Andean country that for first time will be the host of the event, that also coincides in the anniversary 150° of the Consagration of Ecuador to the Sacred Heart of Jesus made for the former president Gabriel García Moreno and supported by the then Holy Pope Pius IX in 1874.|
- Pontifical Committee for International Eucharistic Congresses
- Real presence of Christ in the Eucharist
- World Youth Day
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The Pontifical Committee for International Eucharistic Congresses
The purpose of this Committee is “to make ever better known, loved and served, Our Lord Jesus Christ in his Eucharistic Mystery, as centre of the life of the Church and of its mission for the salvation of the world” through the celebration of International Eucharistic Congresses. And to ensure the adequate pastoral preparation of these International Eucharistic Congresses it requests the Episcopal Conferences and Patriarchal Synods to appoint National Delegates, who will be committed to work for the preparation of the Congresses and, where necessary, set up National Eucharistic Committees with the approval and collaboration of the local ecclesiastical authority.
Vice-Presidents and Presidents of the Pontifical Committee
- Sighard Kleiner, O.Cist. (1983 – 1985)
- Bernardin Gantin (1983 – 1989)
- Opilio Rossi (5 December 1983 – 3 January 1991)
- Edouard Gagnon P.S.S. (3 January 1991 – March 2001)
- Jozef Tomko (23 October 2001 – 1 October 2007)
- Piero Marini (1 October 2007 – )
In 2021, the Congress was held in Budapest, Hungary:
“The 52nd International Eucharistic Congress will be [was] held in September in Budapest, and we can meet Jesus and each other there.He is the Host who gives Himself to us with the words: ‘Take it; this is my body.’ We would like to celebrate Him with you in the Holy Mass, in the Eucharist also at the Congress. Until then, let us pray for each other in front of the Blessed Sacrament in thousands of churches and in our homes all over the world for an hour, on Saturday of the Feast of Corpus Christi, on 5th of June. Join us at corpusdomini.iec2020.hu! Please help organize the adoration of the Blessed Sacrament in your parish or community and register online or join a venue at corpusdomini.iec2020.hu.”
- “Jesus Christ, when saying farewell to His disciples, sent them into the whole world to proclaim the gospel. He promised to be with them ‘always, until the end of the age’. He is with us in his teaching, in his mercy, in his sacraments, but most specially in the celebration of the Eucharist and in the Blessed Sacrament, that we adore outside the Holy Mass, too. Saturday of the Feast of Corpus Christi, on 5th of June, we invite again everyone for a worldwide adoration. In the current epidemiological situation, where there is no opportunity to gather in our churches, we can also join in from our homes with our personal prayers. Let us take part in this common adoration, join in with your parish, your community and your family! Let this worldwide adoration be the next station of our preparation for the 52nd International Eucharistic Congress in Budapest, and let us relive the regenerating love of God.”
- His Eminence, Cardinal Péter Erdő, Primate, Archbishop of Esztergom-Budapest and the General Secretariat of the 52nd International
Eucharistic Congress (IEC2020) invited the faithful around the world again to a common prayer and adoration on Saturday of the Feast ofChrist the King, on 21 November 2020. This time, with regard to the pandemic, participants also join in from home with individual
prayer, rosary and reading of the Bible, and indicate their participation, by giving their names and postal codes on the event’s website, corpusdomini.iec2020.hu that is available in eight languages.
- The September 5-12, 2021, I.E.C. (the original 2020 Congress dates in the beautiful poster below were shifted to September 2021, due to the coronavirus: https://www.iec2020.hu/en/program
Mission statement of the International Eucharistic Congress Budapest, September 5-21, 2021:
1. The fundamental aim of International Eucharistic Congress (IEC) is to make Catholic faithful aware of the fact that the Eucharist is the source and summit of the Church’s life.
2. The Eucharist is “the source of life”. This way it can be a resource for each believer, for the community of believers, and for the society. The objective of IEC is to highlight, research, and demonstrate this.
3. The mission of IEC is to reinforce the faith, the knowledge, and the apologetics of Catholic faithful, on the individual and the parochial level, engaging more deeply with Catholic tradition, so they would live a consistent Christian life and continue the work of the Good News of salvation with a renewed missionary spirit, taking an active part in the new evangelization of Europe this way. The IEC shall serve the revival of parishes with the help of renewed believers strengthened in their faith. This process is helped by a variety of trainings, courses, meetings, retreats, publications, prospectuses etc. during the years of preparation. Thus, the Congress is a scientific forum at the same time, which aims to help the worship of the Eucharist in practice, in a clear and tangible way. …
6. Eucharist is the Bread of Life, thus the mission of IEC is evident in a horizontal manner as well: social, societal, and charity programs, and openness towards the poor are an integral part of it.
7. The IEC provides an opportunity to facilitate the dialogue and create better understanding between different faiths and religions. It can give place to a common, social, charitable collaboration.
9. Finally, the IEC wants to glorify, celebrate, and present Christ living with us in the Eucharist, and bring him closer to all the people of good will.
In 2008, Canada hosted the 49th International Eucharistic Congress in Quebec:
- International eucharistic congress – Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (cccb.ca)
- Pastoral Letter on Eucharistic Adoration from His Eminence Marc Cardinal Ouellet
- 49TH INTERNATIONAL EUCHARISTIC CONGRESS, QUÉBEC, 2008 – Vatican.va
- International Eucharistic Congress Quebec – A Flood of Graces, article by the Michael Journal
- PONTIFICAL COMMITTEE FOR INTERNATIONAL EUCHARISTIC CONGRESSES The Eucharist: God’s gift for the life of the world Foundational theological document for the International Eucharistic Congress of Quebec
- Search on International Eucharistic Congresses on Vatican.va
- 2008 International Eucharistic Congress Soon To Begin in Quebec