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Workers put the finishing touches to the main stage at the Eucharistic Congress Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland
IEC 2012

Pilgrim ponchos and altar wine: The Eucharistic Congress in numbers

With 20,000 of the faithful attending, the Catholic celebration begins officially today.

AROUND 20,000 PEOPLE will descend on Dublin’s RDS today for the opening event of the 50th International Eucharistic Congress.

The Papal Legate will address an audience including 7,000 overseas pilgrims from 123 countries, in a ceremony which will also be broadcast live on RTÉ television.

The congress – the first of its kind to be held in Ireland since the 1930s – is expected to attract up to 20,000 people a day for this week, with 80,000 of the faithful heading to Croke Park for the final liturgy a week today.

And it’s no simple matter kitting out all those pilgrims. From ponchos to priests, high-vis to vestments, here’s the International Eucharistic Congress in numbers:

  • 30 mitres on hand for use by bishops
  • 250,000 wafers of bread for Holy Communions, along with 996 bottles of altar wine
  • 2,000 volunteers helping to move 25,000 chairs and set up 200 exhibition stands, using 600 hi-vis jackets
  • 60,000 Pilgrim Translation radios for use in the Congress’s 7 official languages
  • 70,000 rain ponchos
  • 236 Cardinals and bishops attending, alongside 1,200 priests and deacons
  • 5 humeral veils, 500+ vestments and 200 chalices
  • 32,500 lanyards
  • 5 social media sites with an official IEC 2012 presence
  • 1 official Congress Pilgrimage Bell

Read: Eucharistic Congress abandons plans to screen Euro 2012 games for pilgrims>

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