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Pope Benedict ‘vigorously rings bell’ to promote Eucharistic Congress

The pontiff promotes the International Eucharistic Congress by ringing a bell presented by Archbishop Diarmuid Martin.

IEC volunteers with the Eucharistic Congress Bell, which will today be rung by Pope Benedict XVI inviting people to attend this year's congress in Dublin.
IEC volunteers with the Eucharistic Congress Bell, which will today be rung by Pope Benedict XVI inviting people to attend this year's congress in Dublin.

Updated, 12.07

POPE BENEDICT XVI has this morning been presented with a ceremonial bell as part of the preparations for the International Eucharistic Congress taking place in Dublin later this year.

The pontiff was presented with the bell by a delegation from Dublin lead by Archbishop Diarmuid Martin, who is the president of this year’s congress, as well as other organisers and members of the congress staff.

The bell is a nod to the tradition of St Patrick who is said to have left a bell in every church he consecrated. Organisers say the bell has already been rung by 250,000 pilgrims since it began a nationwide ‘Ring for Renewal’ tour on St Patrick’s Day last year.

Fr Kevin Doran, the secretary-general of this year’s congress, said the Pope had “blessed the bell, rang it vigorously, and paused to admire the icons as Archbishop Martin explained their significance.”

The bell is now been moved to St Peter’s Basilica where it will be rung at Masses throughout the day encouraging people to attend the congress, which runs from June 10 to 17, and will be rung at Mass at St Isidore’s Irish Franciscan College this Saturday being attended by communications minister Pat Rabbitte.

Benedict was also presented with a bowl of shamrock to mark St Patrick’s Day this Saturday, as well as the first in a limited range of commemorative medals minted to mark the IEC this summer.

Fr Doran said it seemed appropriate that the bell was yesterday delivered to the office beside St Peter’s Square in which the Pope had himself worked for over 20 years before his appointment as pontiff in 2005.

The bell being rung by the 84-year-old has previously been brought on pilgrimage to Lourdes with a Dublin diocesan group, and this week’s journey marks its second trip abroad.

Read: The Eucharistic Congress: what we know so far >

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Gavan Reilly

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