Saturday, 6 March 2010

Making the News (Part 5)

The Eucharistic Congress

In honorem Domini atque in amabilem Patricii memoriam (Book of Armagh)

The first Eucharistic Congress was held in 1881 under Pope Leo XIII. The 31st International Eucharistic Congress was held in Dublin from 21st to 26th June, 1932. The Eucharistic Congress in Dublin commemorated the 15th centenary of the beginning of the mission of St. Patrick. The culmination of the Eucharistic Congress was a Pontifical High Mass in the Phoenix Park. The turning of the first sod of the construction of the High Altar by Archbishop Byrne is seen above.

The Eucharistic Congress was also the first great occasion for the outpouring of devotion by Irish Nation of their devotion to their Eucharistic Lord and to His Vicar on Earth in its newly won freedom. They took pride in honouring His Eminence, Lorenzo, Cardinal Lauri, who was, at the time, Major Penitentiary of the Holy See, as the Legate of Pope Pius XI to the Congress.

The event saw the use of cutting-edge technology, such as spectacular lighting effects, skywriting, and the largest personal-address (PA) system in the world. A high power station was established in Athlone to coincide with the staging of the Eucharistic Congress. 2RN, 6CK and Athlone became known as "Radio Athlone" or "Radio Áth Luain," the forerunner of RTÉ Radio. Radio Éireann” in 1938. From one point of view, the Eucharistic Congress was to radio in Ireland what the 1952 Coronation was to television in England

Pathé also has footage of National and International Eucharistic Congresses in Chicago and in New York (1926), Bologna (1927), Melbourne and Teramo and Cleveland (1935), Tripoli and Terracina (1937), New Orleans (1938), Algeria (1939), Nancy (1949), Rennes (1956), and Bombay (1964).

The Patrician Congress

The Patrician Holy Year, to mark the 15th centenary of the death of St. Patrick, was opened on 17th March of that year in St. Patrick's Cathedral City of Armagh. Cardinal MacIntyre of Los Angeles was the Papal Legate to the events. The occasion was also marked by the first visit of a President of Ireland to Armagh.

The Patrician Congress in Dublin was inaugurated by the Papal Legate to that event, Cardinal Agagianian, on 15th June of that year. Throughout the nine-day congress, a special Congress Candle lit from a fire kindled on the Hill of Slane, burned in O'Connell Street. The culmination of the Patrician Congress was the Pontifical High Mass in Croke Park on Sunday, 25th June, 1961.

The Congress is covered, somewhat incongrously, about 9 minutes into the Pathé review of 1961.


Anonymous said...

Extremely interesting series. Long may it continue. Simon.

Anonymous said...

The Patrician Congress, the last hurra of Catholic Ireland. Is anything planned for the 1550th?

Bellocian said...

Another fine post. I like the very historical posts but it is also good to see the more recent events of our Catholic identity.

Anonymous said...

How times have changed.

Rad Trad said...

Watching these videos makes me quite sad to see all we have lost of the Catholic faith in our country.

I always wonder when I see newsreel footage like this if any of the Cardinals, Bishops or priests could have predicted what lay around the corner for the Church; both in terms of liturgy and the faith?

I can only imagine what the 2010 Eucharistic Congress will be like.