Pope Benedict XVI cites as evidence the adoration of 80,000 people at the Hyde Park vigil in September

Pope Benedict XVI has said the Church is witnessing a “springtime in Eucharistic adoration”, citing as evidence the Hyde Park vigil during his trip to Britain in September.

He said at his weekly general audience today that young people in particular were finding time to “stop in silence before the tabernacle”.

The Pontiff said he hoped this “springtime of the Eucharist” would spread to other places, particularly in Belgium, the birthplace of St Juliana of Liège, a 13th century Augustinian nun, whose devotion to the Eucharist gave rise to the feast of Corpus Christi.

On Saturday, September 18, about 80,000 pilgrims stood in silence in Hyde Park as Pope Benedict XVI presided at Eucharistic adoration.

The Pope dedicated his catechesis to St Juliana, saying she promoted the feast because of a “recurring vision”.

He said: “Pope Urban IV, who had known Juliana in Liège, instituted the solemnity of Corpus Christi for the universal Church and charged Saint Thomas Aquinas with composing the texts of the liturgical office. The Pope himself celebrated the solemnity in Orvieto, then the seat of the papal court, where the relic of a celebrated Eucharistic miracle, which had occurred the previous year, was kept.

“As we recall Saint Juliana of Cornillon, let us renew our faith in Christ’s true presence in the Eucharist and pray that the ‘springtime of the Eucharist’ which we are witnessing in the Church today may bear fruit in an ever greater devotion to the Sacrament of Christ’s Body and Blood,” the Pope said.