Opening of Canada's Marian Congress

Page 1, 20th June 1947

Nine Cardinals And 200,000 Pilgrims At Opening Of Canada's Marian Congress

At least 200,000 pilgrims were present in Ottawa on Wednesday last, when Canada's National Marian Congress opened. Nine Cardinals, the largest number ever to be gathered together in Canada, were present for the opening at which Viscount Alexander of Tunis, Governor-General of Canada, welcomed the Papal Legate, Cardinal McGuigan. On Sunday the Pope will broadcast to the Congress, probably mentioning the possibility of the definition of the dogma of the Assumption.

The nine Cardinals present were Cardinal McGuigan, Papal Legate, Cardinals Spellman, Stritch and Mooney from the U.S.A., Cardinal Arteaga y Betancourt of Havana, and, from Europe, Cardinal Gerlier of

Lyons, Cardinal Frings of Cologne, and, after some delay, Cardinal Mindzenty, Primate of Hungary, with the French-born Cardinal Tisserant, Secretary of the Sacred Congregation of the Eastern Churches.

Among the other distinguished members of the Canadian Government who will assist at functions during the Congress, apart from Viscount Alexander of Tunis, Governor-General of the Dominion, are Mr. McKenzie King, Prime Minister of Canada, External Affairs, and Mr. J. J. Mr. Lois St. Laurent, Minister of McCann, Minister of National Revenue.

THE POPE'S LETTER The Pope, in a letter of good wishes to the Papal Legate, Cardinal McGuigan, said: " Make liberty the keynote of your address. It is not liberty," the Pope added, " if one envisages unbridled powers to achieve all ends: It is not liberty that iniquity should go unpunished. Truth is the mother of liberty. Truth is light and glory."

He invited all participating in the Congress to fight against those who would " adulterate " liberty, the hope of salvation of the human race.

At 3 p.m. on Wednesday the Cardinal Legate arrived at the Cathedral in Ottawa and the Congress opened with an address of welcome read by Mgr. Vachon, Archbishop of Ottawa. The Legate replied and imparted the Papal Blessing.

Thursday will see the great Midnight Mass sung by Archbishop Antoniutti, Apostolic Delegate in Canada, General Communion and sermons in English and French.