Storm affects stocks of holy sacrament for pope mass

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The powerful storm that lashed a service led by Pope Benedict XVI attended by more than a million people also damaged stocks of the wafers for the holy sacrament to be given at a mass Sunday, organisers said.

"Some chapels where the wafers were kept were damaged," said a spokesman for the World Youth Day festival. "They are going to give communion to as many people as possible but there will not be enough for everyone."

Therefore, the pilgrims will be asked to "join in a spiritual communion", the spokesman said.

The storm lashed the open-air service at the Cuatro Ventos (Four Winds) airbase near Madrid late on Saturday, forcing the the 84-year-old pope to cut short his speech and drenching the faithful who had waited for hours in blistering heat.

The organisers had set up 17 tents at the base for "Eucharist Adoration" in which the faithful adore the holy sacrament -- bread and wine that has been blessed to become the blood and body of Christ.

The pilgrims spent the night in the open air at the base, eight kilometres (five miles) southwest of Madrid, where Benedict celebrates the closing mass of the August 16-21 youth festival on Sunday morning.

© 2011 AFP

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