MUMBAI, India – An archdiocese in India held a Day of Reparation on Friday after a robber at a local Catholic church scattered the Eucharist from the tabernacle.

The incident happened the evening of Jan. 21 at St. Francis Assisi Church in Kengeri, which is located in the Archdiocese of Bangalore.

Archbishop Peter Machado told Crux the day of reparation was “a day of atonement for the sacrilege.”

In his homily on Friday, the archbishop called on the faithful to remember the dignity owed to God present in the Sacrament.

“This person who has carried out this act, may God forgive him, he has not known what he has done, he has thrown the Blessed species and perhaps even stamped over them, may God forgive me this act. For this act of desecration and profanation, we have requested that every church, every chapel, that our Blessed Lord be exposed, so that we can ask for mercy, compassion and at the same time, peace for us,” Machado said.

Prem John attended the ceremony in the Bangalore cathedral.

“The desecration had pained me deeply. It’s the body of the Christ. I have seen the Chinese desecrate the tabernacle of the underground Church. But here, a nation of the faithful of one god or another … it’s unexpected,” he told Crux.

Father Satish Kumar, the pastor of St. Francis Assisi Church also participated in the Day of Reparation at his church.

“This morning from 5.30 people were waiting outside the church, I opened the church and people were praying silently. I exposed the Blessed Sacrament at 6 in the morning,” he told Crux.

“We have organised the Day of Reparation zone wise, and people are flocking to the church. Our people were very sad, to see the desecration of the Eucharistic Lord,” the priest added.

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