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Sunday, June 18, 2006
Corpus Christi (Solemnity of the Body and Blood)

Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink His blood, you have no life in you; he who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day."-- John 6:53, 54

Unlike most of the world that celebrates Corpus Christi (latin for "Body of Christ") on Thursday because the Eucharist was instituted on Holy Thursday, the United States of America celebrates it on the following Sunday.  While many traditional parishes (that will say the Traditional Latin Mass) will still celebrate Corpus Christi on the Thursday after Pentecost, all parishes (even traditional ones) have permissions to transfer its celebration to the subsequent Sunday (i.e. 1st Sunday after Pentecost).  This indult to the United States was granted by His Holiness Pope Leo XIII.

Corpus Christi is now called in the Post Conciliar Church (i.e. after Vatican II) the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ. We remember and again celebrate this true and lasting miracle. Think about it, we can receive the flesh and blood of Our God! We can truly receive our Creator in a way so that we might have life within us! The Institution of the Eucharist changed the world. We must contemplate this miracle before receiving Our Lord at every single Mass.  How can we not share the sentiments of Archbishop Sheen who said, "The greatest love story of all time is contained in a tiny, white Host."

"Yesterday on approaching the Most Blessed Sacrament, I felt myself burning and I had to withdraw. I am astounded that so many who receive Jesus are not reduced to ashes" (St. Gemma Galgani)
The Feast of Corpus Christi was instituted in the 13th Century to commemorate the Institution of the Eucharist. While we remember this on Holy Thursday, we also remember Christ's coming passion and death as well as the institution of the priesthood. For the sublime gift of the Holy Eucharist, we need another day set aside just to praise God for His unlimited humility and love. Imagine that bread and wine become the God of Heaven and Earth!

Around the early 1200s, Saint Juliana of Mont Cornillon received a vision concerning this feast at a young age. St. Juliana always had a strong devotion to the Blessed Sacrament. In her visition she saw the Church under the appearance of the full moon. One large, dark spot was in the moon - symbolic of the absence of a solemnity to honor the Holy Eucharist. St. Juliana became an Augustinian nun in Liége, France, in 1206. Corpus Christi became a feast for the Diocese of Liege in 1246, and later in 1312, Corpus Christi became a mandatory feast in the Roman Catholic Church. In 1970 the name was changed from Corpus Christi to the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ when Corpus Christi and the Feast of the Precious Blood (July 1) were joined.  Traditional Latin Masses still separately celebrate the Feasts of Corpus Christi and the Feast of the Precious Blood.

Today's feast has 3 purposes:

1) To honor Our Lord, who is truly present in the Holy Eucharist
2) To instruct others on the faith, mystery, and devotion concerning the Holy Eucharist
3) To show our appreciate for the great gift of the Holy Eucharist

Many parishes will have Eucharistic processions. These processions are endowed with indulgences by Popes Martin V and Eugene IV.

Procession Images:


del_button June 5, 2010 at 9:27 AM
Anonymous said...

Strictly theologically speaking the Eucharist is not a "miracle". I am most certainly not detracting from the true faith in the real presence of the body, blood, soul and divinity of Jesus Christ therein but according to the traditional definition of a miracle the Eucharist doesn't qualify as such. Ask your FSSP contacts. They'll catechize.

del_button July 13, 2010 at 6:14 AM
Matthew said...


How then do you explain these comments on page 891 of the Angelus Press Roman Catholic Daily Missal:

"The Son of God is about to renew His supreme miracle, by the sole authority of His Word spoken through the Priest. Our Lord, by the same authority that once drew all of Creation out of nothing, will transform the substance of bread and wine into His own Body and the subance of the wine into His own Blood, leaving only the appearances of bread and wine upon the altar"

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