This Thursday is the great celebration of Corpus Christi - the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Our Lord. We commemorate and again remember the infinite joy of the Eucharist because it truly is the Body and Blood of Our Lord and not a mere symbol. I will be taking part in a Eucharistic procession this weekend at my parish like many parishes throughout the world. Pope Benedict XVI will also take part in a Eucharistic procession this Thursday since Thursday is the Feast of Corpus Christi in Italy and most places in the world. In the United States, the celebration of Corpus Christi is moved to the following Sunday. These processions are endowed with indulgences by Popes Martin V and Eugene IV.
If you have never seen photos from a Eucharistic procession, look to the link at the top of this post as well as Una Voce Columbus. Te Deum also has great photos from Corpus Christi.
The solemnity of Corpus Christi, dedicated to the mystery of the Eucharist, concludes the cycle of feasts following Easter. The date is fixed by the Vatican as the Thursday after Trinity Sunday, which is turn is the Sunday after Pentecost.Photo Source: Wikipedia
The feast day was first officially celebrated at Liege in 1246, and extended to the universal Church by Pope Urban IV in 1264. In Italy the traditional feast dates back to the 15th century, and the route of the annual procession was set in the 16th century.
The procession through Rome was abandoned in 1870, after Italian forces took Rome from the papacy. Pope John Paul II revived the tradition in 1979.
More information on the Eucharist: