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5 Facts about the Feast of Corpus Christi

1. The Feast of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, or Corpus Christi, celebrates the Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist—Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity. 2. There were 2 separate miracles that lead to the institution of the feast in the Catholic Church: A Vision to St. Juliana of Mont Cornillon and The Miracle at Bolsena. St. Juliana’s Vision: The saint had a vision of the Churc

h under the appearance of a full moon which had one dark spot. During the vision, she heard a mysterious, heavenly voice explain that the moon represented the Church at that time, and the dark spot symbolized the fact that a great feast in honor of the Blessed Sacrament was missing from the liturgical calendar. The Miracle at Bolsena: In 1263 a priest had grown lukewarm for his love of the Eucharist and began to doubt Jesus' true presence in the Blessed Sacrament. In response to his doubt, when he recited the prayer of consecration as he celebrated the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, blood started seeping from the consecrated host and onto the altar and corporal. 3. The festival was instituted throughout the Church by Pope Urban IV in 1264. Before that there had been no universal festival to mark the sacrament of the Eucharist. 4. Inspired by the St. Juliana and The Miracle at Bolsena, Pope Urban IV commissioned St. Thomas Aquinas to compose the Mass and Office for the feast of Corpus Christi. Namely, Pange Lingua, Tantum Ergo, Panis Angelicus, and O Salutaris Hostia. 5. One of the key liturgical facets of Corpus Christi is its procession. They enable Christians to give public witness to their faith, give glory to God, and they symbolize our earthly pilgrimage to the heavenly Jerusalem. Eucharistic processions began shortly after the institution of the Feast of Corpus Christi. Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament is the Living Heart of each of our parishes. - Pope Paul IV

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