Corpus Christi: a celebration of faith

Today,the feast of Corpus Christi

Lithurgical festivities are timeless: the faith is strong and so are the traditions that were born to celebrate these intense and joyful occasions among the devotees. The celebration of Corpus Christi is probably one of the most elated ones as it is a day to honor the presence of Christ in the Eucharist. Therefore it is a reminder of Christ’s presence in our life.

The idea of celebrating Corpus Christi was born in the 13th century. A nun in Belgium, St. Juliana from Liége, started experiencing visions related to the absence of a celebration for the Eucharist in the liturgical calendar. It was then established by the pope in 1264 and since then different celebrations arose across Europe.


It was 1246 when Saint Juliana from Liége managed to initiate the celebration of Corpus Christi in her diocese. But it was only in 1264 that it was officially established by the church. It needed a miracle to happen and it was the one that happened in Bolsena in 1263. The priest Pietro from Praga was doubting the presence of Christ in the Eucharist while he was celebrating the mass. Immediately the host started to bleed.


After the miracle happened, the priest ran to Orvieto where Pope Urbano IV resided in that moment. After he verified that the event was indeed supernatural, the pope established the day of Corpus Christi to be the second Thursday after Pentecost. The Eucharist was brought to Orvieto to be preserved in the Duomo of Orvieto, thar was built later on with this purpose.


The celebration with the pope will happen in Rome on Sunday. From the Basilica of San Giovanni in Laterano the most holy sacrament will be carried in a religious procession to the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore. A moment for the church and the devotees to gather and rejoice.


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