Thursday, May 30, 2024

Corpus Christi

Today is the Feast of Corpus Christi, which means "Body of Christ" in Latin. This feast day, also known as the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, celebrates the Eucharist, particularly the presence of the body and blood of Jesus Christ in the consecrated elements of bread and wine.

This feast day originated in the 13th century when a Belgian nun named Juliana of Liège had a vision in which she was instructed to institute a feast in honor of the Blessed Sacrament. After several years of effort, Pope Urban IV established Corpus Christi as a universal feast on August 11, 1264, with the papal bull "Transiturus de Hoc Mundo." Interestingly, Urban's papal bull would be confirmed by Pope Clement V at the Council of Vienne in 1311. It was at this ecumenical council that the Knights Templar were formally suppressed by the Roman Catholic Church which led Pope Clement to issue the papal bull "Vox in Excelso" that dissolved the Templar Order.

Corpus Christi is typically celebrated on the Thursday after Trinity Sunday, which falls 60 days after Easter Sunday, though in some countries it is observed on the Sunday following that Thursday. The date may vary depending on local ecclesiastical calendars.

The celebration often includes a solemn procession in which the consecrated host, contained in a monstrance (open or transparent receptacle), is carried through the streets, accompanied by clergy, musicians, and members of the congregation. This procession symbolizes the public proclamation and veneration of the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist.

In addition to processions, Corpus Christi may also involve special Masses, prayers, hymns, and other religious ceremonies. It is considered one of the principal feasts of the liturgical year, emphasizing the central importance of the Eucharist in Catholic theology and practice. It serves as an opportunity for believers to deepen their faith and devotion to the mystery of the Holy Eucharist.


1. Council of Vienne. (n.d.). Retrieved from Encyclopedia Britannica:

2. Feast of Corpus Christi. (n.d.). Retrieved from Encyclopedia Britannica:

3. Mershman, F. (1908). Feast of Corpus Christi. Retrieved from New Advent Catholic Encyclopedia:

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