What is Corpus Christi day?
Corpus Christi, in Latin, Body of Christ is one of the most important festivities of the Catholic Church because it is we celebrate the presence of Christ in the Eucharist. On that day, we the faithful acclaim the institution of the Eucharist, which took place on Holy Thursday, during the Last Supper. When Jesus Christ turned the bread and wine into his body and blood from him, and invited the apostles to commune with him.
We proclaim and reinforce our faith in the presence of Jesus Christ in the Blessed Sacrament, giving him public adoration. That is why the Corpus Christi celebrations include processions in the streets and public places in which the body of Christ is exhibited and accompanied by crowds of faithful.
Corpus Christi is a movable feast of the Catholic religion, contemplated in the liturgical calendar. As such, it is celebrated sixty days after Easter Sunday. It is celebrated on the Thursday following the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity, which takes place on the Sunday after the following Sunday. Pentecost .
Thus, the feast of Corpus Christi is the Thursday following the ninth Sunday after the first full moon of spring in the northern hemisphere, and of autumn in the southern hemisphere. Corpus Christi 2023 will be celebrated this Thursday, June 8.
Corpus Christi Meaning
What is Corpus Christi and what is its purpose?
Saint Josemaría Escrivá de Balaguer reminds us that On the feast of Corpus Christi, we Christians meditate together on the depth of the Lord’s love, which led him to remain hidden under the sacramental species.
“I would like that, in considering all of that, to become aware of our mission as Christians, to turn our eyes towards the Holy Eucharist, towards Jesus who, present among us, has constituted us as his members. you are the body of Christ and members united to other members. Our God has decided to remain in the Tabernacle to nourish us. to strengthen us, to divinize us, to give efficacy to our task and to our efforts. Jesus is simultaneously the sower, the seed and the fruit of the sowing: the bread of eternal life.”
And he continues ” This continually renewed miracle of the Holy Eucharist has all the characteristics of Jesus’ way of acting. . Perfect God and perfect man, Lord of heaven and earth, He offers Himself to us as our sustenance, in the most natural and ordinary way. Thus he has been waiting for our love for almost two thousand years. It is a long time and it is not a long time: for, when there is love, the days fly.”
“For me the Tabernacle has always been Bethany, the quiet and peaceful place where Christ is.” Homily on devotion to the Blessed Sacrament. May 28, 1964.
Saint Josemaria. Corpus Christi party
The celebration emerged during the 13th century. At Cornillon Abbey, its prioress, St. Juliana, had a great devotion to the Blessed Sacrament. One day, she obtained permission to hold a special celebration in her honor of her that soon spread throughout Germany.
Thus, the first celebration of Corpus Christi took place in 1246 in the city of Liège, in present-day Belgium.
Almost 20 years later, in 1263. In the city of Bolsena (Italy), the so-called Bolsena miracle took place. Where a priest, who was celebrating Holy Mass, pronouncing the words of consecration, blood began to flow from the host.
Pope Urban IV instituted the feast of Corpus Christi in 1264 by means of the bull Transitururs de hoc mundo The celebration was to be held on the Thursday after the octave of Pentecost.
That is why Corpus Christi is not always celebrated on the same day . The day of the celebration was always on Thursday, but since 1990, when this day ceased to be a holiday, the festivity was moved to Sunday. In fact, although the liturgical solemnity is on Sunday, several localities celebrate the procession on Thursday.
For this solemnity St. Thomas Aquinas was commissioned to prepare the texts for the Office and Holy Mass. of the day, including hymns such as the Pange Lingua (with the Tantum Ergo), the Panis angelicus or the Adoro te devote.
Later, at the Council of Vienne in 1311, Pope Clement V regulates the processional procession inside the temples, and it will be Pope Nicholas V who will carry out, in the year 1447, the procession with the Blessed Sacrament through the streets of Rome.
Subsequently, in the Council of Trent, held at 1551 the decree “On the Most Holy Sacrament of the Eucharist” was approved… In it, the importance of celebrating and venerating the Blessed Sacrament of the altar during the feast of Corpus Christi is recognized. .
“Let’s widen our hearts”
Pope Francisco. Feast of Corpus Christi 2021
“As a peculiar celebration of this solemnity is the procession born of the piety of the Church; in it the Christian people, carrying the Eucharist, go through the streets with a solemn rite, with songs and prayers, and thus render public testimony of faith and piety toward this sacrament.” canon 386 of the Ceremonial of Bishops.