Sunday, June 10, 2012

Corpus Christi

From the Vatican Museums, a magnificent tapestry of the Last Supper

A very special day indeed for all Catholics, as we celebrate the feast of the Body and Blood of Christ, known also as Corpus Christi. We remember that day when Jesus instituted the Eucharist at the Last Supper, as we reflect on the poetic words written by St Thomas Aquinas in 1264 at the order of Pope Urban IV, in his sequence Lauda Sion Salvatorem.
Here are a few verses of this sequence, translated from the Latin original:

His own act, at supper seated
    Christ ordain'd to be repeated
    In His memory divine;
    Wherefore now, with adoration,
    We, the host of our salvation,
Consecrate from bread and wine.
    Hear, what holy Church maintaineth,
    That the bread its substance changeth
    Into Flesh, the wine to Blood.
Jesu, shepherd of the sheep:
    Thou thy flock in safety keep,
    Living bread, thy life supply:
    Strengthen us, or else we die,
    Fill us with celestial grace.
Thou, who feedest us below:
    Source of all we have or know:
    Grant that with Thy Saints above,
    Sitting at the feast of love,
    We may see Thee face to face.
    Amen. Alleluia.

The above photos is one of many I took while in Rome recently, many of which I will share with you over the next few months. This is a huge tapestry by Flemish craftsmen, hanging in one of the halls of the Vatican Museum. You can always click on the image to see it in more detail.

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