Thursday, May 30, 2013

Corpus Christ at the Vatican

Pope Francis incensing the Eucharist before Benediction

Pope Francis participated in the annual procession to celebrate the feast of the Body and Blood of Christ, known also as Corpus Christi. Most Dioceses celebrate this feast on the following Sunday, but the Vatican continues the tradition of holding a procession from St Mary Major to St John Lateran, two of the major basilicas that are about a mile apart. The tradition to hold a procession on Corpus Christi was started in the 11th century when Sister Juliana of Liege, Belgium had a vision to start a celebration of the Eucharist, for which she asked permission from the local Bishop Jacques Pantaleon. When he eventually became a pope, Urban IV gave permission for St Juliana to start the custom of having a procession in honor of the Eucharist, a tradition which is very popular in most Catholic countries.. Many Spanish countries and towns in Spain especially throw flowers on the streets from where the Eucharist will be carried through, literally painting the streets with symbols of the Eucharist as people sing hymns in honor of the Blessed Sacrament.

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