Message from Fr. Tony 06.06.21
The Feast of Corpus Christi, or the Feast of the Body and Blood of Christ (as it is often
called today), goes back to the 13th century, but it celebrates something far older: The institution of the Sacrament of the
Holy Eucharist at the Last Supper.
On September 8, 1264, Pope Urban IV issued the papal document which established the Feast of Corpus Christi as a
universal feast of the Church, to be celebrated on Thursday after Trinity Sunday. While the Feast of Corpus Christi is one of
the ten Holy Days of Obligation in the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church, in some countries, including the United States,
the feast has been transferred to the following Sunday.
For centuries after the celebration was extended to the universal Church, the feast was also celebrated with a Eucharistic
procession, in which the Sacred Host was carried throughout the town, accompanied by hymns and litanies. The faithful
would venerate the Body of Christ as the procession passed by. In recent years, this practice has almost disappeared, though
some parishes still hold a brief procession around the outside of the parish church.
This wonderful feast should serve as a reminder of the incredible grace offered to us as we receive the Most Holy Body
and Blood of Christ at Mass. Remember, it is not a symbol, but it is the True Body and Blood of Our Lord and Savior. The
miracle by which the simple elements of bread and wine become the Body and Blood of Jesus is one in which we all
participate whenever we worthily receive them at Mass.
“Oh Sacrament Most Holy, Oh Sacrament Divine, all praise and all thanksgiving be every moment Thine!”