Thursday, June 4, 2015

Feast of Corpus Christi

Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament
Happy Feast of Corpus Christi! Today, we celebrate the feast established in the 13th century for the celebration of the greatest Sacrament, that of the Holy Eucharist.

The Mass and Offices of this feast day were written by St. Thomas Aquinas, the famous Dominican and Doctor of the Church. The story of how this Mass was written illustrates the great, though holy, rivalries of the two original Mendicant Orders: the Dominicans and the Franciscans. Pope Urban IV commissioned both St. Thomas Aquinas, a Dominican, and St. Bonaventure, a Franciscan, to write the Mass and Divine Office for the feast day, that was desired by Our Lord in a vision to Bl. Julianna. When St. Bonaventure read the Mass St. Thomas had composed, he immediately burned his own, saying that this was far better.

After going to Mass, there is a procession of the Holy Eucharist either immediately or later on in the day. In Catholic towns, this procession can lead down some important streets. I've participated in some in St. Mary's Kansas, and it really is a great testament to our faith and an important witness to the Real Presence. At my high school and parish church, we processed around the property. There are 3 altars at intervals in the procession, where mini-Benedictions, consisting of prayer, chant, and a blessing, occur. Although I can't participate today, I can send my Guardian Angel to pray for me.

Pange lingua gloriosi,
Corporis mysterium,
Sanguinisque pretiosi,
Quem in mundi pretium
Fructus ventris generosi,
Rex effudit gentium.