Skip to comments.The Consecrated Host truly is the Bread of Heaven
Posted on 06/17/2006 5:33:05 AM PDT by NYer
Vatican City (www.kath.net/VIS)
At 7 p.m. today, Solemnity of Corpus Christi, Benedict XVI celebrated Mass on the square in front of Rome's Basilica of St. John Lateran, then presided at the Eucharistic procession to the Basilica of St. Mary Major.
In his homily, the Pope affirmed that the consecrated Host is the "food of the poor," and the "fruit of the earth and of the labor of mankind." And yet, he added, "bread is not simply our own product, something made by us; it is a fruit of the earth and, hence, a gift. ... It requires the synergy of the forces of the earth and of the gifts of the heavens: sun and rain."
"At a time in which we hear of desertification, and there is ever more talk of the danger of men and beasts dying of thirst in those regions without water, at such a time, we gain a renewed awareness of the greatness of the gift of water, and of how incapable we are of producing it alone. Then, looking closer, this little piece of white Host, this bread of the poor, appears as a synthesis of creation."
"When, in adoration, we contemplate the consecrated Host, the mark of creation is speaking to us. Then we discover the greatness of this gift, but we also discover the Passion, the Cross of Jesus and His resurrection."
The Holy Father went on: "In the feast of Corpus Christi we contemplate above all the sign of the bread. This also reminds us of the pilgrimage of Israel during the 40 years in the wilderness. The Host is our manna with which the Lord nourishes us; it truly is the bread of heaven, by which He gives Himself. In the procession, we follow this sign, and thus we follow Him."
Benedict XVI then raised an appeal to the Lord: "Guide us along the roads of our history! Always show the Church and her pastors the right path! Look at suffering humanity, anxiously wandering among so many uncertainties; look at the physical and mental hunger afflicting them! Give men bread for the body and the soul! Give them work! Give them light! Give them Yourself! Purify and sanctify us all!
"Bring us to understand" the Pope concluded, "that only by participating in Your Passion, by saying 'yes' to the cross, to sacrifice, to the purification you impose upon us, can our lives mature and reach their true fulfillment. Gather us from all the corners of the earth. Unite Your Church, unite lacerated humanity. Give us Your salvation!"
Following Mass, the Pope presided at a Eucharistic procession that passed along Rome's Via Merulana to the Basilica of St. Mary Major. Along the way, thousands of faithful prayed and sang, accompanying the Blessed Sacrament. An open vehicle transported the Sacrament in a mostrance, before which the Holy Father knelt in prayer.
Beautiful pictures, thank you. Looks like a great crowd.
Benedict looks most thoughtful; unfortunately the photo does show the Panda Eyes of the pontiff. Still, I watched the procession and marveled at it all. It was dusk in Rome and looked to be a most magic time.
Being but a lowly Protestant I have no idea what the Corpus Christi is about, beyond celebrating the Host (and being the name of a city in Texas). What does the great procession mean?
The Feast of Corpus Christi was established in the 13th century to show devotion to Jesus when He is present in the Blessed Sacrament. Catholics take literally Jesus' words in the 6th chapter of the Gospel of St. John and believe that He is present - body, blood, soul, and divinity - in the Consecrated Bread and Wine. The procession involves a Consecrated Host (a large wafer) which is put into a special holder called a Monstrance. It is usually very beautiful. The holder is on a stand and has large rays surrounding it. The priest will hold it and walk in procession with the faithful following. The significance is that Jesus, present in the Consecrated Host, is being taken to the people - out into the streets.
From the City of Corpus Christi website: "In 1519, on the Roman Catholic Feast Day of Corpus Christi, Spanish explorer Alonzo Alvarez de Pineda discovered a lush semi-tropical bay on what is now the southern coast of Texas. The bay, and the city that later sprung up there, took the name of the feast day celebrating the 'Body of Christ.'"
Here is some more information: Especially interesting is post #3 which gives an excerpt from Scott Hahn's book, "The Lamb's Supper." Mr. Hahn is a former Evangelical Protestant who became Catholic.
a special holder called a Monstrance
I'm sorry, but I just can't resist: If it is extremely hideous or badly made, is it a Monsterous Monstrance?
(ducks to avoid the lightening bolts)
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