The Feast of Corpus Christi

June 12, 2022 – The Feast of Corpus Christi (and St. Juliana of Liege)

Next Sunday, June 19 we celebrate Corpus Christi, which is the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, where we meditate on the Real and True Presence of Christ in the Eucharist.  It highlights the mystery that when the priest prays over the bread and wine at Mass, it becomes no longer merely bread and wine, and not just a symbol of the Body and Blood of Christ, but Jesus Himself really, truly, fully, completely present to us!  It is Jesus Himself fully present in Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity, only under the appearance of bread and wine!

While the institution of this great mystery of the Eucharist is celebrated on Holy Thursday (during Holy Week), the liturgy on that day also commemorates Christ’s washing of the disciples’ feet, the institution of the priesthood and the agony in the Garden of Gethsemane. With the many aspects commemorated on Holy Thursday, the mystery of the Eucharist at times was almost lost sight of.  Hence, the feast of Corpus Christi was established in 1264 to create a feast focused solely on the Holy Eucharist.

It was inspired by a holy woman St Juliana of Liege.  She had been orphaned as a child, but gave her life in service to God, especially in caring for the poor and lepers.  Her care for the outcast of society was connected to and inspired by her own deep prayer life, which focused particularly on the profound mystery of Christ’s Presence in the Eucharist.  She longed for and desired to see the Church establish a Feast solely dedicated to this mystery.  Although she died before this happened it was her life work and devotion that ultimately inspired the Pope to establish Corpus Christi as a universal feast, only a few years after her death.

Corpus Christi was instituted to be on the Thursday (reminiscent of Holy Thursday) following Holy Trinity Sunday, though with the option to transfer it to the following Sunday, which is what we normally do here.

(But note, as every Thursday is a bit of a “mini – Holy Thursday” a day to recall in some small way the Mystery of the Last Supper and the Eucharist, a reminder that we do have Eucharistic Adoration every Thursday from 6:00 pm-8:00 pm at St. Patrick’s in Hampton, which you are invited and welcome to stop in at any time during that time, whether for a few minutes, an hour, or the whole time!)

In our parishes, we have a couple of special events happening to commemorate Corpus Christi

1)      “New” Tabernacle in Eldora – First of all, we are moving the Tabernacle in Eldora to the front and center of the physical Church space, as a way to more fully highlight the importance and centrality of this profound mystery of the Eucharist.  While the Tabernacle itself is not new, a stand had to be built for the Tabernacle.  We will formally install and bless our “new” Tabernacle (stand), during 10:30 am Mass on June 19 in Eldora.

2)      Eucharistic Procession in Hampton – Sunday Evening of June 19 at approximately 6:30 pm (following the 5:30 pm Spanish Mass), we will hold a Eucharistic Procession!  The procession will include various songs and prayers as we process Eucharist from St. Patrick’s Church to Bandshell Park, where we will conclude with a special prayer and blessing with the Eucharist, asking for the Lord’s special blessing on our communities and all the people of Franklin and Hardin Counties. All are invited to join us for this! 


Fr. Kevin

PS: A warm welcome back to Fr. Frantz who has returned to us!  Watch the bulletin and parish website and social media for some words, pictures, and videos of people of the parish supported by the funds we raised!