Corpus Christi: Always Be Conscious
The feast of Corpus Christi was just celebrated this past Sunday. You may have attended a Eucharistic procession or celebrated in another way, but really, this is a feast we should celebrate and remember all year long! Corpus Christi focuses on the Eucharist, the Body of Christ, which is of course, absolutely central to our faith as Catholics. The history of this feast, which you can read about here, reminds us that Christ is truly present here on earth in tabernacles around the world. 
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A history of the feast of Corpus Christi: 
 
This year, the feast of Corpus Christi, the Body of Christ, was on Thursday,
June 3. In the Catholic Church this solemnity is used to honor the fact that Jesus is truly present on the altar in the Eucharist. When Transubstantiation, or when the Eucharist changes its substance from bread and wine to the body and blood of Christ occurs, we know that Jesus is truly present before us in the Mass, Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity. Since this sacrament was instituted at the Last Supper, it seems that this feast should be celebrated on Holy Thursday, but since Holy Thursday occurs Holy Week’s solemn period, the feast is celebrated on the
Thursday 60 days after Easter. In some diocese, however, it is moved to the following Sunday, which this year was June 6. One of the most common practices to celebrate Corpus Christi is a Eucharistic procession. In a Eucharistic procession Jesus is held within a monstrance under a canopy. As the priest holding the monstrance passes by, people can worship and honor Jesus to show their love for Him publicly. St. Thomas Aquinas wrote the original liturgy for this feast day, and it includes beautiful hymns, like Panis Angelicus & Pange Lingua.
 
The celebration of Corpus Christi originated in the 12th and 13th centuries with St. Juliana. She was a nun who repeatedly dreamed of a full moon with a black spot in it over a Church. Christ Himself in a vision told Juliana what this dream meant, saying it showed the black spot in the Church calendar where a feast celebrating the Eucharist was missing. In 1264 Pope Urban IV made Corpus Christi an official Church feast day and in 1311 Pope Clement V made it a holy day of obligation for all Catholics. As described at the Council of Trent in 1551, this feast is a “triumph over heresy,” as it proclaims the truth of the real presence of Jesus’ body, blood, soul, and divinity in the Eucharist rather than just a symbol. This Corpus Christi, whether your diocese celebrates the feast on a Sunday or a Thursday, go to Mass and, if possible, receive the Eucharist and thank God for the gift of His Son to save us from our sins.
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At the Mass we attended on Sunday, the priest said that he had read a study conducted among Catholics which found that 70% of Catholics don't believe in the true presence (I can't source the study, but I believe it!). That means that two thirds of the people sitting around you at Mass might not truly believe that Christ is present in the host. We who believe have a responsibility to share that belief. St. Thomas Aquinas, help us to make others believe! 

St. Thomas Aquinas’ Prayer for Corpus Christi

O God, who in this wonderful Sacrament
Left us a memorial of your Passion:
Grant, we implore you,
That we may so venerate the sacred mysteries of your body and blood,
As always to be conscious
Of the fruit of your redemption.
June 07, 2021 — Rachel Luetkemeyer

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