Greetings in Jesus and Mary...
This Thursday is the Feast of Corpus Christi. I will be away from my computer and not able to write about this great feast so it comes to you early. I hope you will have a nearby procession to go to this Thursday (or Sunday) in order to honor our Lord truly present in the Blessed Sacrament......(WHILE WE STILL CAN!!)
I have had this site since 2017 and see that I have only ever written on the Holy Eucharist in relation to the Sacred Heart. The two are one in the same and I always like to emphasize that. I will give a little info on the Sacred Heart here and below that will be an article taken from Tradition in Action on the Origins of this great feast. May we keep each other in prayer and trust with all our hearts in the power of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus truly present in the Holy Eucharist!
History of the Sacred Heart.....
It was to a Visitation nun named St. Margaret Mary who was given the devotion to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus and also the request to make a Holy Hour each Thursday night in reparation for all the ingratitude and sins of the world. Thursday is the day chosen by Christ to give us the gift of Himself in the Most Holy Eucharist and also the ministerial priesthood (His victim souls for the Church), These are so related to each other.
The act of devotion to the Sacred Heart is atonement. The love of Jesus is dishonored by the ingratitude of men, as He Himself declared in the third great apparition to St. Margaret Mary: “Behold this Heart which has so loved men that it has spared nothing, even to exhausting and consuming itself, in order to testify its love. In return, I receive from the greater part only ingratitude, by their irreverence and sacrileges, and by the coldness and contempt they have for me in this Sacrament of Love.”
Then He asked her to atone for these ingratitudes by the ardor of her own love: “My daughter, I come into the heart I have given you in order that through your fervor you may atone for the offenses which I have received from lukewarm and slothful hearts which dishonor me in the Blessed Sacrament.”
Thursday is the Feast of Corpus Christi when we celebrate this great gift of Himself in the Blessed Sacrament of Love. A day of Mass, processions and great expressions of our love and gratitude for this gift of Love.
History on the Origins of the Feast of Corpus Christi (taken from Tradition in Action)
Many centuries had passed over the Church of Christ before there was any distinct feast of the Blessed Sacrament. And in the 13th century when Our Lord chose that it should be instituted, He had recourse to a simple nun in a vision to be the instrument of this devotion in His Church. St. Thomas Aquinas was living then, and so was King St. Louis, but God chose neither the learning of the one nor the royal power of the other to be the means of executing His desire.
From the age of 16, Juliana of Liège (1193-1252), recurrently received the same vision when she knelt in prayer: A brilliant moon continually appeared before her with one small portion obscured and invisible. That Belgian canoness in the Augustinian canonry of Mont Cornillon tried in vain to chase the vision away. Finally Our Lord Himself came to explain it to her.
He said it was to show that the liturgical year of the Church would remain incomplete until the Blessed Sacrament had a feast of its own, and He wished it to be instituted for the following reasons:
For 20 years the secret lay hidden in Juliana's heart; she dared not reveal it to anyone, and yet an interior impulse urged her on so that she could not forget it. So terrible was her repugnance for the mission assigned to her that she shed tears of blood over it.
At length she imparted the mission to her confessor, and with her leave he consulted others, especially Fr. James de Threzis, Archdeacon at the Cathedral of Liège. This priest was afterwards elected Bishop of Verdun, then Patriarch of Jerusalem and, at last, Pontiff of Rome, being called Urban IV.
From the time it was divulged, it became a public question, and men were sorely divided upon it. Many canons and monks protested against the new devotion and argued that the Daily Sacrifice was sufficient to commemorate the love of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament - without a special day being particularly assigned for that purpose.
Juliana prayed on as civic unrest and religious controversies raged around her; the city where she lived was lost and won in the waging Guelph/Ghibbelline struggle, sacked by a lawless army, and retaken. Three successive convents were either burned or otherwise destroyed over her head. Twice Juliana, now superior of the Convent and enforcing the strict Augustinian Rule, was forced to flee her convent.
After the second time, she found refuge in a Cistercian convent, then another, and then among the poor Beguines. From there she took up residence in the Cistercian Abbey at Salzinners, and finally at Fosses-les-Villes, where she lived in seclusion until her death. Yet no earthly troubles could make her forget the task that Our Lord had assigned her.
She died before it was accomplished, yet she had done enough in her lifetime to provide for its execution. In her wanderings, she had met with a few men with devotion and learning to defend the feast of the Blessed Sacrament and they helped to spread the devotion, especially among the simple people.
After her death, Pope Urban IV, who was favorable to the feast, was asked to extend the devotion to the entire Church. The Eucharistic miracle of Orvieto in 1263 was instrumental in his final decision favoring the installation of the Feast of Corpus Christi.
POST NOTE: I had to add that if you watch the scenes of the processions on any video today THEY ARE NOT LIKE THE CATHOLIC EUROPE OF OLD! The cities would have been Catholic...they would all genuflect as the monstrance approached....they would prepare tables with flowers or make beautiful images of petals on the ground....they would come to their windows and wave white handkerchiefs in respect to the Most Holy Eucharist.
Today......you see people just walk by, MANY Catholics themselves do not know how to genuflect every time they enter a Church...or see a Monstrance pass them by....(in my Novus Ordo parish growing up in the 60's and 70's ...I never saw a monstrance...until I found a traditional parish in my 20's) Do we give honor even in our homes with altars of flowers and reverence for our family prayer gatherings? Something to think about - we have come a long way from being truly Catholic....time to think about bringing it back in love, honor and REPARATION.
Homework: check the internet for different processions....some countries still do elaborate ones...with petal decorations on the ground and elaborate banners.
Bernadette Porter is a Traditional Catholic, a wife of 42 years with 6 adult home-schooled children and 6 grandchildren. A sincere devotion to Mary, the Mother of God leads me to want to share "The Church's best kept secret" - Mary!