Pastor’s Thoughts

May 30, 2024

The Eucharist is the most central part of the Catholic Church. Christ feeds and sustains His church in the reception of His body, blood, soul, and divinity every time we participate in the Eucharist. In 1263 a German priest, Fr. Peter of Prague, made a pilgrimage to Rome. He stopped in Bolsena, Italy, to celebrate Mass at the Church of St. Christina. Fr. Peter was experiencing temptations of doubt and questioning the true presence of Christ in the Eucharist. During the consecration while having Mass in the church of St. Christine on his pilgrimage to Rome, blood began to drip from the host when he lifted it up during Mass. This was a divine intervention and a miracle. Fr. Peter reported the incident immediately to the Holy Father, Pope Urban IV, who at the time was nearby in Orvieto. The pope immediately sent delegates to investigate and ordered that host and bloodstained corporal be brought to Orvieto. It was put through a series of tests and found to be real blood. The stained corporal (the cloth the priest places on the altar) to this day remains inside the church of St. Christine in Bolsena Italy. It has recently been tested again with more modern rigorous tests and found to be real blood. This weekend the church universal celebrates the feast day of Corpus Christi (The Body of Christ). Originally the celebration began in Liege, Belgium in 1246. Pope Urban IV extended the feast to the entire Church universal in 1264. Today, in many countries throughout the world, Corpus Christi is a public holiday with special Masses and processions with the Blessed Sacrament through city streets. Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI shared a brief reflection on the feast of Corpus Christi as he remembered recalled the many beautiful processions he experienced during his childhood growing up in Germany. In his reflection, he shared why we process with the Blessed Sacrament through the streets of our cities and town. He wrote: “We bring Christ, present under the sign of bread, onto the streets of our city. We entrust these streets, these homes, our daily life, to his goodness. May our streets be streets for Jesus! May our houses be homes for him and with him! May our life of every day be penetrated by his presence! With this gesture, let us place under his eyes the sufferings of the sick, the solitude of young people and the elderly, temptations, fears…..our entire life. Corpus Christi represents an immense and public blessing for our city; Christ is, in person, the divine Blessing for the world. May the ray of his blessing extend to us all . .”