Sunday, June 14, 2009

The Procession of the Holy

insidethevatican - Jun 14, 2009

Pope Benedict XVI on Thursday led a procession for the Feast of Corpus Christi through the streets of Rome. Today, Archbishop Tadeusz Kondrusiewicz led a similar procession of some 10,000 people through the streets of Minsk in Belarus, under a gentle rain. Reflections on the meaning of "becoming the Eucharist" in a secularized age...

By Robert Moynihan, reporting from Rome

Editor's note: We will be reporting more often from Rome during the next few weeks, during the days leading up to the Pope's important encyclical on the Church's social teaching. Today, the opening report in this series is on the Eucharist, source of summit of our faith. —The Editor

On Thursday evening, June 11 — the Solemnity of Corpus Christi, which is celebrated on Sunday (today) in the United States, Australia, and a number of other countries — Pope Benedict XVI, after driving in a car from the Vatican across Rome to St. John Lateran, celebrated Mass on the square in front of the basilica (photo), then led a Eucharistic procession to the basilica of St. Mary Major.

Today, in Belarus, Archbishop Tadeusz Kondrusiewicz led a similar procession for four and a half hours through the streets of Minsk, accompanied by some 10,000 Catholic faithful, despite a steady rain.

The ceremony of a public eucharistic procession has in recent decades become less common, but these two processions, and many others elsewhere, suggest the return of this manifestation of popular eucharistic piety in the public squares of the world.

In his homily, Pope Benedict commented on the words pronounced by priests at the moment of consecration: "This is My Body... This is My Blood."

Addressing his remarks to priests, the Holy Father said: "Becoming the Eucharist: let this be our constant desire and commitment!


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