Corpus Christi

Corpus Christi (body of Christ), a festival instituted in the Roman Church in honor of the consecrated host and of transubstantiation. It owes its origin to a nun of Libge named Juliana. In 1230, while looking at the full moon, she said she saw a gap in its orb, and, by a revelation from heaven, learned that the moon represented the Christian Church, and the gap the want of a certain festival — that of the adoration of the body of Christ in the consecrated host — which she was to begin to celebrate, and to announce to the world. Further, in 1264, while a priest at Bolsena, who did not believe in transubstantiation, was going through the ceremony of benediction, it is said drops of blood fell on his surplice, and, when he endeavored to conceal them in the folds of his garment, they formed bloody images of the host! A bloody surplice is still said to be shown at Civita' Vecchia. Urban IV published in the same year a bull, in which he appointed the Thursday of the week after Pentecost for the celebration of the Feast of Corpus Christi throughout Christendom, and promised absolution for a period of from forty to one hundred days to the penitent who took part in it. It was afterwards neglected, but was reestablished by Clement V, and since that time the festival has been observed as one of the most important in the Romish Church. Splendid processions form a part of it. The children belonging to the choir with flags, and the priests with lighted tapers, move through the streets in front of the priest who carries the host in a precious box, where it can be seen under a canopy held by four laymen of rank. A crowd of common people closes the procession. — Elliott, Delineation of Romanism, bk. 2, ch. 7; Sieger, Handb. d. Christl. Alterthumer, and references there, and for the Romish view, Butler, Feasts and Fasts, treatise 11.

Topical Outlines Nave's Bible Topics International Standard Bible Encyclopedia Online King James Bible King James Dictionary

Verse reference tagging and popups powered by VerseClick™.