The solemnity of Corpus Christi (Latin expression that means the Body of Christ), more properly called the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ, is one of the top of the liturgical solemnity of the Catholic Church.
It is celebrated on the Thursday following Trinity Sunday. On one occasion less liturgical office, liturgy of the Lord's Supper on Holy Thursday.
Was established on 8 September 1264 by Pope Urban IV in the Bull Transiturus de hoc mundo after the miracle of Bolsena, but was born in Belgium in 1246 as a celebration of the diocese of Liège. Its purpose was to celebrate the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist.
During the period of religious wars in France (in fact between 1540 and 1600, ie over a period slightly longer), the Corpus Christi procession was an occasion of serious disturbances of the peace. In fact, for the Calvinists (known in France as Huguenots) transubstantiation is a legend without foundation, and even offensive against the real religion of the Gospel.
The Huguenots were the subject of numerous procession provocations and attacks on real images and for the host (which often turned into battles), or simply showing their religious diversity (not extending the window tablecloths that, traditionally, families French Catholics put on display in honor of the procession, ostensibly working on the windows or in front of the doors etc..).
Often also Catholic crowds gathered for the procession and then attacked the Protestants in mass murders that with both "simple" beatings, looting and torture and perhaps, or asking for forgiveness and blessing for the church who perpetrate violence in the days earlier on the occasion of Corpus Christi.
Until the middle of '600 in certain areas of France, the Corpus Christi procession was then accompanied by mass deployments of police, and the faithful generally armed and ready to defend the host from possible desecration.
Date of solemnity
This festival is being celebrated on Thursday and precept of the second week after Pentecost.
In Rome the celebration, presided over by the Roman Pontiff, in fact takes place on Thursday after the feast of SS. Trinity in the basilica of St. John Lateran, then conclude with the traditional procession to the basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore, chaired by the pope, Bishop of Rome.
On the same date is celebrated in those countries where the feast is a holiday calendar: in the Catholic cantons of Switzerland, Spain, Germany, Croatia, Poland, Brazil, Austria and San Marino.
Instead the rest of Italy, and in those countries where it is not day of obligation, celebrated the following Sunday, in accordance with the General Norms for the Liturgical Year and Calendar.
In Italy was presented to the House and Senate a bill to restore the Corpus Christi public holiday on which all civil effects. (Double bill. No. 1647 and Senate No. 940. On April 29, 2008 was tabled again this bill to the new Parliament. Cardinal Camillo Ruini fully supports this desire.
The reform of the Ambrosian Rite, promulgated by the Archbishop of Milan March 20, 2008, this festival has been reported mandatory on Thursday of the Second week after Pentecost with the opportunity for pastoral reasons, to celebrate the following Sunday.
Many dioceses in Italy, continue to propose to the faithful and Celebration Procession Eucharist at the diocesan level, leaving on Thursday for the Sunday celebration and the procession to church on Sunday (see archdiocese of Milan).
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