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Pope Francis Joins in Corpus Christi Celebration

In the Homily of the Mass for Corpus Christi in the Cathedral of Rome, Pope Francis explained the significance of the evening Eucharistic procession.

“Beginning from the altar,” the Pope noted, “we will carry the Lord among the homes of our city. We are not doing this to show off, or to flaunt our faith but to invite everyone to participate, in the Bread of the Eucharist, in the new life that Jesus has given us.”

Pope Francis gave a solemn blessing with the Holy Eucharist from the steps of the Basilica of Saint Mary Major on Sunday, June 2nd.

Cardinal Víctor Manuel Fernández, the prefect of the Dicastery for the Doctrine of Faith, served as the primary celebrant at the altar for the Mass at the Lateran Basilica. Bishop Baldassare Reina, the vicegerent of the diocese of Rome, carried the Eucharist in the procession.

Crowds lined the streets as the monstrance was carried under a canopy from the Archbasilica of St. John Lateran to the Basilica of St. Mary Major. The procession followed the Via Merulana, the historic route Pope Gregory XIII created between the two basilicas during the Jubilee of 1575.

Cardinals, bishops, priests, religious sisters, and families walked together in the one-hour procession singing hymns and reciting prayers. Curious tourists stopped and onlookers leaned out their windows to watch as the real Presence of Christ passed by.

This year Pope Francis did not walk in the Eucharistic procession but joined at the end for adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and to offer the Eucharistic blessing to the crowd.

Adapted by Jacob Stein

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Author Name

Courtney Mares is a Rome Correspondent for Catholic News Agency. A graduate of Harvard University, she has reported from news bureaus on three continents and was awarded the Gardner Fellowship for her work with North Korean refugees.

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