The Feast of Corpus Christi (the Body of Christ) was established in Liège, France in 1246 at the urging of St. Juliana of Mont Cornillon. In 1264, Pope Urban IV extended its observance to the Universal Church.
This feast honors the Real Presence of Christ in the mystery of the Holy Eucharist. At a time when there was little reverence for Our Lord in the Holy Sacrament, this feast initiated a renewal of Eucharistic devotion. This devotion expressed itself in liturgical practices such as the elevation of the Host and Chalice after the consecration at Mass, exposing the Blessed Sacrament on the altar in a monstrance for adoration, and a solemn procession of Our Lord through the streets with three or four Benedictions of the Blessed Sacrament at fixed stations.
In a day and age when reverence for Jesus’ Real Presence in the Sacrament seems to be waning, Fr. Anthony established a great celebration of Corpus Christi at St. Peter’s to counter this loss of reverence. When Jesus is properly revered in the Blessed Sacrament, so many of the ills we see in the Church and the world will be healed.
We will have our traditional celebration on Saturday, June 17, the eve of Corpus Christi, at the 5:00p Mass. After Mass, we will march in a grand procession with the Blessed Sacrament through the streets of Merchantville, proclaiming the Eucharistic Christ as Lord and Master of our parish and our town. Come out and publicly witness to your own Eucharistic faith to a world so much in need of Him.
Blessed be Jesus in the Most Holy Sacrament of the altar!
Fr. Tim Byerley
Prayer of St. Faustina before the Eucharist
I adore You, Lord and Creator, hidden in the Most Blessed Sacrament.
I adore You for all the works of Your hands, that reveal to me
so much wisdom, goodness and mercy, O Lord.
You have spread so much beauty over the earth
and it tells me about Your beauty,
even though these beautiful things are but a faint reflection of You, incomprehensible Beauty.
And although You have hidden Yourself and concealed Your beauty,
my eye, enlightened by faith, reaches You
and my soul recognizes its Creator, its Highest Good,
and my heart is completely immersed in prayer of adoration.
My Lord and Creator, Your goodness encourages me to converse with You. Your mercy abolishes the chasm which separates the Creator
from the creature.
To converse with You, O Lord, is the delight of my heart.
In You I find everything that my heart could desire.
Here Your light illumines my mind,
enabling it to know You more and more deeply.
Here streams of graces flow down upon my heart.
Here my soul draws eternal life.
O my Lord and Creator, You alone, beyond all these gifts,
give Your own self to me
and unite Yourself intimately with Your miserable creature.
O Christ, let my greatest delight be to see You loved
and Your praise and glory proclaimed,
especially the honor of Your mercy.
O Christ, let me glorify Your goodness and mercy
to the last moment of my life,
with every drop of my blood and every beat of my heart.
Would that I be transformed into a hymn of adoration of You.
When I find myself on my deathbed,
may the last beat of my heart be a loving hymn
glorifying Your unfathomable mercy.