IT IS less than 100 days to the 51st International Eucharistic Congress, which will be held in Cebu City Jan. 24-31 next year.
Fr. Antonio Maria Rosales, OFM, the former parish priest of Forbes Park, has written the following article on the devotion:
“The devotion to the Eucharist beyond the Mass came about with the apparition of the Lord to Blessed Juliana de Mont Cornillon (1192-1258), where the need for a feast to honor the Body of Christ was revealed. The feast of Corpus Christi was introduced in 1264 by Pope Urban IV.
“The popular hymns ‘O Salutaris Hostia’ and ‘Tantum Ergo,’ commonly sung in the Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament here, were composed by St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274), who was commissioned by Pope Urban IV to prepare the liturgy for the feast of the Body of Christ (Corpus Christi).
“The first time the Blessed Sacrament was reserved in a tabernacle in our country was done by the Franciscans, when after being guests of the Augustinians in Intramuros for a month after their arrival, they moved to their own residence of bamboo and nipa and celebrated Mass there for the first time on Aug. 2, 1578, feast of Our Lady of the Angels or the Porziuncola.
“Though the Augustinians arrived in 1564, they were reluctant to leave consecrated Hosts in a tabernacle, because of the danger of desecration by the natives due to their still insufficient catechetical knowledge about the Sacrament, or that they might attribute magical powers to the Host.
“In 1621, the first group of religious women arrived here led by the Poor Clare Madre Jeronima de la Asuncion with a group of nuns from Spain, an Order dedicated to contemplation, penance and intense devotion to the Eucharist in the tradition of St. Clare of Assisi (1193-1253), who introduced the practice of Eucharistic adoration, today common in Holy Hours, Benediction, Eucharistic vigils and the like.
“It was through the miraculous intervention of the Eucharist that the nuns in Assisi were saved twice from occupation by hostile military forces.
“Thus St. Clare is popularly depicted with a monstrance. It was prayer and the Eucharist then, coupled with the zeal of the missionaries, that generated the spiritual power for the evangelization of the country, resulting in the success of the enterprise, considered unique in the history of the missions.” (To be continued)
Jubilee of Mercy
Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio G. Cardinal Tagle will “push” open the Holy Door of the Manila Cathedral on Dec. 9 at 3 p.m. to signal the start of the archdiocese’s observance of the Jubilee of Mercy.
Pope Francis has declared an Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy beginning and ending on two great and solemn feasts of the Catholic Church: Dec. 8, 2015, to Nov. 20, 2016, the feasts of the Immaculate Conception and Christ the King, respectively. Other than the cathedral, four other Jubilee churches in Manila are the:
National Shrine of the Sacred Heart, Makati City (Dec. 11, 3 p.m.)
Santuario del Santo Cristo, under the Spanish Dominican friars, San Juan City (Dec. 12, 5:30 p.m.)
Archdiocesan Shrine of the Divine Mercy, Mandaluyong City (Dec. 13, 5:30 p.m.)
Our Lady of Sorrows Parish Church, Pasay City (Dec. 13, 5:30 p.m.)