THE WHOLE WORLD KNELT IN FRONT OF CHRIST
Under the motto: ‘One Lord, one faith’, on 2 June 2013 there was a nationwide adoration of the Sacred Sacrament in connection with the pope Francis, who presided over a prayer in the Basilica of St. Peter in Rome. It was one of the most important events taking place in the Church of the Year of Faith at present
The last days of May and the first days of June passed in Vatican and in Italy under the sign of the Eucharist. The pope Francis started the ceremonies of the Sacred Body and Blood of Christ on 30 May. According to the tradition, the Holy Father presided over the evening Holy Mass celebrated in front of the Basilica of St. John Lateran, the cathedral of Rome, in which he was walking in the Eucharist procession to the neighboring Basilica of Saint Mary Major.
Because in Italy and in many countries of the world the Corpus Christi was celebrated on Sunday, on 2 June, the Papal Council for Promotion of New Evangelization within the Year of Faith, was organizing on that day the World Adoration of the Sacred Sacrament. Pope Francis participated in an hour Eucharist adoration in the Basilica of St. Peter. Apart from a personal prayer and adoration, it consisted of singing, reading the Bible and a prayer of the faithful. Texts of the following popes were quoted: Pius XII, John XXIII, Paul VI, John Paul I, John Paul II and Benedict XVI. It was a historical event because at the same time – from 5 pm to 6 pm of the Roman time – Jesus was being adored in the Sacred Sacrament in churches and monasteries all over the world, where similar divine services were organized.
Also the celebrations of the Corpus Christi in the Italian town Orvieto (situated 100 km north from Rome) had a special character. In the diocese Orvieto-Todi, the extraordinary Eucharistic Jubilee is being celebrated this year, proclaimed due to the 750th anniversary of the Eucharistic miracle which God did in the diocese. In Bolsena, a neighboring town, in 1263, the Sacramental Bread, held in the hands of a priest from Prague, Fr. Peter, started bleeding and the blood drops flew down onto the Corporal and the floor near the altar. Pope Urban IV, residing in Orvieto at that time, took the Sacramental Bread and the blooded Corporal to the town in a procession – this gesture of the pope is thought to be the first official procession of the Corpus Christi. This was the beginning of the tradition, which is one of the most popular public ecclesiastical ceremonies in the world.
This year, the Holy Mass in the gothic cathedral in Orvieto was presided over by cardinal Fernando Filoni, a prefect of the Congregation for Evangelization of Nations, and was co-celebrated by the local bishop Benedetto Tuzia. A long procession passed through narrow streets of the mediaeval centre of the town – in the beginning a historical procession consisting of people wearing robes of XIII century, representing all states of the society of those times, next members of brotherhoods and convents, then priests carrying a shrine of the Corporal with the Sacramental Bread under a canopy and, finally, cardinal Filoni and bishop Tuzia. At the end of the procession, on the square in front of the cathedral, the cardinal gave blessing with the Sacred Sacrament.
The Eucharistic Jubilee in the diocese will finish in November 2014, with closing the Holy Door in the Basilica of St. Christine in Bolsena and in the cathedral in Orvieto.