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Corpus Christi (Brazil) – June 8, 2023

The Feast of Corpus Christi is a Catholic holiday observed on the second Thursday following Pentecost. This year, it takes place on June 8. Corpus Christi tends to refer to the elements of the Eucharist, also known as the Holy Communion, Last Supper, or Lord’s Supper. This day is known as the “Day of Thanksgiving for the Institution of Holy Communion in the Church of England.” The observance allows us to learn more about Catholicism and the Christian faith in general. It’s also generally considered a celebration of the transubstantiation of the body of Christ into bread and wine, as observed during Mass.

History of Corpus Christi (Brazil)

Corpus Christi did not become a Christian feast until the second half of the 13th century, thanks to the efforts of a nun named Juliana of Liège. Juliana had claimed since childhood that God had told her that there should be a feast day for the Eucharist, and she eventually petitioned the Bishop of Liège. Back then, bishops could declare feasts in their respective dioceses. The bishop agreed to the feast and convened a synod in 1246, ordering that Corpus Christi be celebrated annually.

The Corpus Christi feast only became more popular after both Juliana and the Bishop died. Pope Urban IV granted the papal bull Transiturus in 1264, making Corpus Christi a feast throughout the entire Latin Rite. He scheduled it for the Thursday following Pentecost’s “octave,” when only designated celebrations or special feasts were blessed. This feast is observed on a Thursday to commemorate the institution of the Eucharist (the Last Supper) on Maundy Thursday, the eve of Jesus’ death on the Cross.

Corpus Christi is mainly a Roman Catholic feast, but it is also observed by a couple of Anglican churches, most particularly the Church of England. Some Western Rite Orthodox Christians also observe it. Corpus Christi was a popular event for the performance of plays in many parts of medieval Europe. Along with Lent, Advent, Easter, Pentecost, and Christmas, Roman Catholic bishops are required to attend Corpus Christi services at their cathedrals.

The Corpus Christi festival is marked by a procession in which the priest conveys the Eucharist, which is displayed in a special receptacle (called a “monstrance”), through streets and squares that were once richly decorated with draperies and garlands. The Blessed Sacrament is protected by a canopy.

Corpus Christi (Brazil) timeline

6 B.C.
The Birth of Jesus

Jesus is born in Bethlehem to his parents, Mary and Joseph.

1208
Juliana Gives Account of Her Vision

She describes her first vision of Christ, in which she is ordered to petition for the establishment of the Corpus Christi feast.

1246
Locals Celebrate Corpus Christi

The Bishop of Liège commands that a Corpus Christi celebration be held annually.

1264
Corpus Christi is Observed Worldwide

Corpus Christi is declared a feast by Pope Urban IV throughout the entire Latin rite.

Corpus Christi (Brazil) FAQs

What countries celebrate Corpus Christi?

Corpus Christi is a public holiday in some countries with a predominantly Catholic population, including, among others, Argentina, Haiti, parts of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Colombia, Austria, Croatia, Bolivia, Dominican Republic, and East Timor.

What color do you wear for Corpus Christi?

In the Catholic church tradition, the colors white and purple represent Corpus Christi. White signifies purity or liberation from sin.

How do Catholics use the Corpus Christi colors?

Catholic priests wear purple and white garments for the event. The church is also decorated using the same two colors.

How to Observe Corpus Christi (Brazil)

  1. Participate in a street procession

    During Corpus Christi, most churches organize a street procession. It's a fun way to meet people in the community while taking in the sights and sounds of the festival. Even if you are not a Christian, you should go to a Corpus Christi parade.

  2. Take Holy Communion

    Receiving Holy Communion on this day is mandatory for Catholics. It represents Christ's body.

  3. Reconnect with your faith

    Religious holidays celebrate the power of belief. It’s an excellent opportunity to indulge in religious activity and nourish your soul.

5 Interesting Facts About Corpus Christi

  1. It's not fixed

    Corpus Christi is a transitory feast that occurs between late May and mid-June.

  2. It was made a mandatory feast

    At the Council of Vienne in 1311, Pope Clement V made Corpus Christi a compulsory feast for Roman Catholics.

  3. Sacred flour

    Corpus Christi symbols include an image of sanctified bread and a chalice representing the Eucharist, a ciborium and an altar, and a cup with an arched cover.

  4. It has an alias

    The feast is also recognized as the Solemnity of Christ's Most Holy Body and Blood.

  5. Brighter than the sun

    In Spain, the feast was notably referred to as the Thursday that shines greater than the sun.

Why Corpus Christi (Brazil) is Important

  1. It honors various cultures

    Because Corpus Christi is commemorated differently in different cultures, there are numerous ways to commemorate this day. The holiday recognizes the common thread of faith that connects Christians.

  2. It expresses appreciation to Christ

    Corpus Christi, as Pope Francis put it, gives us the "joy of celebrating and praising Christ... displaying our gratitude for nurturing us with love through the Sacrament of his Body and Blood." On this day, we give thanks to God for Christ's enduring presence within us.

  3. It strengthens our spirituality

    The day strengthens our spirituality, and we get to attend mass and pray. The procession is also quite a sight to see.

Corpus Christi (Brazil) dates

YearDateDay
2022June 16Thursday
2023June 8Thursday
2024May 30Thursday
2025June 19Thursday
2026June 4Thursday

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