Skip to main content

Eucharist Is 'Center of the Life of the Church'

Meditation for Corpus Christi

Here is the address John Paul II delivered Sunday before praying the midday Angelus at St. Peter's Square.

* * *

1. Corpus Christi, the solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ, is being celebrated today in Italy and in other countries. It is the feast of the Eucharist, sacrament in which Jesus left us the living memorial of his Pasch, central event of the history of humanity.

It is beautiful that on this day the faithful gather around the Most Blessed Sacrament to adore it, that they accompany it in procession through the streets, that they express faith in the living Christ and the joy of his presence with so many signs of devotion.

2. Last Thursday, precisely when celebrating Corpus Christi with the Diocese of Rome, I announced that in the coming month of October, coinciding with the International Eucharistic Congress of Guadalajara, Mexico, a special Year of the Eucharist will begin, which will end in October 2005 with the ordinary assembly of the Synod of Bishops, whose theme will be "The Eucharist: Source and Summit of the Life and Mission of the Church."

The Year of the Eucharist takes place in the framework of the pastoral project that I presented in the apostolic letter "Novo Millennio Ineunte," in which I invited the faithful to "start afresh from Christ" (Nos. 29ff). Contemplating more assiduously the countenance of the Incarnate Word, really present in the Sacrament, they will be able to exercise themselves in the art of prayer (see No. 32) and commit themselves in that "high degree" of the Christian life (see No. 31) which is the indispensable condition to develop in an effective manner the new evangelization.

The Eucharist is at the center of the life of the Church. In it, Christ offers himself to the Father for us, making us participants of his sacrifice itself, and he gives himself to us as bread of life for our journey on the paths of the world.

3. From now on, I entrust this new initiative to the Virgin Mary, "Eucharistic woman" (see encyclical "Ecclesia de Eucharistia," Nos. 53-58). May she, who in the Year of the Rosary helped us with her look and her heart to contemplate Christ (see "Rosarium Virginis Mariae," Nos. 10-17), in the Year of the Eucharist make every community grow in faith and love toward the mystery of the Body and Blood of the Lord.


The Vatican  , VA
Pope John Paul II - Bishop of Rome, 661 869-1000



Eucharist, Sacraments, Church, Corpus Christi

Rate This Article

Very Helpful Somewhat Helpful Not Helpful at All

Yes, I am Interested No, I am not Interested

Rate Article


Leave a Comment

Comments submitted must be civil, remain on-topic and not violate any laws including copyright. We reserve the right to delete any comments which are abusive, inappropriate or not constructive to the discussion.

Though we invite robust discussion, we reserve the right to not publish any comment which denigrates the human person, undermines marriage and the family, or advocates for positions which openly oppose the teaching of the Catholic Church.

This is a supervised forum and the Editors of Catholic Online retain the right to direct it.

We also reserve the right to block any commenter for repeated violations. Your email address is required to post, but it will not be published on the site.

We ask that you NOT post your comment more than once. Catholic Online is growing and our ability to review all comments sometimes results in a delay in their publication.

Send me important information from Catholic Online and it's partners. See Sample

Post Comment

Newsletter Sign Up

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Jonah 4:1-11
This made Jonah very indignant; he fell into a rage. He prayed ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 86:3-4, 5-6, 9-10
take pity on me, Lord, for to you I cry all the day. Fill your ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 11:1-4
Now it happened that he was in a certain place praying, and ... Read More

Saint of the Day

October 7 Saint of the Day

St. Artaldus
October 7: Artaldus (also called Arthaud) was born in the castle of ... Read More