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ROME, May 30, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) — Pope Francis is departing from a 40-year tradition restored by St. John Paul II and moving the celebration of Corpus Christi from the heart of Rome to the neighboring seaside town of Ostia.
The move marks the latest in several changes Pope Francis has made to the celebration of Corpus Christi since his pontificate began.
Significance - Beauty - Eucharastic - Procession - Heart
Given the deep significance and beauty of the annual Eucharastic procession through the heart of Rome, the move is leading some to ask: Franciscus, quo vadis?
Until this year, the annual candlelit Eucharistic procession immediately followed the celebration of Holy Mass at Rome’s Basilica of St. John Lateran — the See of the Bishop of Rome — and proceeded along the Via Merulana to the Basilica of St. Mary Major, where it concluded with solemn Benediction of the Most Blessed Sacrament.
Pope - St - John - Paul - II
Pope St. John Paul II restored the Corpus Christi procession to the streets of Rome in 1982, a traditoin that had not taken place for more than a hundred years. It was a custom that he deeply loved and continued throughout his pontificate, and one which Pope Benedict XVI also treasured.
An American priest who was a seminarian in Rome at the beginning of Pope John Paul II’s pontificate recalls his experience serving Mass for him on Corpus Christi in 1980:
Mass - Seminarians - Pope - John - Paul
I will never forget that Mass. Before it began, three other seminarians and I were with Pope John Paul in the sacristy of Saint Peter’s Basilica. The Holy Father spoke to us about the Holy Eucharist and the feast of Corpus Christi. He counseled us to make the Eucharist the center of our lives as seminarians and future priests. The Holy Father also spoke to us with apparent nostalgia about the tradition of Corpus Christi processions in Poland.
I watched Pope John Paul prepare...
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