Photo: Andreas Praefcke Kath. Pfarrkirche St. Gordian und Epimachus, Merazhofen, Stadt Leutkirch im Allgäu, Landkreis Ravensburg Chorgestühl.
By happy coincidence this year, Maundy Thursday where we commemorate the institution of the Eucharist at the Last Supper happens to displace the feast of St Juliana of Liege. In 1211, the 18 year old Juliana had a vision, in which she was instructed to institute the feast of Corpus Christi.Supported by Jacques of Troyes, Archdeacon of Liège, (later bishop of Verdun, Patriarch of Jerusalem and eventually Pope Urban IV). In 1264 he issued the papal bull Transiturus de hoc mundo making the Feast of Corpus Christi a universal festival in the Western Church. I'm sure she doesn't mind. She was ever so slightly keen on the Holy Eucharist!
It's worth recalling some of the words of the Office hymn for Corpus Christi Pange Lingua Gloriosi Corporis Mysterium (also sung to night as we process to the altar of Repose) as we remember the event of the last night of Christ's earthly life and the Passover he celebrated with his disciples.
- On the night of that Last Supper,
- seated with His chosen band,
- He the Pascal victim eating,
- first fulfills the Law's command;
- then as Food to His Apostles
- gives Himself with His own hand.