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Visitacion Corpus Christi procession brings Eucharist into public view

June 19, 2015
Valerie Schmalz

Church of the Visitacion celebrated Corpus Christi Sunday with a public procession to honor the Real Presence on June 7, keeping alive a tradition that dates to the 13th century.

“I believe this is a beautiful tradition of the church to let the people know about the devotion to the Blessed Sacrament and highlight the meaning of the Eucharist,” said Father Thuan Hoang, who began the procession around the church in the San Francisco neighborhood near the Cow Palace in 2013, shortly after he was appointed pastor four years ago.

Father Hoang carried the exposed Eucharist in a monstrance under a canopy, followed by between 80 and 100 parishioners singing and praying.

The procession occurred after the 12:30 p.m. Mass, and the event concluded with eucharistic adoration and Benediction inside the church, Father Hoang said. The procession brings home more clearly that “2,000 years ago God was incarnate in the human flesh of Jesus and now God is incarnate in the form of host and wine to nourish us,” he said.

The feast of Corpus Christi dates to the 13th century in Belgium where in 1246, Bishop Robert de Thorete of the Diocese of Liège, at the suggestion of St. Juliana of Mont Cornillon, convened a synod and instituted the celebration of the feast. In 1264, Pope Urban IV issued the papal bull “Transiturus,” which established the feast of Corpus Christi as a universal feast of the church, to be celebrated on the Thursday following Trinity Sunday. In the United States, the solemnity of Corpus Christi is transferred to the nearest Sunday.

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