Feast of Corpus Christi

One of the greatest festivals of the Roman Catholic Church, honoring the presence of Christ in the sacrament of Communion, celebrated on the Thursday after Trinity Sunday by carrying the host in procession, accompanied by hymns. In the wake of the enunciation of the dogma of transubstantiation at the Fourth Lateran Council in 1215, Juliana of Mont-Cornillon, the Belgian mystic, persuaded Bishop Robert of Liège to establish a special celebration in honor of the Eucharist in 1246, and the practice was made universal by Pope Urban IV in his bull Transiturus in 1264, which provided indulgences for those observing it. The rejection of transubstantiation as well as the theory of indulgences* by the Reformers led them to suppress this festival, which was the first prohibited by Luther.