Thursday, June 19, 2014

Corpus Christi 2014

Qui manducat meam carnem et bibit meum sanguinem, * In me manet, et ego in eo. V. Non est alia natio tam grandis, quæ habeat deos appropinquantes sibi, sicut Deus noster adest nobis. In me manet.

He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, in me abideth, and I in him. V. There is no other nation so great, that hath gods that come nigh them, as our God is present to us. In me he abideth. (The seventh responsory of Matins of Corpus Christi.)

Today is also the feast of St. Juliana Falconieri (1270-1341), who was the foundress of the female branch of the Servite Order, and the niece of St. Alexius Falconieri, one of the seven founders of the older male branch. The collect of her feast refers to a famous Eucharistic miracle that took place to her benefit.
Deus, qui beatam Julianam Virginem tuam extremo morbo laborantem pretioso Filii tui corpore mirabiliter recreare dignatus es: concede, quaesumus; ut ejus intercedentibus meritis, nos quoque eodem in mortis agone refecti ac roborati, ad caelestem patriam perducamur.
O God, Who, when the blessed Virgin Juliana was laboring in her last illness, deigned in wondrous manner to comfort her with the Precious Body of thy Son; grant by the intercession of her merits, that we also, in the agony of death, may be refreshed and strengthened thereby, and so brought to the heavenly fatherland.
When St Juliana was dying, at the (for that era) very old age of 71, she was unable to retain any solid food, and for this reason, also unable to receive Holy Communion. She therefore asked that the Eucharist might be brought to her in her sickroom, that she might at least adore Christ in the Real Presence. As the priest brought the Host close to her, it disappeared, and Juliana peacefully died. When her body was being prepared for burial, the impression of a circle the size of a Host, with an image of the Crucifixion in it, was discovered over her heart. She is therefore represented in art with a Host over her heart.

A statue of St Juliana Falconieri in St Peter’s Basilica
She was canonized in 1737 by Pope Clement XII, and her feast added to the universal calendar. The Office of her feast includes a proper hymn for Vespers, which also refers to the Eucharistic miracle:
Hinc morte fessam proxima / Non usitato te modo  / Solatur, et nutrit Deus, / Dapem supernam porrigens.
Hence when thou wert tired, and death close by, / God consoled and nourished thee, / Not in the usual way  / offering the heavenly banquet.
St. Juliana, pray for us!

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