On-Going Instruction in the Principles of Christianity
2020 Jubilee 2021
YEAR OF THE EUCHARIST - 11/8
("MYSTERY OF FAITH",
ENCYCLICAL LETTER OF
POPE PAUL VI)
On the other hand St. Cyril of Alexandria rejects as folly the opinion of those who maintained that if a part of the Eucharist was left over for the following day it did not confer sanctification. “For,” he says, “neither Christ is altered nor His Body changed, but the force and power and vivifying grace always remain with it.”
Nor should we forget that in ancient times the faithful, harassed by the violence of persecution or living in solitude out of love for monastic life nourished themselves even daily, receiving Holy Communion by their own hands when the priest or deacon was absent.
We say this not in order that there be some change in the way of keeping the Eucharist and of receiving Holy Communion which was later on prescribed by Church laws and which now remain in force, but rather that we may rejoice over the faith of the Church which is always one and the same.
This faith also gave rise to the feast of Corpus Christi which was first celebrated in the diocese of Liege specially through the efforts of the servant of God, Blessed Juliana of Mount Cornelius, and which Our predecessor Urban IV extended to the Universal Church. From it have originated many practices of Eucharistic piety which under the inspiration of divine grace have increased from day to day and with which the Catholic Church is striving ever more to do homage to Christ, to thank Him for so great a gift and to implore His mercy.
We therefore ask you, venerable brothers, among the people entrusted to your care and vigilance, to preserve this faith in its purity and integrity—a faith which seeks only to remain perfectly loyal to the word of Christ and of the Apostles and unambiguously rejects all erroneous and mischievous opinions. Tirelessly promote the cult of the Eucharist, the focus where all other forms of piety must ultimately emerge.
May the faithful, thanks to your efforts, come to realize and experience ever more perfectly the truth of these words: “He who desires life finds here a place to live in and the means to live by. Let him approach, let him believe, let him be incorporated so that he may receive life. Let him not refuse union with the members, let him not be a corrupt member, deserving to be cut off, nor a disfigured member to be ashamed of…”