Eucharist: God will bless Texas on the feast of Corpus Christi
By Deacon Guadalupe Rodriguez
Everyone is invited to join St. Mary Cathedral for the annual Corpus Christi Eucharistic Procession on June 22, the feast of Corpus Christi.
This year’s procession will not only go to the steps of the State Capitol as in years past, but it will actually go inside the Rotunda of the Capitol. The dome of the Rotunda marks the Austin skyline and on June 22, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, will enter this historical building to bless the land and its people.
A blessing from Jesus in the Eucharist is different from the blessing of a clergy member since it doesn’t come from the minister acting in “persona Christi” but from Jesus himself. This blessing, known as benediction, is very powerful, and bells are rung to let the faithful know something extraordinary is happening. To further express what is happening the cleric wears a humeral veil that envelopes his shoulders and hands as he blesses the faithful with the monstrance (precious metal object) that carries Jesus under the appearance of bread.
Throughout the centuries many miracles have happened during benediction, including being protected from foreign enemies. In 1240 St. Clare of Assisi blessed the Saracen troops who were about to attack the convent with Jesus in the monstrance. During benediction they fled in fear and trembling, and Jesus reassured her by saying, “I will always protect you!”
In 1630 in Canosio, Italy, a day after they had celebrated the Solemnity of Corpus Christi, a flood threatened to destroy a whole town via the river Maira that came into the town. The priest Father Antonio Reinardi gathered the people and they vowed to the Lord that if their lives and homes were spared they would faithfully celebrate the feast of Corpus Christi every year. Just after the priest blessed the people, the river and the town with Jesus in the monstrance, the flood ceased. The village has faithfully celebrated feast ever since.
In 1656 in the city of Cava Dei Tirreni, Italy, a deadly plague spread throughout the city to neighboring villages and to the countryside. Those affected by the plague were in the thousands. The parish priest felt divinely inspired to lead a procession with the people up to Mt. Castello. When they arrived at the top, the priest blessed the city, the land and the people with Jesus in the monstrance and the plague miraculously stopped.
Finally, there is the most recent miracle in Tumaco, Columbia, in 1906 when an enormous wave crashed into the port destroying ships and the local food market. In fear the people went to their priest as they saw a huge wave begin to rise. In desperation the priest led the people in procession towards the beach. As they wept and cried out to God, a huge wall of water rose to destroy the entire island. The priest blessed the giant tidal wave with Jesus in the monstrance, imploring God’s mercy, and the wave came to a standstill.
So too will Jesus bless the people of Texas as we process into the State Capitol on June 22. May we be protected from terrorists, diseases, storms, tornados, fires, loss of values, and all else that may wound our land. The procession will begin immediately following the 9:30 a.m. Mass at St. Mary Cathedral. Participants are encouraged to bring their parish or organization banners as we process from the Cathedral to the Capitol.
May God bless Texas!