- Fractio Panis
The name given to a fresco in the catacomb of Saint Priscilla (2nd century). It is found on an arch over an altar tomb. Seven persons, six men and a woman, are at a table; one of the men sits apart and is breaking a loaf; in front is a two-handled cup, and on the table, two plates, one containing two fishes, the other five loaves. All the accessories bear out the Eucharistic significance. The breaking of bread was the climax of the ritual in early liturgies. Its scriptural basis is Luke 24; the Apostles at Emmaus recognized Our Lord when He blessed and broke the bread.