Feast of Corpus Christi

Pictorial Lives of the Saints: Corpus ChristiAlso known as

  • Birth of the Chalice
  • Feast of the Body of Christ
  • Natalis Calicis


  • Thursday after Trinity Sunday
  • Sunday after Trinity Sunday (United States)


Feast celebrated in honour of the Body of Christ in the Blessed Sacrament and in commemoration of the institution of the Blessed Sacrament. It was established in 1246, at the suggestion of Saint Juliana of Mont Cornillon, by Bishop Robert de Thorete of Liege, where the first celebration was held the following year, and its observance was extended to the whole Church by Pope Urban IV in 1264. It is a holy day of obligation in England, Ireland, and Scotland. The office for the day, the most beautiful in the Roman Liturgy, was written by Saint Thomas Aquinas and the customary procession was approved and encouraged by Pope Martin V and Pope Eugene IV. The procession dates from c.1275, though originally not directly connected with the celebration of the Feast. It is held either on the feast itself, on the following Sunday, or on the day of the octave of the feast, and is of prescription, unless circumstances are such that it must be omitted. During this procession it is customary to halt at several altars, and from one or two of these Benediction is solemnly given. In many places it is customary to have this procession in the open air, weather permitting. Some country churches that have the cemetery close at hand always have two altars within the confines of the cemetery for the purpose of these stops or halts in the Corpus Christi procession. In city parishes and where it is not advisable to hold the procession outdoors, it is held inside the Church. Then the side-altars are used as stopping or halting places for the procession, and from each Benediction is given. Finally the solemnity is concluded with Benediction given, from the high altar of the church.

Additional Information


O God, who hast caused the glorious mystery of the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ to be our abiding possession: grant us, we beseech thee, so to venerate his corporal presence here on earth, that in heaven we may be counted worthy to rejoice in the beholding of him face to face. – early Dominican Sacramentary

MLA Citation

  • “Feast of Corpus Christi“. CatholicSaints.Info. 28 September 2021. Web. 27 October 2021. <>