Eucharistic Corner

 

“The Solemnity of Pentecost”

CCC 1353 “In the epiclesis [which consists of the laying on of hands on the offerings and the following prayer in Eucharistic Prayer II: Make holy, therefore, these gifts, we pray by sending down your Spirit upon them like the dewfall, so that they may become for us the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ.], the Church asks the Father to send his Holy Spirit (or the power of his blessing178) on the bread and wine, so that by his power they may become the body and blood of Jesus Christ and so that those who take part in the Eucharist may be one body and one spirit (some liturgical traditions put the epiclesis after the anamnesis). In the institution narrative, the power of the words and the action of Christ, and the power of the Holy Spirit, make sacramentally present under the species of bread and wine Christ’s body and blood, his sacrifice offered on the cross once for all.”

The Saints and the Eucharist

“Who was St Tarcisius? He was a boy who came regularly to the Catacombs of St Calixtus in Rome. He had great love for the Eucharist. He was an acolyte, that is, an altar server. Those were years in which the Emperor Valerian was harshly persecuting Christians who were forced to meet secretly in private houses or, at times, also in the Catacombs, to hear the word of God, to pray and to celebrate Holy Mass. Even the custom of taking the Eucharist to prisoners and the sick became increasingly dangerous. One day, when, as was his habit, the priest asked who was prepared to take the Eucharist to the other brothers and sisters who were waiting for it, young Tarcisius stood up and said: “send me!”. This boy seemed too young for such a demanding service! “My youth”, Tarcisius said, “will be the best shield for the Eucharist”. Convinced, the priest entrusted to him the precious Bread, saying: “Tarcisius, remember that a heavenly treasure has been entrusted to your weak hands. Avoid crowded streets and do not forget that holy things must never be thrown to dogs nor pearls to pigs. Will you guard the Sacred Mysteries faithfully and safely?”. “I would die”, Tarcisio answered with determination, “rather than let go of them”.

As he went on his way he met some friends who approached him and asked him to  join them. As pagans they became suspicious and insistent at his refusal and realized he was clasping something to his breast that he appeared to be protecting. They tried to prize it away from him, but in vain; the struggle became ever fiercer, especially when they realized that Tarcisius was a Christian; They kicked him, they threw stones at him, but he did not surrender. While Tarcisius was dying a Pretoria guard called Quadratus, who had also, secretly, become a Christian, carried him to the priest. Tarcisius was already dead when they arrived but was still clutching to his breast a small linen bag containing the Eucharist.” (Benedict XVI, General Audience in 2010:
www.vatican.va/content/benedict-xvi/en/audiences/2010/documents/hf_benxvi_aud_20100804.html)

Past postings:
May 12, 2024: What is This Sacrament Called?
May 5, 2024: The Saints and the Eucharist