The feast of Corpus Christi is celebrated every year by Christians on the Thursday after Trinity Sunday.
Corpus Christi literally translates to 'body of Christi' and this day celebrates and honors the presence of Jesus Christ's body and blood in the Eucharist or Communion.
It is a religious observance and not a public day.
History Behind This Day
People believed that there should be a day to celebrate the divinity of Jesus Christ's Body and Blood and that's why St. Thomas Aquinas suggested to Pope Urban IV that a Feast Day should be celebrated with the sole focus on the Holy Eucharist.
One significant part of Maundy Thursday was celebrating the Eucharist which also included the elements of washing the feet and commitment to the priesthood.
After confirming the authenticity of the Eucharistic Miracle of Bolsena, Pope Urban IV established the Feast of Corpus Christi in 1264.
He wanted it to be celebrated throughout the Roman Catholic Churches.
A few centuries later, Pope Pius V amended the General Roman Calendar and kept only two feasts of devotion - Corpus Christi and Trinity Sunday.
Corpus Christi is represented by consecrated bread and a chalice, which symbolize the Holy Eucharist.
What is the Eucharist
The Eucharist also known as the holy communion is one of the most sacred rites of the Christian Church.
It has its origins in the Last Supper when Jesus offered his disciples bread and wine as a symbol of his body and blood. This was a direct order from Jesus to continue this ritual in his memory.
The Eucharist then becomes one of the most important moments during mass, where sacramental bread and wine are consecrated at an altar.
These are consumed after Communion. While doing so, the congregation is meant to reflect on the sacrifices of Jesus Christ.
How Corpus Christi Is Observed
Corpus Christi is a holy day of obligations, which means that those of the Christian faith must participate in the Mass.
Catholics must receive their communion on this day, and children often receive their first communion during Corpus Christi.
In 1519, upon arriving at a bay on the territory of Texas, explorer Alonzo Pineda gave the new city the name of Corpus Christi.