Main altar at Naxxar church, decorated for Corpus Christi.
A special day dedicated to honoring
the Eucharist and the Blessed Sacrament. All churches in Malta put on their
best outfit today to emphasize the importance of the real presence of Jesus in
the Eucharist. Most churches hold processions usually in the evening, through
the streets of local towns and villages. The processions were started by St
Juliana of Liege who in around 1200 she had a vision from Jesus encouraging her
to start a special devotion to the Blessed Sacrament. She went to speak to her Belgian
Bishop, Jacques Pantaleon, who told her to pray about it. Eventually he was
elected as Pope Urban IV and gave her permission to start a procession with the
Eucharist, a tradition that has continued ever since. St Juliana died in 1258
in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament. At the same time, the Pope encouraged
a Dominican monk, St Thomas Aquinas to write some Eucharistic hymns, and he wrote
Pange Lingua, Tantum Ergo, O Salitaris
Hostia, Lauda Sion Salvatorem, and other popular hymns.