Eucharistic adoration begins – Sept. 11, 1226


Unsplash/Thays Orrico

This week marks the anniversary of the first recorded instance of a now common Roman Catholic Church practice known as Eucharistic Adoration.

The practice involves praying to Jesus Christ while in the presence of the Eucharist, which is based on the Catholic belief that Christ is present in the communion elements of bread and wine.

According to the National Shrine of St. Maximilian Kolbe at Marytown in Illinois, the practice was first performed per the request of King Louis VII of France after he defeated a heretical sect known as the Albigensians.

“King Louis VII of France asked the Bishop of Avignon to have the Blessed Sacrament exposed in the Chapel of the Holy Cross. The throng of adorers was so great that the bishop decided to have the adoration continue day and night,” noted the National Shrine website.

“During the Middle Ages, many more of the faithful began to adore the Blessed Sacrament apart from the Mass … The practice spread through Europe and culminated in the establishment of the Feast of Corpus Christi—Latin for ‘the Body of Christ’—in 1264.”

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