RC festival in honor of the local presence of Christ in the host*; celebrated on Sunday; Ca. 1230 the Augustinian nun Juliana of Liège (11931258) in a vision saw the ch. as a full moon with one dark spot, the lack of such a festival. Urban IV (pope 126164) est. the festival 1264. The procession, dating from ca. 1275, was originally not connected with the feast. Since the 14th c. the host is carried in the procession in a monstrance.* Miracle plays and mystery plays (see Religious Drama, 2) came to be assoc. with the occasion. M. Luther* considered it the most harmful of medieval festivals (WA 17 II, 438); the Council of Trent* gloried in it as a triumph over falsehood and heresy (13th Sess., The Holy Eucharist, ch. V). It was one of the first festivals rejected by Luther and was also removed from the Angl. calendar at the time of the Reformation.
Edited by: Erwin L. Lueker, Luther Poellot, Paul Jackson
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