· Vatican City ·

The blood of the Lord that purifies consciences

 The blood of the Lord that purifies consciences  ING-023
07 June 2024

“For those who pursue violent mentalities, that the blood of the Lord, shed to purify our consciences from the works of death, may transform them into peacemakers”, and “for our city of Rome, that the Lord may inspire in her inhabitants... choices based on fraternity, welcoming and mutual solidarity”. Peace and Rome: the Christian hope for peace and justice was expressed in the Basilica of Saint John Lateran and then during the procession to the Basilica of Saint Mary Major, on Sunday afternoon, 2 June, Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ.

Pope Francis presided over Holy Mass at 5 p.m. in the Lateran basilica. Cardinal Víctor Manuel Fernández, Prefect of the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith, concelebrated.

During the prayers of the faithful, “all the baptized”, were remembered: “that the Lord may reawaken in their hearts the commitment to bear witness in society to the fruitfulness of participating in the Eucharist”. Another intention was made “for families, that the Lord may bless their efforts for communion between parents and children, between young and elderly people, for the good of all in mutual service”.

The Diocese of Rome’s choir, which was marking its 40th anniversary, provided the hymns for the celebration.

At the end of the liturgy, Bishop Baldassare Reina, Vicegerent of the Diocese of Rome, led the Eucharistic procession down Via Merulana.

Among those participating were a number of confraternities and associations, as well as representatives from Rome’s parishes, the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, and the Sovereign Military Order of Malta.

In the church square of the Basilica of Saint Mary Major, next to the icon of Salus Populi Romani, Pope Francis imparted a blessing with the Most Blessed Sacrament.

The traditional celebration at Saint John Lateran followed by the procession to Saint Mary Major had not taken place since 2017. In 2018 and 2019, the Bishop of Rome celebrated Corpus Christi in the city’s outskirts: first at the Church of Santa Monica in Ostia, then in the parish of Santa Maria Consolatrice in Casal Bertone. In the years following, the celebration was cancelled because of the Covid-19 pandemic and problems with the Pope’s health.