One of the most important solemnities of the Catholic calendar is Corpus Christi, the celebration of Christ present in the Eucharist. Around the world there are numerous traditions connected with this feast.
In the Middle Ages in Europe Corpus Christi processions were the most important events in the cities every year. Every one was waiting for that day to see the music and the statues of the patron saints of all of the churches in the city join in this procession with the Blessed Sacrament at the heart.
In Portugal this day is still a holiday and every one stops to see the Blessed Sacrament along the streets of the city. That procession is not the most important event in the city anymore, but every year it happens again no matter how many people participate. This procession reminds the city who should be the center of the human life.
One of the most curious traditions of this day on my country happens in a little village called Monção where the fight between St George and the dragon, named Coca, is recreated. Why recreate this battle on this day? Well thinking about St. George as the representation of good and the dragon as the representation of evil, what better day is there than the day we celebrate the Eucharist; Christ who offered him self to save all of us.
This reenactment takes place in the central plaza of the village. A man dressed as St. George and a life size puppet of the dragon act out the battle of the good against evil.
All around the world today people celebrate the physical presence of Christ in the Eucharist. In Canada various parishes from Quebec to British Columbia have Eucharistic processions where some of them are led by the kids who received first communion this year.
All of these traditions show us how the Catholic faith is built around this big gift Christ gives us. The fact of He made himself bread to feed every one as he said “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry”
. (John 6. 24-35)