More than 3000 university students from Rome go on pilgrimage to Orvieto, to see relic of famous Eucharistic miracle

Orvieto – Italy (Tuesday, 11/11/2014, Gaudium Press) Encouraging young people from the Eternal City to rediscover the beauty of the Eucharist, the Diocese of Rome has organized a pilgrimage (November 8 to 12) to the historic city of Orvieto. In this cathedral, one of the most beautiful churches in Italy, the corporal of the Eucharistic miracle which occurred in Bolsena in 1263, is held in a reliquary, this miracle was instrumental in the institution of the Feast of Corpus Christi by Pope Urban IV in 1264.

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Reliquary with the corporal of the Eucharistic
miracle in Orvieto’s Cathedral –
Photo Gaudium Press

Under the theme “Eucaristia e nuovo umanesimo” (The Eucharist and the new humanism), this event commemorates the 750 anniversary of the Eucharistic miracle.

“This year, the destination of the 12th university pilgrimage is Orvieto, because the diocese is celebrating the 750th anniversary of the Eucharistic Miracle of Bolsena. The Diocese of Rome invites all university students to rediscover the great gift of the Eucharist, in its relation with the cultural subject of humanism and with the intention of helping young people to find how crucial the Eucharist is for their personal growth, for themselves and for society and in the Church after their graduation” Archbishop Lorenzo Leuzzi, director of the Department for University Pastoral Care of the Vicariate of Rome, told the Vatican Radio, from Orvieto.

At their arrival in Orvieto the students were greeted by His Excellency Benedetto Tuzia, Bishop of the Diocese of Orvieto-Todi, who encouraged them to live the Eucharist in their daily life “Jesus has taught us a lifestyle; we can say that it is His photograph and that it is His signature, when He took bread, that bread is Himself” he told them.

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The pilgrimage is part of the different initiatives taking place in the academic year 2014-2015.

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Cathedral of Orvieto – Photo
Gaudium Press

The pilgrimage to Orvieto has a great meaning due to the miracle that happened in 1263. A German priest, Peter of Prague, stopped at Bolsena while on a pilgrimage to Rome. He is described as being a pious priest, but one who found it difficult to believe that Christ was actually present in the consecrated Host. While celebrating Holy Mass above the tomb of St. Christina (located in the church named for this martyr), he had barely spoken the words of Consecration when blood started to seep from the consecrated Host and trickle over his hands onto the altar and the corporal. The priest was immediately confused. At first he attempted to hide the blood, but then he interrupted the Mass and asked to be taken to the neighboring city of Orvieto, the city where Pope Ur ban IV was then residing. The Pope listened to the priest’s account and absolved him. He then sent emissaries for an immediate investigation. When all the facts were ascertained, he ordered the Bishop of the diocese to bring to Orvieto the Host and the linen cloth bearing the stains of blood. With archbishops, cardinals and other Church dignitaries in attendance, the Pope met the procession and, amid great pomp, had the relics placed in the cathedral. The linen corporal bearing the spots of blood is still reverently enshrined and exhibited in the Cathedral of Orvieto. Pope Urban IV by means of a papal bull, ‘Transiturus’, instituted the feast of Corpus Christi, which is celebrated each year on the Thursday after the feast of the Holy Trinity. (GPE / EPC)

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