Publications and Research

Document Type

Book Chapter or Section

Publication Date

Fall 11-2015


Multiple versions of the liturgy for the new fest of Corpus Christi provide evidence for changes in the theology of the Eucharist during the thirteenth century. These changes give pause in crediting the Miracle of Bolsena as the source of inspiration for the 1264 version of the liturgy by St. Thomas Aquinas. An earlier version of the "original office" with approbation from Liege Bishop Robert Thourotte in 1246 and a celebration of the feast by Hugh of St. Cher in 1252 weigh against the Bolsena Miracle as the source. Moreover, the idea of a corporeal presence with blood issuing from the consecrated host would have been anathema to St. Thomas's Eucharistic theology and doctrine as set forth in his homily and then perhaps later in the Summa Theologiae. Additionally, recent codicological evidence pertaining to the Bolsena relics likewise suggests a different local chronology. The evidence presented herein, nonetheless, should not be interpreted so as to contradict the beliefs of the faithful.


This work originally appeared in Il Corpus Domini. Teologia antropologia e politica, edited by Laura Andreani.

The author was not able to make it to the conference in Orvieto but sent the paper to be read. The volume in which the paper appears has reproductions of the vast number of magnificent artifacts associated with the events surrounding the 750th anniversary celebration of the feast of Corpus Christi.



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