Most Rev. Anthony Obinna, Catholic Archbishop of Owerri presided over the Eucharistic celebration to mark feast of Corpus Christi at Sant’ Ambroggio Catholic Community, Rome, Sunday June 23.
In his homily, the visiting Archbishop said that the day was a special one. While talking about the Corpus Christi he described the Eucharist as God’s redemptive love written on the body of Christ; a sacrifice that was offered on the cross for the life of the world; a sacrifice that has become the source of strength and hope of priests and lay people who are facing terrorist attacks in many countries of the world.
He thanked the members of Sant’ Ambroggio Community for keeping the fire of faith alive even in a foreign country. The Holy Mass was followed by the Eucharistic Procession along the streets of Rome. Other celebrations in honour of the Archbishop came after the procession.
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The Mass was followed by Eucharistic procession in keeping to the Solemnity of the day (Corpus Christi). The Monstrance containing the body of Christ was carried by the Archbishop during the procession while the people marched before him. The procession started at Sant’ Ambrogio Catholic Community, via Sant’ Ambrogio, went through Via Dei Campitelli to Largo Argentinathe square where Julius Caesar was murdered) and back to the church for benediction.
Many people of Rome and Tourists trooped out to watch Nigerians celebrate the Body and Blood of Christ with Nigerian traditional songs and dance.
While many white people were busy recording videos and taking photographs of the event, others came closer, knelt and signed themselves with the sign of the cross.
Archbishop Obinna described the procession as a re-awakening of the spirituality and religious life of the Romans.
Rev. Fr. Prof. Francis Aniekwe Oborji of Pontifical Urban University Rome who was in the procession and observed everything that happened, said; “The Eucharistic procession was indeed remarkable. Rome residents and passer-by pilgrims, who have forgotten what the Catholic tradition of the Eucharistic procession is all about in a day like this, became full of admiration of our people’s joyous expression of their Catholic faith in a foreign land, a country that is increasingly becoming too lukewarm about anything Christian or Church. Some of the passers-by even joined in the procession, sang and danced with our people, our African hymns in honour of the Corpus Domini”.
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