The History of the Eucharist


Let’s begin with the problem.  

There’s a gap between me and God. And there’s a gap between you and God too. It’s a gap that finds its origins with Adam and Eve and their choice to eat the apple. That gap has left a hole within our hearts.

Everywhere you look, people are trying to fill that hole with something. The most common of which are money, power, honor, pleasure or glory.

Meanwhile, from the instant the separation occurred, God set about working on an epic reunion. It was a feat he would accomplish by doing something so surprising and so unfathomable that no one would have ever believed it if he hadn’t foreshadowed it over and over and over again. After all, who could have ever imagined that God would reunite us and satisfy our deepest desires by having his only Son die on a cross, rise from the dead, ascend into heaven and mysteriously remain with us always, hidden in the form of bread and wine?

And yet, here we are. The Eucharist is at the heart of God's plan for the world. And it announces a message from God that cannot be ignored: I want to be with you forever and feed you forever. And no matter how badly you mess up, I will go as far as I need to to make that possible.

Let’s take a look at the amazing reunion God has planned for us since the beginning.

I. Foreshadowings of the Eucharist in the Old Testament

1. The Tree of Life

And out of the ground the Lord God made to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food, the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. (Genesis 2:9)

In the Garden of Eden, the Tree of Life is an image of the Cross, and the fruit it produces is an image of the Eucharist. God intends for Adam and Eve to be united to him forever, but sin and death enter the world when they eat the forbidden fruit. Jesus transforms the Cross into the new Tree of Life by his sacrifice. In the Eucharist, we are restored to eternal life by eating the fruit of that sacrifice, his body and blood.

2. Abel’s Blood

Cain said to Abel his brother, “Let us go out to the field.” And when they were in the field, Cain rose up against his brother Abel, and killed him. Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?” He said, “I do not know; am I my brother’s keeper?” And the Lord said, “What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood is crying to me from the ground. And now you are cursed from the ground, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand. (Genesis 4:8-11)

In Genesis 4:10, Abel’s blood cries out from the ground after Cain murders him. The Letter to the Hebrews explains that as Christians we bring our worship “to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.” (12:24) What is that better word? Abel's blood was a testament to the brokenness of human nature and an accusation against Cain for his sin. Jesus' blood, the same blood we consume in the Eucharist, is a testament to the forgiveness of sins.


3. Melchizedek

When Abram returned from his defeat of Chedorlaomer and the kings who were allied with him… Melchizedek, king of Salem, brought out bread and wine. He was a priest of God Most High. He blessed Abram with these words: “Blessed be Abram by God Most High, the creator of heaven and earth; And blessed be God Most High, who delivered your foes into your hand.” (Genesis 14:17-20)

The high priest and king Melchizedek blesses bread and wine to honor Abram in Genesis 14. Jesus, the Eternal High Priest and King, blesses bread and wine for his disciples at the Last Supper. Saint Cyprian of Carthage says that Melchizedek’s sacrificial offering to Abaraham is a foreshadowing of the sacrificial offering Jesus makes to God the Father. Cyprian explains, Jesus “made the very same offering as Melchizedek had offered, by bread and wine, [but with] his own Body and Blood.” (Epistle 62)


4. The Nile Turns Red

This, then, is what Moses and Aaron did, exactly as the Lord had commanded. Aaron raised his staff and struck the waters in the Nile in full view of Pharaoh and his servants, and all the water in the Nile was changed into blood. (Exodus 7:20)

Moses directs Aaron to strike the Nile River of Egypt with his staff, because this is what God commanded. Aaron does it, and the Nile turns the waters into blood by God’s power. This is the first warning God gives Egypt. Jesus’ first public miracle was turning water into wine at a wedding in Cana. Now, he transforms wine into blood in the Eucharist at each and every Mass.


5. The First Passover

Moses summoned all the elders of Israel and said to them, “Go and procure lambs for your families, and slaughter the Passover victims. Then take a bunch of hyssop, and dipping it in the blood that is in the basin, apply some of this blood to the lintel and the two doorposts. And none of you shall go outdoors until morning. For when the Lord goes by to strike down the Egyptians, seeing the blood on the lintel and the two doorposts, the Lord will pass over that door and not let the destroyer come into your houses to strike you down. (Exodus 12: 21-23)

During the first Passover, God commanded the Israelites to sacrifice an unblemished lamb, eat its flesh, and spread its blood on their doorposts to be saved from the Angel of Death. This event marks a foundational moment in Jewish history, symbolizing freedom, redemption, and the birth of the Israelite nation under God's guidance. The Passover became the central memorial of Jewish life, and through rituals like the Seder meal, the Jewish people still honor the Passover each year.

Jesus is the new Passover Lamb, unblemished by sin, and it is his sacrifice and his Blood that open the door to heaven for us. The Last Supper is the fulfillment of the Passover, in which he takes the bread and wine of the Seder meal and transforms it into his own Body and Blood so that we may have eternal life.


6. The Manna in the Desert

The Israelites said to them, “If only we had died at the Lord’s hand in the land of Egypt, as we sat by our kettles of meat and ate our fill of bread! But you have led us into this wilderness to make this whole assembly die of famine!” Then the Lord said to Moses: “I am going to rain down bread from heaven for you. Each day the people are to go out and gather their daily portion.” (Exodus 16:3-4)

​​Moses and the Israelites were sustained in the desert by manna sent down from heaven. Jesus says, “I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever.” (John 6:51) Now, we too eat manna from Heaven during our wanderings on this earth before entering the ultimate promised land in the next life. The Eucharist is this manna from Heaven. The Eucharist is nourishment for the soul, spiritual food for the journey, that connects us to Heaven (CCC 1402–1405).


7. The Sprinkling of Blood

Taking the book of the covenant, he read it aloud to the people, who answered, “All that the Lord has said, we will hear and do.” Then he took the blood and splashed it on the people, saying, “This is the blood of the covenant which the Lord has made with you according to all these words.” (Exodus 24:7-8)

Having received the God’s Law, Moses sprinkles sacrificial blood on the Israelites in remembrance of God saving them from slavery and death. At the Last Supper, Jesus declares over the cup of wine, “This is My Blood of the new Covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.” (Matthew 26:28)


8. The Ark of the Covenant

“And you shall make a table of acacia wood; two cubits shall be its length, a cubit its breadth, and a cubit and a half its height… And you shall set the bread of the Presence on the table before me always.” (Exodus 25:23-30)

In Exodus 25, God commands Moses to construct a table to be placed before the Ark of the Covenant on which to set “the Bread of the Presence.” Four times a year, on the holiest days of the Jewish calendar, a priest would bring out the table and show the people the bread as the very face of God. At every Mass, the priest holds up the Eucharistic bread and announces, “Behold the Lamb of God.”


9. Elisha’s Miracle of the Loaves

A man came from Baal-shalishah, bringing food from the first fruits to the man of God: twenty loaves of barley and fresh ears of grain in his sack. Elisha said, “Give it to the people and let them eat.” But his servant said, “How can I set this before a hundred people?”… He set it before them, they ate, and had some left, according to the word of the Lord. (2 Kings 4:42-44)

With just twenty loaves of barley and fresh ears of grain, Elisha fed a crowd of one hundred and there was some left over. With just five barely loaves and two fish, Jesus fed a crowd of 5,000 and there was plenty left over. With the Eucharist, Jesus feeds the entire world, and it never runs out.


10. David Sings of the Lord’s Table

Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of my enemies; thou anointest my head with oil, my cup overflows. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord for ever. (Psalm 23)

David praises God for the table he prepares before him, giving him the strength to overcome his enemies. Now, God prepares the table of the altar and feeds us with himself in the Eucharist. He gives us the strength we need to overcome temptation, resist sin, and walk toward his house in Heaven.


11. Isaiah’s Cleansing

And I said: “Woe is me! I am lost, for I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips; yet my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!” Then one of the seraphs flew to me, holding a live coal that had been taken from the altar with a pair of tongs. The seraph touched my mouth with it and said: “Now that this has touched your lips, your guilt has departed and your sin is blotted out.” (Isaiah 6:5-7)

In Isaiah 6, the prophet Isaiah has a vision of an angel taking a hot coal from the altar in heaven and touching the round object to his tongue, cleansing him of sin. The Eucharist, in the form of a round host, cleanses us of venial sin and fortifies us against mortal sin.


12. Isaiah’s Prophecy of Everlasting Life

On this mountain the Lord of hosts will make for all peoples a feast, a feast of rich food, a feast of well-aged wines…He will swallow up death forever, and the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces, and the reproach of his people he will take away from all the earth; for the Lord has spoken. (Isaiah 25:6-8)

Isaiah 25:6-8 proclaims that God will save his people and free them from oppression by bringing them to a great feast and swallowing up death forever. Jesus offers us this feast in the Eucharist, which frees all of us from the oppression of sin, swallows up death, and brings us to the heavenly banquet.


13. The House of Bread

But you, O Bethlehem of Ephrathah, who are one of the little clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to rule in Israel, whose origin is from of old, from ancient days. And he shall stand and feed his flock in the strength of the Lord, in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God. And they shall live secure, for now he shall be great to the ends of the earth; and he shall be the one of peace. (Micah 5:2-5)

In Micah 5, the prophet proclaims that the Messiah will be born in the city of Bethlehem. The name Bethlehem means “House of Bread.” Jesus not only humbled himself to be born as a baby in Bethlehem, but was placed in a feeding trough as his manger. Even from his birth, he occupies a space that is meant for food because he is the bread that will feed the world. He humbles himself for all eternity now by taking the form of bread in the Eucharist.


14. Tasting the Word of God

He said to me, “O mortal, eat what is offered to you; eat this scroll, and go, speak to the house of Israel.” So I opened my mouth, and he gave me the scroll to eat. He said to me, “Mortal, eat this scroll that I give you and fill your stomach with it.” Then I ate it; and in my mouth it was as sweet as honey. (Ezekiel 3:1-3)

In Ezekiel 3, the prophet Ezekiel has a vision of the hand of the Lord feeding him a heavenly scroll which tastes like honey in his mouth. In the Eucharist we consume Jesus, the Word of God incarnate.


15. The Todah Meal

And this is the law of the sacrifice of peace offerings that one may offer to the Lord. If he offers it for a thanksgiving, then he shall offer with the thanksgiving sacrifice unleavened loaves… And from it he shall offer one loaf from each offering, as a gift to the Lord. It shall belong to the priest who throws the blood of the peace offerings. And the flesh of the sacrifice of his peace offerings for thanksgiving shall be eaten on the day of his offering. (Leviticus 7:11-15)

The todah meal in ancient Jewish tradition was a peace-offering given when someone wanted to give thanks to God. It included a lamb, bread and wine and was accompanied by prayers and songs of thanksgiving. The word “Eucharist” means “thanksgiving.” At Mass, we praise and thank Jesus for saving us from the soul-destroying effects of sin.


II. The Eucharist in the New Testament

1. The Bread of Life Discourse

Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you; he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.’ (John 6:53–54)

This is a central moment in Jesus’ public life. There are two moments when the people really struggled to understand what Jesus was saying. When Jesus explained that if they tore down the temple, He would rebuild it in three days, and what He is saying here about being the Bread of Life. They knew he was speaking about his actual flesh and blood. He wasn’t using metaphor. That’s why, in John 6:52, the people grumbled and asked, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” Many of Jesus’ followers even left him over this teaching.

It’s worth reflecting on this whole section of John’s Gospel. (John 6:22–71) It is rich with meaning and foreshadows not only the rest of Jesus’ life, but also the life of the Catholic Church ever since.


2. The Miracle of the Loaves and Fishes

Taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven, and blessed and broke the loaves, and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. And all ate and were filled; and they took up what was left over of the broken pieces, twelve baskets full. And those who ate were about five thousand men, besides women and children. (Matthew 14:19-21)

In the Miracle of the Loaves and Fishes, we see Jesus perform the same actions that the priest performs when consecrating the Eucharist: He takes the bread, he blesses it, he breaks it, and he gives it. Though he has not instituted the Eucharist yet, this is a foreshadowing of what he will do at the Last Supper.


3. The Institution of the Last Supper

While they were eating, Jesus took a loaf of bread, and after blessing it he broke it, gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is my body.” Then he took a cup, and after giving thanks he gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you; for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.” (Matthew 26:26-28)

If you ask people to name the most significant moments in history, most people won't even get close. The Last Supper is one that will be missing from most lists, and yet, if you remove it from human history everything changes.

The Gospels are aligned about what Jesus did on his final night on Earth. He gathered together his closest friends and instituted the Sacrament of the Eucharist. This took place during the time of the Passover feast in Jerusalem. In this moment, Jesus fulfilled all of the foreshadowing of the Eucharist and established a new covenant, making a total gift of himself by offering his body and blood. He also commanded his disciples to celebrate this sacred meal after his death, saying, “Do this in remembrance of me.”

For over 2000 years, at Masses all across the world, priests have recited Jesus’ words from the Last Supper, the bread and wine have become the Body and Blood of Christ, and Catholics have shared in this sacred meal.


4. The Road to Emmaus

As they came near the village to which they were going, [Jesus] walked ahead as if he were going on. But they urged him strongly, saying, “Stay with us, because it is almost evening and the day is now nearly over.” So he went in to stay with them. When he was at the table with them, he took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. Then their eyes were opened, and they recognized him; and he vanished from their sight. They said to each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he was talking to us on the road, while he was opening the scriptures to us?” (Luke 24:28-32)

After Jesus rises from the dead, he walks with two of his disciples to a village called Emmaus. Jesus doesn’t tell them who he is. It is only after he breaks bread that his identity is revealed to them. Jesus has walked with the disciples on the road, he’s been revealed to them in the Scriptures, but it is through the breaking of bread that they finally come to see his True Presence. Similarly, it is through the Eucharist that we come to see his True Presence in our own lives.


5. The Apostles Breaking Bread

Day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved. (Acts 2:46-47)

How did Christianity spread so fast? One strong reason is that the disciples celebrated the Eucharist “from house to house.” They didn’t just wait for Jesus to come to people who didn’t know him—they actually brought Jesus to people in the form of the Eucharist.

We only know a few key things about the earliest Christians and what their rituals and communal life looked like. One of those things is that they devoted themselves to the breaking of the bread. The Eucharist was central to their lives.


6. Paul’s Celebration of the Mass

Having said this, he took bread and gave thanks to God in the presence of them all, and he broke it and began to eat. All of them were encouraged and they themselves also took food. We were 276 people on the ship in all. (Acts 27:35-37)

While at sea with his Roman captors, Paul celebrated the Mass for 276 people. Even being incarcerated in a ship in the middle of a storm wasn't enough to stop Paul from celebrating the Eucharist.


7. Paul’s Explanation of the Eucharist

Therefore whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord unworthily will have to answer for the body and blood of the Lord. A person should examine himself, and so eat the bread and drink the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body, eats and drinks judgment on himself. (1 Corinthians 11:27-29)

Saint Paul cautions the Corinthians to receive the Eucharist with profound reverence and respect. They are not just eating bread together. They are receiving the Body and Blood of Jesus, and they are to act accordingly. Saint Paul’s direction to them is proof of how seriously they took the Sacrament of Communion and how adamant they were that it was truly Jesus.

Earlier in the letter, Paul underscores that the bread and wine they drink truly are Jesus: “Is the cup of blessing which we bless not a sharing in the blood of Christ? Is the bread which we break not a sharing in the body of Christ?” (1 Corinthians 10:16)

Paul does not explain the True Presence as a new teaching, but as something they should already know. The early Christians knew, even if Paul had to sternly remind them from time to time, that this truly was the Body and Blood of Jesus.


8. The Wedding Feast of the Lamb

Let’s rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, because the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His bride has prepared herself… Blessed are those who have been called to the wedding feast of the Lamb. (Revelation 19:7-9)

God speaks throughout the Bible of a marriage between himself and his faithful on earth. But, according to Genesis, this can only happen if they become one body: "Therefore a man… clings to his wife, and the two of them become one body." (Genesis 2:24) As Jesus said in the Bread of Life discourse, “Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him." (John 6:56) And so, through the Eucharist, the marriage between God and humanity finally takes place. This wedding feast is announced in Revelation. It is also why Communion during Mass is often called “The Supper of the Lamb.” It is a wedding feast celebrating God’s marriage to his people.


III. The Eucharist in Church History

1. The Mass of the First Christians

Early Christians gathered in private homes for the "breaking of the bread." They were largely persecuted, and often had to celebrate the Mass in private. Under the Roman persecutions, they gathered together in the catacombs for Mass. An incredible early testimony to the Eucharist being the central ritual of the Mass is provided by Saint Justin Martyr in this letter dated around 150 AD:

"And when the [priest] has given thanks, and all the people have expressed their assent, those who are called by us deacons give to each of those present to partake of the bread and wine mixed with water over which the thanksgiving was pronounced, and to those who are absent they carry away a portion."


2. The Didache (79 AD)

The Didache is one of the earliest surviving Christian texts. It is believed to be written by the Apostles themselves, and provides an incredible instruction manual, including guidance for receiving Communion. Here are some of the earliest teachings of the Church:

Concerning the Eucharist, give thanks this way. First, concerning the cup: We thank you, our Father, for the holy vine of David Your servant, which You made known to us through Jesus Your Servant; to You be the glory forever.

And concerning the broken bread: We thank You, our Father, for the life and knowledge which You made known to us through Jesus Your Servant; to You be the glory forever.

Let no one eat or drink of your Eucharist, but those who have been baptized into the name of the Lord.

But after you are filled, give thanks this way: We thank You, Holy Father, for Your holy name which You caused to dwell in our hearts, and for the knowledge, faith, and immortality, which You made known to us through Jesus Your Servant; to You be the glory forever.


3. The Church Fathers

The Church Fathers are remarkably consistent when it comes to the True Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. Here are just a few of their testaments to the Eucharist:

St. Ignatius of Antioch in 107 AD: "The Eucharist is the flesh of our Savior Jesus Christ, flesh which suffered for our sins and which that Father, in his goodness, raised up again." (Letter to the Smyrnaeans, Chapter 7)

Saint Justin Martyr in 148-155 AD: "This food we call the Eucharist…we have been taught that the food consecrated by the Word of prayer which comes from him, from which our flesh and blood are nourished by transformation, is the flesh and blood of that incarnate Jesus." (First Apology, Chapter 66)

Saint Athanasius of Alexandria around 315 AD: “After the great and wonderful prayers have been completed, then the word comes down into the bread and wine, and it becomes the body and blood of Christ." (Sermon to the Newly Baptized)

For a list of ten Church Fathers on the Eucharist, check out our article: “Remarkable Consistency: The Church Fathers On the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist


4. The Edict of Milan (313 AD)

In 313 AD, the Roman Emperor Constantine issued the Edict of Milan. This made Christianity legal and paved the way for it to become the state religion of the Roman Empire. Christians no longer had to worship in the catacombs, but were freely allowed to celebrate the Eucharist in gathering places of their choice.

Constantine himself was a Christian, and facilitated the construction of Christian churches all over Rome, many of which you can still see today. The Mass developed over the centuries that followed in its four part structure: The Introductory Rites, the Liturgy of the Word, the Liturgy of the Eucharist, and the Concluding Rites.


5. The Eucharistic Miracle at Lanciano

Once there was a priest who was plagued with doubts about whether Jesus was truly present in the Eucharist... until one day. After that day he never again doubted that Jesus was truly present in the Eucharist.

On this particular day, around the year 700, in Lanciano, Italy, this priest was celebrating Mass in a small church and as he said the Words of Consecration ("Take this, all of you, and eat of it, for this is my Body which will be given up for you") the bread changed into living Flesh and the wine changed into Blood before his eyes.

Today, you can go to Lanciano and see the Flesh and Blood that has remained there for more than 1,300 years. The Flesh and Blood have been studied by scientists on a number of occasions, and the following conclusions have been drawn: The Flesh is real human flesh, and the Blood is real human blood. The Blood is type AB (the same in all approved Eucharistic miracles). The Flesh is muscular tissue from the heart. And there is no evidence of preservatives or any other chemical agents present.

The Miracle at Lanciano is considered by many to be the first and greatest of over a hundred Eucharistic Miracles recognized by the Church.


6. The Doctrine of Transubstantiation (1215)

At the Fourth Lateran Council in 1215, the Church formalized the Doctrine of Transubstantiation. The mystery of the Eucharist has been believed by the Church since the beginning, but now the miracle was clearly specified. This doctrine states that the bread and wine used in the Eucharist are transformed into the actual Body and Blood of Jesus Christ during consecration by a priest. They still have their original appearances, such as taste and texture, but their substance has changed into the Body and Blood of Jesus.


7. The Feast of Corpus Christi (1264)

The Feast of Corpus Christi was originally Thomas Aquinas’ idea. He suggested it to Pope Urban so that Catholics could have a feast day to celebrate the Eucharist and nothing else. Pope Urban liked the idea, and instituted it in 1264.

The establishment of this feast day led to the popularization of Eucharistic adoration. As time went on, formal benediction prayers for adoration developed and it became a central part of monastic life. Eventually, adoration would be available and encouraged not just for monks and priests, but for every Catholic.


8. Reformation (1517)

The Protestant Reformation initiated a profound challenge to the Catholic Church, especially its teaching of the True Presence in the Eucharist. Key figures like Martin Luther, John Calvin, and Ulrich Zwingli presented a variety of views on Eucharistic presence, ranging from consubstantiation (Luther) to a more symbolic interpretation (Zwingli). Eventually, many protestant denominations would abandon any notion of the Eucharist completely.


9. The Council of Trent (1545 - 1563)

In response to the challenges posed by the Reformation, the Council of Trent reaffirmed the Church’s teaching of the True Presence of the Eucharist. It stood firm on the doctrine of transubstantiation and the sacrifice of the Mass. The Council also enacted reforms to foster a deeper reverence for the Eucharist.


10. The Roman Catechism (1566)

The Roman Catechism was tied closely to the Council of Trent. It is a comprehensive catechism originally intended for priests to guide how they taught and carried out their duties. It included detailed explanations of the sacraments, but above all, it reaffirmed the absolute importance of the Eucharist. The Roman Catechism has a long section on “The Effects of the Eucharist,” in which it states: 

For what bread and wine are to the body, the Eucharist is to the health and delight of the soul, but in a higher and better way.


11. Saint Peter Julian Eymard (1811 - 1868)

Saint Peter Julian Eymard was known as the “Apostle of the Eucharist.” Peter Julian devoted his life to promoting the Eucharist as the central component of the Church's life, through writing, preaching, and the establishment of Eucharistic lay orders. In 1856, Peter Julian founded the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament, focusing on the adoration of the Holy Eucharist. Later, he also established the Servants of the Blessed Sacrament, a contemplative community for women.

His feast day is celebrated on August 2. Peter Julian’s writings on the Eucharist are extensive and profound, but here is just one of his insights to consider:

“The Holy Eucharist is like a divine Storehouse filled with every virtue; God has placed it in the world so that everyone one may draw from it.”


12St. Pius X (1835 - 1914)

Pope Pius X was known as the “Pope of the Blessed Sacrament.” He is best known for his decree "Sacra Tridentina" (1905), which encouraged frequent and even daily Communion. Before this decree, Communion was seen by some as too holy to be approached by the average Catholic. Pius X changed that, and clarified that all Catholics who were able to receive Communion should do so as frequently as possible, up to once a day. Why? He said it best himself:  “Holy Communion is the shortest and safest way to Heaven.

Pope Pius also lowered the age at which children could receive their First Communion to seven years old—the "age of reason." His feast day is celebrated on August 21.


13. Vatican II (1962 - 1965)

The Second Vatican Council (Vatican II) was convened by Pope John XXIII in 1962 and lasted three years. It sought to enhance the liturgy's accessibility and foster the full, conscious, and active participation of the faithful. This was particularly evident in its approach to the Eucharist, described in Lumen Gentium as the "source and summit of the Christian life."

By allowing the use of non-Latin languages in the Mass and revising liturgical practices—such as the orientation of the priest to face the congregation, and offering communion under both kinds (bread and wine) to the laity—Vatican II aimed to reaffirm the communal and participatory nature of the Eucharistic celebration.


14. The National Eucharistic Revival (2022 - 2025)

The National Eucharistic Revival is a three-year initiative launched by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in 2022. The Revival’s mission is to “renew the Church by enkindling a living relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist.” (Learn more here). Its vision is to “inspire a movement of Catholics across the United States who are healed, converted, formed, and unified by an encounter with Jesus in the Eucharist—and who are then sent out on mission for the life of the world.”

The first year is aimed at diocesan revival. Just so he knows that the people here really appreciate his preaching and look forward to it every week. One major highlight of the revival is the National Eucharistic Congress, which will take place in Indianapolis in July 2024.


15. 33 Days to Eucharistic Consecration

33 Days to Eucharistic Glory is the first-ever Eucharistic Consecration. It was published in 2023 by Matthew Kelly, as a guide to facilitate an act of unconditional surrender to Jesus in the Eucharist. It is an opportunity to set aside our distractions and selfishness, dedicate ourselves abundantly, wholeheartedly, and completely to the will of God, and promise to faithfully respond to God’s grace in our life.

Order your copy today, and prepare for an explosion of grace in your life.




What do all these moments in the history of the Eucharist reveal?

God’s foreshadowing of the Eucharist was a message from God: I am coming to be with you, to help you, to guide you, to love you.

And now, the Eucharist itself is a message from God: I am with you now, helping you, guiding you, loving you, and I will never leave you.

The Eucharist has always been at the heart of God's plan for saving the world. It is written up and down the Scriptures and weaved all throughout history. Our own individual stories are never forgotten or abandoned by God. He is constantly inviting us to return to him, to start anew, and be united once more.

Lord, you desire to be with your people always. Help me to meet you in the Eucharist with an open heart.

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