PHOTOS: Eucharistic Procession Brings Jesus to Halls of Rome University
The 22nd edition of the annual procession was attended by about 130 students, faculty and community members on May 11 procession, winding from the church to the courtyard of the Angelicum, past classrooms, the library, auditoriums and back to the church.
“We affirm in faith that the Lord walks where you walk, that he journeys at your side,” Cardinal James Michael Harvey said Thursday before a Eucharistic procession at Rome’s University of St. Thomas Aquinas, or Angelicum.
An estimated 130 students, faculty and community members participated in the 22nd annual procession, which was preceded by an exhortation from Cardinal Harvey in the Church of Sts. Dominic and Sixtus.
Cardinal Harvey reflected on the Gospel account of Jesus’ appearance as a stranger to two disciples on the road to Emmaus. He focused particularly on how the disciples realized it was Jesus “in the breaking of the bread.”
“Jesus does not say goodbye” at the end of the meeting, the cardinal said. “He simply disappears. But it’s as if his presence somehow lingers.”
“The two disciples recognize the Lord in the breaking of the bread ... one of the most ancient, most venerable terms referring to the Eucharist.”
Cardinal Harvey, an American and archpriest of the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls, presided over the May 11 procession, which wound from the church to the courtyard of the Angelicum past classrooms, the library, auditoriums, and back to the church.
The Eucharistic procession took place in an atmosphere of prayer, while the Litany of the Sacred Heart and the Litany of the Precious Blood were sung in Latin.
In his exhortation, Cardinal Harvey recalled that “the epic battle between good and evil has already been won.”
“It’s precisely that victory that we celebrate solemnly at Easter and every time we come to Mass and hear the words of the priest: ‘Take this and eat; this is my body,’” he said.
He also pointed out the many ways Christ is present in the world today, even if we do not always recognize him: “A stranger, a poor person, the voice of a friend, the quiet of our hearts, nature, suffering, visible and invisible ways. [Jesus] is present in our worshipping assembly, the Holy Scriptures, and in a preeminent way in the sacraments, and most profoundly in the Eucharist.”
The cardinal quoted from a homily given by Pope Benedict XVI on the Solemnity of Corpus Christi on June 7, 2007.
“At the end of the Eucharistic celebration we will join in the procession as if to carry the Lord Jesus in spirit through all the streets and neighborhoods of Rome,” Benedict said at Mass in the square in front of the Archbasilica of St. John Lateran. “We will immerse him, so to speak, in the daily routine of our lives, so that he may walk where we walk and live where we live.”
Cardinal Harvey added that “the Jesus who died at Calvary and was buried in a tomb is the same Jesus who, having risen from the tomb, now walks with us and helps us on our journey to eternal life.”
“And we recognize him unmistakably here, in the breaking of the bread.”