For the first time since 1982, a Pope will not preside over the Eucharistic procession in Rome on the Solemnity of Corpus Christi or the Body of Christ this year. Instead, His Holiness Pope Francis will travel on Sunday to the sea-side city of Ostia, some 25 km from Rome, where he will celebrate the feast. Corpus Christi celebrates the belief in the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist – His body and blood.

The Pontiff will celebrate Holy Mass in the evening on June 3 in the square in front of the church of St. Monica parish. After Mass, the Eucharistic procession with the Blessed Sacrament will start from St. Monica and conclude near the parish of Our Lady of Bonaria with the Eucharistic benediction by the Holy Father.

In the liturgical calendar, the solemnity of Corpus Christi occurs on the Thursday after Trinity Sunday, which this year was last Sunday, May 27.   Hence the Corpus Christi procession used to take place in Rome on a Thursday,  but Pope Francis last year moved it to the following Sunday, saying more people would be free to join in and it would cause less inconvenience to them with closed roads and traffic diversion.