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<<  The Catechism of the Catholic Church Today!

The Catechism of the Catholic Church Today on the Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist.


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Christ is not present in this sacrament, according to His natural way of existence; that is, as bodies naturally exist; but in a manner proper to the character of His exalted and glorified body. His presence then is real and substantial, but sacramental; not exposed to the external senses, nor obnoxious to corporal contingencies.


This is what the Catechism of the Catholic Church states on this issue:


The presence of Christ by the power of his word and the Holy Spirit


1373 "Christ Jesus, who died, yes, who was raised from the dead, who is at the right hand of God, who indeed intercedes for us," is present in many ways to his Church: (Romans 8:34; cf. Vatican II, Lumen Gentium 48) in his word, in his Church's prayer, "where two or three are gathered in my name," (Matthew 18:20) in the poor, the sick, and the imprisoned, (cf. Matthew 25:31-46) in the sacraments of which he is the author, in the sacrifice of the Mass, and in the person of the minister. But "he is present . . . most especially in the Eucharistic species." (Vatican II, Sacrosanctum Concilium 7)


1374 The mode of Christ's presence under the Eucharistic species is unique. It raises the Eucharist above all the sacraments as "the perfection of the spiritual life and the end to which all the sacraments tend." (St. Thomas Aquinas, STh III,73,3c) In the most blessed sacrament of the Eucharist "the body and blood, together with the soul and divinity, of our Lord Jesus Christ and, therefore, the whole Christ is truly, really, and substantially contained." (Council of Trent (1551): DS 1651) "This presence is called 'real' - by which is not intended to exclude the other types of presence as if they could not be 'real' too, but because it is presence in the fullest sense: that is to say, it is a substantial presence by which Christ, God and man, makes himself wholly and entirely present." (Paul VI, Mysterium Fidei 39)


1375 It is by the conversion of the bread and wine into Christ's body and blood that Christ becomes present in this sacrament. The Church Fathers strongly affirmed the faith of the Church in the efficacy of the Word of Christ and of the action of the Holy Spirit to bring about this conversion. Thus St. John Chrysostom declares:

It is not man that causes the things offered to become the Body and Blood of Christ, but he who was crucified for us, Christ himself. The priest, in the role of Christ, pronounces these words, but their power and grace are God's. This is my body, he says. This word transforms the things offered.

St. John Chrysostom, prod. Jud. 1:6:PG 49,380

And St. Ambrose says about this conversion:

Be convinced that this is not what nature has formed, but what the blessing has consecrated. The power of the blessing prevails over that of nature, because by the blessing nature itself is changed. . . . Could not Christ's word, which can make from nothing what did not exist, change existing things into what they were not before? It is no less a feat to give things their original nature than to change their nature.


St. Ambrose, De myst. 9, 50; 52: PL 16, 405-407

1376 The Council of Trent summarizes the Catholic faith by declaring: "Because Christ our Redeemer said that it was truly his body that he was offering under the species of bread, it has always been the conviction of the Church of God, and this holy Council now declares again, that by the consecration of the bread and wine there takes place a change of the whole substance of the bread into the substance of the body of Christ our Lord and of the whole substance of the wine into the substance of his blood. This change the holy Catholic Church has fittingly and properly called transubstantiation." (Council of Trent (1551): DS 1642; cf. Matthew 26:26 ff.; Mk 14:22 ff.; Luke 22:19 ff.; 1 Corinthians 11:24 ff.)


1377 The Eucharistic presence of Christ begins at the moment of the consecration and endures as long as the Eucharistic species subsist. Christ is present whole and entire in each of the species and whole and entire in each of their parts, in such a way that the breaking of the bread does not divide Christ. (cf. Council of Trent: DS 1641)


1378 Worship of the Eucharist. In the liturgy of the Mass we express our faith in the real presence of Christ under the species of bread and wine by, among other ways, genuflecting or bowing deeply as a sign of adoration of the Lord. "The Catholic Church has always offered and still offers to the sacrament of the Eucharist the cult of adoration, not only during Mass, but also outside of it, reserving the consecrated hosts with the utmost care, exposing them to the solemn veneration of the faithful, and carrying them in procession." (Paul VI, Mysterium Fidei 56)


1379 The tabernacle was first intended for the reservation of the Eucharist in a worthy place so that it could be brought to the sick and those absent outside of Mass. As faith in the real presence of Christ in his Eucharist deepened, the Church became conscious of the meaning of silent adoration of the Lord present under the Eucharistic species. It is for this reason that the tabernacle should be located in an especially worthy place in the church and should be constructed in such a way that it emphasizes and manifests the truth of the real presence of Christ in the Blessed Sacrament.


1380 It is highly fitting that Christ should have wanted to remain present to his Church in this unique way. Since Christ was about to take his departure from his own in his visible form, he wanted to give us his sacramental presence; since he was about to offer himself on the cross to save us, he wanted us to have the memorial of the love with which he loved us "to the end,"
(John 13:1) even to the giving of his life. In his Eucharistic presence he remains mysteriously in our midst as the one who loved us and gave himself up for us, (cf. Galatians 2:20) and he remains under signs that express and communicate this love:

The Church and the world have a great need for Eucharistic worship. Jesus awaits us in this sacrament of love. Let us not refuse the time to go to meet him in adoration, in contemplation full of faith, and open to making amends for the serious offenses and crimes of the world. Let our adoration never cease.


John Paul II, Dominicae Cenae, 3

1381 "That in this sacrament are the true Body of Christ and his true Blood is something that 'cannot be apprehended by the senses,' says St. Thomas, 'but only by faith, which relies on divine authority.' For this reason, in a commentary on Luke 22:19 ('This is my body which is given for you.'), St. Cyril says: 'Do not doubt whether this is true, but rather receive the words of the Savior in faith, for since he is the truth, he cannot lie.'"

(St. Thomas Aquinas, STh III,75,1; cf. Paul VI, Mysterium Fidei 18; St. Cyril of Alexandria, In Luc. 22,19:PG 72,912; cf. Paul VI, Mysterium Fidei 18. )

Godhead here in hiding, whom I do adore
Masked by these bare shadows, shape and nothing more,
See, Lord, at thy service low lies here a heart
Lost, all lost in wonder at the God thou art.
Seeing, touching, tasting are in thee deceived;
How says trusty hearing? that shall be believed;
What God's Son has told me, take for truth I do;
Truth himself speaks truly or there's nothing true.


St. Thomas Aquinas (attributed to), Adoro te devote; translated by Gerard Manley Hopkins

In Brief


1406 Jesus said: "I am the living bread that came down from Heaven ; if any one eats of this bread, he will live for ever; . . . he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life and . . . abides in me, and I in him". (John 6:51, 54, 56)


1418 Because Christ himself is present in the sacrament of the altar, he is to be honored with the worship of adoration. "To visit the Blessed Sacrament is . . . a proof of gratitude, an expression of love, and a duty of adoration toward Christ our Lord". (Pope Paul VI, Mysterium Fidei 66)




  1. St. Ignatius of Antioch, (A.D. 50-107)
    St. Justin Martyr, (A.D. 100-163)
    St. Irenæus of Lyons, (A.D. 125-202)
    St. Clement of Alexandria, (A.D. 150-220)
    Tertullian, (A.D. 160-218)
    St. Hippolytus of Rome, (A.D. 170-236)
    Origen of Alexandria, (A.D. 184-253)
    St. Cyprian of Carthage, (A.D. 200-258)
    Pope St. Cornelius I, (unknown - A.D. c.253)
    Firmilian of Cæsarea, (A.D. 210-272)
    Eusebius of Cæsarea, (A.D. c.263-338)
    Aphrahat, (A.D. c.270 - c.345)
    St. James of Nisibis, (unknown-361)
    Pope St. Liberius, (unknown- A.D. 366)
    St. Athanasius of Alexandria, (A.D. 296-372)
    Julius Firmicus Maternus, (flourished in the 4th century)
    Blessed Isaias, (lived in the 4th century)
    Macarius of Egypt, (A.D. c.300-391)
    St. Ephrem the Syrian, (of Edessa), (A.D. 306-378)
    St. Hilary of Poitiers, (A.D. 315-367)
    Blessed Jerome of Jerusalem, (flourished in A.D. 385)
    St. Cyril of Jerusalem, (A.D. 315-386)
    St. Gregory of Nazianzen, (A.D. 318-389)
    Council of Nicaea, (A.D. 325)
    St. Basil the Great, (A.D. 328-379)
    St. Zeno of Verona, (unknown- A.D. c.383)
    (Gaius) Marius Victorinus, (A.D. 390)
    St. Epiphanius of Salamis, (A.D. 332-403)
    Pope St. Siricius, (A.D. c.334-398)
    St. Gregory of Nyssa, (A.D. c.335 - c.394)
    St. Ambrose of Milan, (A.D. 340-396)
    St. Jerome, (A.D. 342-420)
    St. John Chrysostom, (A.D. 344 - 407)
    St. Chromatius of Aquileia, (unknown- A.D. c.407)
    St. Gaudentius of Brescia, (unknown - A.D. 410)
    Theodore of Mopsuestia, (A.D. 350-428)
    St. Paulinus of Nola, (A.D. 353-431)
    St. Augustine of Hippo, (A.D. 354-428)
    Blessed Eusebius of Alexandria, (lived around A.D. 400)
    St. Cyril of Alexandria, (A.D. 376-444)
    St. Nilus the Elder, (c. A.D. 385 - 430))
    St. Isidore of Pelusium, (unknown - A.D. 440)
    St. Prosper of Aquitain, (A.D. c.390-c.463)
    Pope St. Leo I, ( A.D. c.391-461)
    St. Theodotus of Ancyra, (unknown-A.D. 446)
    Theodoret of Cyrus or Cyrrhus, (A.D. 393-458)
    Salvian, (A.D. c.400-c.484)
    St. Peter Chrysologus, (A.D. 406-450)
    St. Jacob (James) of Sarug, (A.D. 452-521)
    Arnobius Junior, (flourished in the 5th century, A.D. c.460)
St. Ignatius of Antioch, (A.D. 50-107), Syrian; ecclesiastical writer, bishop, martyr. A disciple of St. John, the Apostle; he was bishop of Antioch, in which see he succeeded St. Peter, or, as others think, Evodius. He is supposed to have governed that church for about forty years. He suffered martyrdom at Rome in the year 107.

"Take note of those who hold heterodox opinions on the grace of Jesus Christ which has come to us, and see how contrary their opinions are to the mind of God . . . They abstain from the Eucharist and from prayer because they do not confess that 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. They who deny the gift of God are perishing in their disputes."

Ignatius of Antioch, Epistle to the Smyrnaeans, Chapter 6, 110 A.D.

20:1 If Jesus Christ should count me worthy through your prayer, and it should be the Divine will, in my second tract, which I intend to write to you, I will further set before you the dispensation whereof I have begun to speak, relating to the new man Jesus Christ, which consisteth in faith towards Him and in love towards Him, in His Passion and Resurrection, 20:2 especially if the Lord should reveal aught to me. Assemble yourselves together in common, every one of you severally, man by man, in grace, in one faith and one Jesus Christ, who after the flesh was of David's race, who is Son of Man and Son of God, to the end that ye may obey the bishop and presbytery without distraction of mind; breaking one bread, which is the medicine of immortality and the antidote that we should not die but live for ever in Jesus Christ.

Ignatius of Antioch, Epistle to the Ephesians Chapter 20, 1-2, 57 A.D.

St. Justin Martyr, (A.D. 100-163), Samaritan; born in Sichem (Naplousia) in Palestine; a platonic philosopher, apologist, and martyr for the faith; he was a convert to Catholic Christianity in A.D. 133. He wrote two Apologies for the Christian religion, one addressed to Antoninus, the other to Marcus Aurelius. He was martyred at Rome in the year 163.

Communion in the Body and Blood of Christ

It is allowed to no one else to participate in that food which we call Eucharist except the one who believes that the things taught by us are true, who has been cleansed in the washing unto rebirth and the forgiveness of sins and who is living according to the way Christ handed on to us. For we do not take these things as ordinary bread or ordinary drink.

Just as our Savior Jesus Christ was made flesh by the word of God and took on flesh and blood for our salvation, so also were we taught that the food, for which thanksgiving has been made through the word of prayer instituted by him, and from which our blood and flesh are nourished after the change, is the flesh of that Jesus who was made flesh.

Justin Martyr, Apology, I.66-67, 2nd century

St. Irenæus of Lyons, (A.D. 125-202), Asia Minor; bishop, missionary, theologian, defender of orthodoxy. Though by birth a Greek, he was Bishop of Lyons in the second century. He tells us that, in his early youth, he learned the rudiments of religion from St. Polycarp, the disciple of St. John the Apostle. He wrote several works, of which only a few fragments are now known, with the exception of his Treatise against Heretics which we have in five books.

He has declared the cup, a part of creation, to be his own blood) from which he causes our blood to flow; and the bread, a part of creation, he has established as his own body, from which he gives increase unto our bodies. When, therefore, the mixed cup [wine and water] and the baked bread receive the Word of God and become the Eucharist, the body of Christ, and from these the substance of our flesh is increased and supported) how can they say that the flesh is not capable of receiving the gift of God, which is eternal life— flesh which is nourished by the body and blood of the Lord and is in fact a member of him?

Against Heresies 5:2 [A.D. 189]

St. Clement of Alexandria, (A.D. 150-220), Greek; theologian, a scholar of Pantaenus, to whom he succeeded as head of the Catechetical School at Alexandria, Egypt. His writings display great acquaintance with the Gentile philosophy. He wrote with the express design of hiding the mysteries of the Christian religion from the Pagans, and the uninitiated, while at the same time, laboring to show the immense practical superiority of the Christian code of morals over that of every Pagan sect and system of philosophy.

"Eat my flesh)" [Jesus] says, "and drink my blood." The Lord supplies us with these intimate nutrients, he delivers over his flesh and pours out his blood, and nothing is lacking for the growth of his children.

The Instructor of Children 1:6:43:3 [A.D. 191]

"One is the Father of all things; one also the Word of all things; and one the Holy Spirit, and the same everywhere. And one alone Virgin Mother, whom it pleases me to call the Church. Not this one mother alone had milk; because she was not the only woman, but she is at once a virgin and a mother; as a virgin in purity, as a mother in loving affection; and calling unto her children, she nourishes them with hallowed milk, with the infant Word. Therefore had she not milk, because this beautiful and her own child was milk, feeding the new people with the Word, (a new people) which the Lord Himself brought forth with bodily pain, which He Himself bound in swathing clothes, with precious blood. Oh holy labor! Oh hallowed hands! The Word is all things to the child, both father and mother and paedagogue and nourisher. "Eat my flesh", He saith, and "drink my blood." The Lord supplies us with these befitting aliments, and gives flesh and pours forth blood; and nothing is wanting for the children's growth. Oh the incredible mystery! He orders us to put aside the old and carnal corruption, as well as also the old food; but, being made partakers of the other new food of Christ, receiving Him, if possible, to place Him within ourselves, and to have the Saviour in our beings, in order that we may reduce to their proper place the affections of our flesh.

Paedag. l. i. c. vi. p. 123.
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 2, Page 198-199

Tertullian, (A.D. 160-218), North African; ecclesiastical writer, Christian apologist and lawyer, son of a centurion and contemporary of St. Irenæus, a native and citizen of Carthage. The zeal and ability with which he defended the Christian cause, and vindicated its faith and discipline, have immortalized his name, though it has suffered by his adoption, around the year A.D. 200, of some of the Montanist's errors, whose cause he is thought to have supported until his death. His works are numerous, and are written with great ability and erudition, but in an harsh style.

"The zeal of faith might speak on this head all the day long, mourning that the Christian should come from the (making of) idols into the church, from the workshop of the enemy into the house of God . . . that he should approach those hands to the body of the Lord, which bestow bodies on demons. Nor is this enough. It might be a small matter if they should receive from other hands that which they defile, but they themselves also deliver to others that which they have defiled. Makers of idols are chosen into the ministry of the Church. Horrid sin! The Jews laid violent hands but once upon Christ; these Christians every day assault His body. O hands worthy of being cut off! Let them now consider, whether it was said only in a figure, "If thine hand scandalize thee, cut it off?" What hands ought more to be cut off than those by which the body of the Lord is offended?"

De Idololatria, pp. 88-9.
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 2, Page 202

Explaining the petition of the Lord's prayer, "Give us this day our daily bread", he says:

"We may rather understand this spiritually. For Christ is our bread, because Christ is life, and bread is life. "I am, says He, the bread of life: and a little above, The bread is the Word of the living God who cometh down from Heaven. Then again, because in the bread is understood His body; "This is my body." Wherefore, in praying for daily bread, we beg a perpetuity in Christ, and an indivisibility from His body."

De Oratione, n.6. p. 131.
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 2, Page 202-203

"The flesh is fed with the body and blood of Christ, that the soul also may be fattened of God."

De Resurrect Carnis, n. 8, p. 330.
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 2, Page 203

St. Hippolytus of Rome, (A.D. 170-236), Roman; bishop and martyr, probably a scholar of St. Irenæus of Lyons.

"And she [Wisdom] has furnished her table" [Proverbs 9:1] . . . refers to his [Christ's] honored and undefiled body and blood, which day by day are administered and offered sacrificially at the spiritual divine table, as a memorial of that first and ever-memorable table of the spiritual divine supper [i.e., the Last Supper]

Fragment from Commentary on Proverbs [A.D. 217]

Origen of Alexandria, (A.D. 184-253), Alexandrian; born in Egypt, philosopher, theologian, writer.

"You who have been accustomed to be present at the divine mysteries, know that when you receive the body of the Lord, you take care, with all caution and veneration, lest any part thereof, however small, should fall, lest any portion of the consecrated gift should be lost. For if any part of it should fall, through your negligence, you think yourselves guilty; and you think rightly.

If then you use so much caution, and use it with so much reason, as regards the preserving the body, how think you it a slighter sin to have neglected the Word of God than the body of God>?"

T. ii. Hom. xiii. in Exod. n. 3, p. 176.
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 2, Page 207

"This law is set before thee, that when thou shalt receive the mystic bread, thou shalt eat it in a clean place, that is, that thou partake not of the sacraments of the Lord's body in a soul defiled, and polluted with sin. "For whosoever shall eat the bread, and drink the chalice of the Lord unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and of the blood of the Lord. But let a man prove himself." (1 Corinthians 11:27)

T. ii. Hom. xiii. in Lev. n. 5, p. 257.
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 2, Page 208-209

St. Cyprian of Carthage, (A.D. 200-258), North African; bishop; biblical scholar, martyr.

"But now peace is necessary, not for the sick, but the strong; not to the dying, but to the living is communion to be granted by us, that we may not leave those unarmed and naked whom we excite and exhort to the combat, but fortify them with the protection of the blood and body of Christ; and since the Eucharist is ordained for this, that it may be a safeguard to those receiving it, let us arm those whom we wish to be safe against the enemy, with the defence of the fullness of the Lord. For how can we teach or urge them to shed their blood in confession of the name, if we refuse them, when on the eve of the combat, the blood of Christ? or how do we make them fit for the cup of martyrdom, if we do not first admit them, by the right of communion, to drink the cup of the Lord in the Church? . . . It is assuredly the great honor and glory of our episcopacy to have given peace to martyrs, that so we as priests who daily celebrate the sacrifices of God, may prepare sacrifices and victims to God. . . . He cannot be fit for martyrdom who is not armed by the Church for battle, and the mind, faints which the Eucharist received lifteth not up, and kindleth not."

Ep. liv. ad Cornelium, p. 172.
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 2, Page 213

"As the prayer proceeds, we offer our request, and say, "Give us this day our daily bread." This may be understood both spiritually and literally, inasmuch as either acceptation is, with divine usefulness, of aid to salvation. For Christ is the bread of life, and this bread belongs not to all men, but is ours. And as we say "our Father", because He is the Father of those who understand and believe, so also we call this "our bread", because Christ is the bread of those who touch His body. That this bread may be given us day by day we pray, lest we, who are in Christ, and daily receive the Eucharist for food of salvation, should, by the intervention of some more grievous crime, while shut out and not communicating we are prohibited from the heavenly bread, be separated from the body of Christ, according as He Himself warns and admonishes: "I am the bread of life who came down from Heaven. If any one eat of my bread, he shall live for ever. But the bread which I will give is my flesh for the life of the world." Since, therefore, He says, that whosoever shall eat of His bread shall live forever; as it is manifest that those live who touch His body, and receive the Eucharist by right of communication, so, on the other hand, it is to be feared, and is matter for prayer, lest any of us, who while cut off is separated from the body of Christ, remain far from salvation, according to His threat and word: "Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man, and drink His blood, you shall not have life in you." And therefore do we pray that our bread, that is, Christ, be given us day by day, that we who abide and live in Christ, may not draw back from His sanctification and body."

De Orat. Dom. pp. 420-1.
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 2, Page 217-218

Pope St. Cornelius I, (unknown - A.D. c.253), Pope from A.D. 251 to 253 and Martyr, elected during a lull in the persecution under Emperor Decius, his pontificate was complicated by a schism, one cause of which was the self-appointment of the Roman priest Novatian as antipope and the second, the dispute over the Church's attitude toward Christian apostates and whether those who has repudiated the Christian faith during persecution needed to be re-baptized.

"When he (Novatian) has made the oblations, and is distributing a portion to each, at the time that he gives it, instead of the blessing, he, seizing with both his hands the hands of the communicant, leaves not hold until each pronounces this oath (for I will give his own words), "Swear to me, by the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, never to desert me, or to return to Cornelius." And the miserable creature tastes not until he has uttered against himself an imprecation. And instead of answering, as he receives that bread, "Amen." he says, "I will not return to Cornelius."

Ep. Cornel. ad Fabium Episc. Antioch. ap. Euseb. H. E l. vi. c. 43.
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 2, Page 218

Firmilian of Cæsarea, (A.D. 210-272), Cappadocian; bishop, contemporary of Gregory Thaumaturge, ardent admirer of Origen; remembered for the moral support he gave St. Cyprian of Carthage on the issue of baptizing heretics.

"For the rest what a crime it is, whether of those who admit, that or of those who are admitted, that, their defilements unwashed by the laver of the Church, their sins not manifested, they, by a communion rashly granted, touch the body and blood of the Lord, though it be written, "Whosoever shall eat the bread or drink the chalice of the Lord unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and of the blood of the Lord."

Inter Ep. St. Cyp. lxxv.p. 309.
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 2, Page 218

Eusebius of Cæsarea, (A.D. c.263-338), appointed Bishop of Cæsarea in A.D. 314, Roman historian, exegete and Christian polemicist, scholar of the Biblical canon who was deeply embroiled in the Arian controversy.

"He saves all that take upon themselves to serve Him. Therefore will He receive them, and bestow upon them the super-celestial food, that saving Word that has said, "I am that bread that came down from Heaven." And they shall be nourished and filled with the aforesaid bread; but you, He says, who have not accepted my grace, shall famish by being deprived of rational food; and further, they who serve me shall be satiated with the drink of immortal life, of which it has been said, "Whosoever shall drink of the water that I shall give him, there shall be in him a fountain of water springing up unto life everlasting."

Comm. in Hesai. c. xlv. p. 586.
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 2, Page 223-224

"And they, who were according to Moses, once in every year sacrificed the paschal lamb, on the fourteenth day of the first month, in the evening; but we, who are of the New Testament, on every Lord's day celebrating our passover, are unceasingly filled with the body of the Lord, we unceasingly partake of the blood of the Lamb.. . . For we do not all these things but once in the year, but unceasingly, and on every day does the Gospel word desire it: for which cause also, every week do we celebrate the feast of our passover, on the day of our Saviour and Lord, performing the mysteries of the true Lamb, by whom we have been redeemed.

[Continuing the same comparison between the two passovers, he adds:]

On every Lord's day we are vivified by the hallowed (consecrated) body of the passover of the Lord, and have our eouls sealed with His precious blood."

Ex Tract, de Paschate, t. i. pp. 253-7 ; Script. Veterum Nov. Coll. Maii, Romae.
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 2, Page 224

Aphrahat, (A.D. c.270 - c.345), Syriac-Christian; ascetic and celibate, Born in Persia: from the Adiabene region of Northern Mesopotamia, composed a series of twenty-three expositions or homilies on points of Christian doctrine and practice.

After having spoken thus [at the Last Supper], the Lord rose up from the place where he had made the Passover and had given his body as food and his blood as drink, and he went with his disciples to the place where he was to be arrested. But he ate of his own body and drank of his own blood, while he was pondering on the dead. With His own hands the Lord presented his own body to be eaten, and before he was crucified he gave his blood as drink.

Treatises 12:6 [A.D. 340]

St. James of Nisibis, (unknown-361), bishop of Nisibis in Mesopotamia, was present at the council of Nicaea, and died about the year 361. We have his life by Theodoret of Cyrus. A. Antonelli published eighteen sermons by this saint at Rome in 1756.

Explaining Isaiah 1:16, 18:

"How shall they be cleansed, unless they be washed in the waters of the laver of baptism, and receive the body and blood of Christ? Blood is expiated with blood; the body is cleansed by the body; and sins are washed away by water."

Serm. iv. De Orat.; Galland. t. v. p. xxxii.
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 2, Page 116

"A man may not mix honey with gall. If one abstain from bread and water, let him not mingle, with this his fast, injurious imprecations, and detractions that are blasphemous. There is but one door into thy house, and that house is the temple of God. Verily, O man, it is unbecoming and impious in thee, to cause filth and uncleanness to pass through that door by which the Lord enters: but thou shouldst abstain from all uncleanness, and then take the body and blood of Christ, and cautiously guard thy mouth through which the King has entered; neither is it permitted thee any longer to make that mouth a passage for words of uncleanness."

Serm. iii. de Jejun. n. 2, Galland. t. v. p. xx.
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 2, Page 225

Pope St. Liberius, (unknown- A.D. 366), The successor of St. Julius I in 352. He suffered severely from the Arian party, and was, for a time, alienated from St. Athanasius.

"This is He, who with five loaves and two fishes, fed four thousand of the people in the desert. He could have fed more, had there been more. In tine, He has called many to the nuptials, but now not bread from barley, but a body is served out from Heaven."

Or. in Consecr. Marcell. Soror. S. Ambrosii, n. 1, Galland, t. v. p. 76.
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 2, Page 230

St. Athanasius of Alexandria, (A.D. 296-372), Egyptian; bishop, theologian, and Doctor of the Church. He was present, as an assistant to St. Alexander of Alexandria, at the council of Nicea who he succeeded in A.D. 326. During more than forty years he was the champion of orthodoxy, and suffered much severe persecution from the Arian party.

"The place in which they (the Arians) pretend that the cup was broken (by order of St. Athanasius) was not a church; there was no priest residing there ; nor was the day on which Macarius is said to have done this, the Lord's day. As then there was no church there; no celebrant; nor the day requiring it, what or when, or where was the mystic chalice broken For, of course, there are many kinds of cups, in households and in the public market-places, to break which entails no impiety; but the mystic cup—to break which voluntarily makes him that does it impious—is found only in the care of those who have been lawfully set in authority : this being the only use of the cup, which has no other. This you lawfully offer to the people to drink from ; this you have received from an ecclesiastical regulation (canon); this belongs only to those set in authority in the Catholic Church; for it is yours, and none others, to give to drink the blood of Christ. But inasmuch as he that breaks the mystic cup is impious, so much the more impious is he that treats contumeliously the blood of Christ. But we say this, not as if any cup of the schismatics had been broken, but that there was nothing of the sort there. For how should there be, when there was no church there, nor any churchman there, nay, not even was it the time for the mysteries"

Apol. cont. Ar. n. x. pp. 105-6.
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Alluding to the accusation of murder brought against him by the Arians, he says,

"Our sanctuaries are now, as ever, pure, made venerable by the blood alone of Christ, and by piety towards Him."

Apol. cont. Ar. n. 5 (Ex Syn. Alex.), p. 100, t. i.
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The great Athanasius, in his discourse to the baptized, speaks thus:

"Thou wilt see the Levites bearing bread (loaves), and a chalice of wine, and arranging the table: as long as the supplications and prayers as yet take not place, there is simply the bread and the cup; but after that the great and marvellous prayers have been completed, then the bread is the body, and the cup, the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ." And again: "Let us come to the perfection of the mysteries. This bread and this cup are simply such, as long as the prayers and supplications have not as yet taken place, but after that the great prayers, and the holy supplications have been sent on high, the Word descends into that bread, and that cup, and it is His body."

Maii Nov. Collect. Veter. Script. T. ix. p. 625, Eutych. in Lucam.
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 2, Page 240

Julius Firmicus Maternus, (Flourished in the 4th century), Sicilian by birth and lawyer from upper nobility, he published a very learned treatise against paganism about the year A.D. 348.

"There is another food, which bestows salvation and life; there is another food which both commends and restores men to the Most High God; there is a food which refreshes the languid; brings back the wandering; lifts up the fallen; and bestows on the dying the signal favor of an everlasting immortality. Seek for the bread of Christ, the cup of Christ, that, all earthly frailty despised, the substance of man may be fattened with an immortal nourishment."

De Errore Prof. Relig. n. 19, Galland. t. v. pp. 30-1.
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Speaking of paganism, he says:

"We know by what remedies the poisons of thy invention are overcome. We drink the immortal blood of Christ; to our blood has been united the blood of Christ. This is the saving remedy against thy crimes; this drives out thy deadly poison from the people of God."

De Errore Prof. Relig. n. 22, Galland. t. v. p. 32
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Blessed Isaias, (lived in the 4th century), Abbot

"If thou desirest to receive the body of Christ, have care that there be not in thy heart either anger or hatred against any individual."

Reg. ad Mon. n. 50, p. 323.
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Macarius of Egypt, (A.D. c.300-391), also known as Macarius the Elder and the Lamp of the Desert was an Egyptian Christian monk, hermit and priest. contemporary with St. Athanasius, and the friend of the great St. Anthony, died at the advanced age of ninety, after passing sixty years in the desert.

"Since, therefore, as we have said above, the life of the body is not from the body itself, but from what is external to it, to wit, from the earth, and it is impossible for it to live without the things that are external to it; so also the soul, if it be not, even now, born again unto that land of the living, and if it be not nourished thence spiritually, and if it increase not spiritually, making progress unto the Lord, and if it be not clothed by the Godhead with secret garments of heavenly beauty, it is impossible for it of itself to live, in gladness and quietude, without that food. For the divine nature has also a bread of life, even Him who says, "I am the bread of life", and a living water, and a wine that gladdens the heart of man."

Hom. i. p. 8 ; In ed. Op. S. Greg. Thaum. Paris. 1622.
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 2, Page 275

"As he that has a great property, and slaves and children, provides one kind of food for his slaves, and another for his own children sprung from his loins ... so Christ, the true master, who created all things, and gives food even to the wicked and ungrateful; but the children whom He has begotten of His own seed, and whom He has made partakers of His grace, in whom the Lord has been formed, He nurtures with a peculiar aliment and food and drink, differing from that of the rest of men, and He gives Himself to those who have their conversation with their Father, according to that saying of the Lord, ""He that eats my flesh and drinks my blood, abides in me, and shall not see death."

Hom. xiv. n. 4,, Galland, t. vii. p. 50.
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St. Ephrem the Syrian, (of Edessa), (A.D. 306-378), Syrian; born in Nisebis, deacon, hymnist, poet. His works were even during his own lifetime almost all translated into Greek, and were, as St. Jerome informs us, held in such high estimation, as to be read in some churches after the Holy Scriptures. We have his life by St. Gregory of Nyssa.

"On this the first and glorious day (of the week) singing the mysteries of the only-begotten Son, we will cry aloud with hymns in the Church, which is the spouse of Christ, proclaiming the rewards of the holy fathers, and singing praises to those who dwell in the desert.. . . The holy fathers (though dead) are not at a distance from us, since their desire is always with us. Let us not separate them from us, as strangers, seeing that they are always praying for our sins. . . . And when the honored priests stand at the holy table to present a liturgy, they the first, stretching out their hands, receive with (or, by) faith the body of the Lord, who ever is with them; they are as doves flying on high, and have fixed their tabernacles in the cross."

Sermo in Paires defunctos, t. i. Gr. pp. 175-6.
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"Blessed is he that has cleansed himself from every stain of sin, in order that he may with confidence receive into his house that King of Glory, the Lord Jesus Christ. Blessed is he that comes, with fear and trembling and dread, unto the spotless mysteries of the Saviour, and who has had a thorough conviction that he has received within himself life without end."

p. 284, Beatitud. n. 16, 17.
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 2, Page 247

"Give glory to the Most High, who mingled His salt in our minds, and imbued our souls with His wheat. His body was made bread (or, bread was made His body), that He might transfer our mortal nature to immortality."

T. ii. P. 2, Syr. In Nat. Dom. p. 404.
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St. Hilary of Poitiers, (A.D. 315-367), French; husband, theologian, bishop of Poiters around A.D. 355, and Doctor of the Church. Referred to as the "Hammer of the Arians" and the "Athanasius of the West.". He was obviously a firm supporter of St. Athanasius.

"My Father, if it be possible, let this chalice pass from me." . . . Was it possible that Christ should not suffer? Nay, but from the foundation of the world this mystery (sacrament) of our salvation had been shown forth. Was He unwilling to suffer? Nay, He had just before consecrated the blood of His own body to be poured forth for the remission of sins."

Commentary in Matthew c. xxxi. n. 7, p. 802, t. i.
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Having treated at some length on union amongst Christians, and on the grounds of that union, he quotes St. John 17:22-3, "That they may be one, etc," and proceeds thus: "I now ask those who thrust upon us a unity of will between the Father and the Son, whether Christ be now in us by the verity of (His) nature, or by concordance of will? For if the Word was truly made flesh, and we truly receive the Word (made) flesh in the dominical food, how can He be thought not to abide naturally in us -- He who, being born man, hath assumed the nature, now inseparable, of our flesh, and also united the nature of His flesh to the nature of His divinity, under the sacrament of the flesh that was to be communicated to us. For thus all we are one, because the Father also is in Christ, and Christ is in us. Whoso, therefore, shall deny that the Father is naturally in Christ, let him first deny that himself is naturally in Christ, and Christ in him; for the Father (being) in Christ, and Christ in us, make us be one in them. If, then, Christ truly assumed the flesh of our body, and the man that was born of Mary is truly Christ, and if we truly receive the flesh of His own body under the mystery, (and through this we shall be one, because the Father is in Him, and He in us), how is it that a unity of will is asserted, whereas the natural possession (of flesh) through a sacrament, is a sacrament of perfect unity? In divine things, we are not to speak in a human or secular sense, nor by means of violent and imprudent assertions: the perverseness of an alien and impious interpretation is to be forced to the soundness of the heavenly words. What is written let us read; and what we read, let us understand; and then shall we fulfil the office of perfect faith. For what we say concerning the natural verity (very nature) of Christ in us, unless we have learned it from Him, we say it foolishly and impiously. For Himself says, "My flesh is truly meat, and my blood is truly drink. He that eats my flesh and drinks my blood, abides in me and I in him." (St. John 6:56-7) Of the verity of the flesh and blood there is no room left for doubting. For now, both by the declaration of the Lord Himself, and by our faith, it is truly flesh and it is truly blood; and these being received and drunk effect this, that both we are in Christ, and Christ is in us. Is not this the truth? Let this not be the truth for those who deny that Christ Jesus is true God. He is, therefore, Himself in us by means of flesh, and we are in Him; whilst with Him, that which we are, is in God."

Himself testifies that we are in Him by means of the sacrament of the communicated flesh and blood, saying, "And this world soon seeth me not, but you shall see me, because I live, and you shall live; because I (am) in the Father, and you (are) in me, and I in you." (St. John 14:19, 20) If He wished a unity of will only to be understood, why has He laid down a kind of progression and order for completing this union; if it be not that, whereas He is in the Father through the nature of the divinity, we, on the other hand, are in Him through His birth in the body, and He again believed to be indwelling in us through the mystery of the sacraments? And thus, by the Mediator, a perfect unity would be taught; since, whilst we abide in Him, He would abide in the Father, and thus we should proceed even unto union with the Father; since He who is indwelling in Him (the Father) naturally according to His (eternal) nativity, in Him we also should indwell naturally, He Himself abiding naturally in us.

Himself testifies how natural is this unity in us: "He that eats my flesh and drinks my blood, abides in me and I in him." For no one shall be in Him, but he in whom He shall be, having only within him the assumed flesh of Him who took his (man's) flesh. He had already before this taught the sacrament of this perfect unity, saying, "As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father, so he that eateth my flesh, he also shall live by me." He lives, therefore, by the Father, and in the way in which He lives by the Father, in that same way do we live by His flesh. For every comparison is accounted to be after the fashion of the thing to be understood (or, so shaped as to aid the understanding), that we may comprehend what is treated of agreeably to the example set before us. This, then, is the cause of our life -- that we have in ourselves who are flesh (carnal selves) Christ abiding in us by flesh, in us who are to live by Him in the same way as He lives by the Father. If then we live by Him naturally according to the flesh, that is, if we have obtained the nature of His own flesh, how is it that He has not naturally, according to His divinity, the Father in Himself, whereas "He lives by the Father"?

These things have been mentioned by us on this account, that heretics, when falsely asserting a mere union of will between Father and Son, have made use of the example of our union with God, as though, we being united with the Son, and by the Son to the Father by the mere reverence and will of a religious tie (religion), no real propriety of natural communication by sacrament of flesh and blood could be allowed; whereas, both by the honor of the Son which has been bestowed upon us, and by the Son's abiding carnally in us, and we ourselves being united corporally and inseparably in Him, is the mystery of a veritable and natural union to be openly taught."

De Trinitate, l. viii. n. 13-17, pp. 222-5.
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Blessed Jerome of Jerusalem, (flourished in A.D. 385), a presbyter of Jerusalem.

"Many also of those who live in the world feel the energizing influence of this Holy Spirit; I mean those who assist at the altar, and those who approach to partake of the mysteries of Christ, for of a sudden they are filled with joy, and tears and gladness. Wherefore the Christian is fully convinced that he partakes not of mere bread and wine, but of the body in verity, and the blood of the Son of God, sanctified by the Holy Spirit. For we never experience anything of this kind, or feel this grace and energy, or sweetness, or compunction ever, when we eat at our own table mere bread and wine, although this bread be purer than that, and this wine older and better than that which is offered up on the altar. This is needful, that every Christian may be known. For there is not, in the whole of our faith, and in the whole Church, and in all the Scripture, another thing more needful than this, or like unto it. For by this, man is certified that God is in him and with him. From this he knows that truly there is no other faith on earth, but that alone of Christians. Although the Gentiles have Scriptures and churches, and sacrifices, and teachers, and books, and a partial knowledge of God, and some good actions, and festivals and changing of garments, and prayers and watchings and priests, and many other things; yet the grace and operation of the Holy Spirit, which is hidden in the heart of the Christian, none on earth possess but they who have been rightly baptized by faith in Father and Son and Holy Ghost. For, to come into the Church, that is not the mark of a true Christian, seeing that many unworthy persons enter with us; nor the making the sign of the cross, nor the partaking of the body of Christ, are these the marks of a true Christian, for it may be that both unbelievers and heretics partake, and do whatsoever we do."

Comment, util. Galland. t. vii. pp. 528-9.
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St. Cyril of Jerusalem, (A.D. 315-386), Palestinian; ordained by Maximus, he was made bishop of Jerusalem in A.D. 345; scholar and Doctor of the Church. None of his writings have been preserved to us, except eighteen catechetical instructions addressed to catechumens, and five mystagogic discourses addressed to neophytes.

The bread and the wine of the Eucharist before the holy invocation of the adorable Trinity were simple bread and wine, but the invocation having been made, the bread becomes the body of Christ and the wine the blood of Christ.

Catechetical Lectures 19:7 [A.D. 350]

Do not, therefore, regard the bread and wine as simply that, for they are, according to the Master's declaration, the body and blood of Christ. Even though the senses suggest to you the other, let faith make you firm. Do not judge in this matter by taste, but be fully assured by faith, not doubting that you have been deemed worthy of the body and blood of Christ. . . [Since you are] fully convinced that the apparent bread is not bread, even though it is sensible to the taste, but the body of Christ, and that the apparent wine is not wine, even though the taste would have it so. . . partake of that bread as something spiritual, and put a cheerful face on your soul.

Catechetical Lectures 22:6,9

"After this, you hear the singer with divine melody inviting you unto the communion of the holy mysteries, and saying: "Taste and see that the Lord is good." (Psalm 33), do not trust the judgment to the bodily palate, no, but to faith unwavering; for they who taste, are not bidden to taste of bread and wine, but of the: antitype — something that represents the opposite — of Christ's body and blood."

Catech. Mystag. v. (al. 23), pp. 331-2.
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St. Gregory of Nazianzen, (A.D. 318-389), Cappadocian; archbishop, theologian, Doctor of the Church.

"It was in the upper chamber that Jesus communicated the mystery to those who were perfected in the sublimest things, with a view that this might be manifested, viz. partly that it was needful that God should descend unto us, as we know happened of old to Moses, and partly also that we might ascend (unto Him), and thus a communication be formed of God with men, by a comparticipation of dignity."

T. i. Or. xliv. pp. 713-4.
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 2, Page 270

Council of Nicaea, (A.D. 325), met for two months and twelve days in Nice, (or Nicsea), in Bithynia. Three hundred and eighteen bishops were present. This council gave us the Nicene Creed as a result of Arius' heretical opinions, defining the true Divinity of the Son of God (homoousios). They also fixed of the date for keeping Easter and passed several canons of ecclesiastical discipline.

Neither canon nor custom has handed down that they who have not authority to offer, should give the body of Christ to those who do offer."

Can. xviii. Labb. t. ii. col. 244.
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St. Basil the Great, (A.D. 328-379), Cappadocian; bishop of Cæsarea in A.D. 369, theologian, monk. Studied in Palestine, Constantinople, and Athens. Many of the subsequent years of his life were spent in the deserts of Egypt and Libya. His character and works have gained for him the surname of "the great".

"What is the characteristic of a Christian? To be purified in the blood of Christ from every defilement of flesh and spirit, and to be perfected in holiness in the fear of God and in the love of Christ, and to be without spot or wrinkle, or any such thing, but to be holy and spotless, and thus to eat the body of Christ, and to drink the blood of Christ. "For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh judgment to himself." (1 Corinthians 11) What is the characteristic of those who eat the bread and drink the chalice of the Lord? To keep a perpetual remembrance of Him who died and rose again for us."

Moralia Reg. lxxx. c. 22, p. 445.
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St. Zeno of Verona, (unknown- A.D. c.383), Italian; African by birth, on coming to Italy was appointed bishop of Verona, in the year 362. He died about the year 383. His works were collected after his death, at the beginning of the fifth, or at the close of the fourth century. The brothers Ballerini gave an excellent edition, in 1739, Veronae.

"Thy rod and Thy staff, they have comforted me. Thou hast prepared a table before me, against them that afflict me. Thou hast anointed my head with oil, and Thy wine which inebriateth how goodly is it." (Psalm 22:4, 5)

In truth, brethren, the chalice signifies the blood; the table, the body; the oil, the gift of the Holy Spirit; the rod and the staff, the cross.

L. ii. Trac. xiv. n. 4, Galland. T. v. p. 142.
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(Gaius) Marius Victorinus, also known as Victorinus Afer, (A.D. 390), a writer, grammarian, rhetorician, Neoplatonic philosopher and brilliant professor whose conversion in A.D. 355 caused a sensation at Rome. Obscure but strikingly original in his writings, he was an effective critic of Arianism and sought to present orthodox Trinitarianism in uncompromisingly Neoplatonic terms. His speculations about the inner life of the triune Godhead were to be taken up by St. Augustine.

"We Christians who believe in Christ, are taught in the gospel in what manner we ought to pray to the Father; in which prayer, besides many other things, we also ask for bread, which bread is life (for so it is called, for this is the bread which came down from Heaven ), this life both of God and of Christ, that is, eternal life, which Himself designates (supersubstantial bread), bread of the same substance, that is, of the life of God; consubstantial life. For whence shall we become the sons of God, except by the participation of eternal life, which Christ, bringing it unto us from the Father, has bestowed upon us? This then is meant by that, "Give us supersubstantial bread", that is, life of that same substance; for if what we receive is the body of Christ, and Christ is life, we ask for supersubtantial bread, for riches dwell in Christ bodily."

L. ii. adv. Arian. n. 8, Galland T. viii. p. 177
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St. Epiphanius of Salamis, (A.D. 332-403), Palestinian; bishop, abbot, scholar.

"Melchisedech met Abraham, and brought out for him bread and wine, prefiguring the hidden meanings of the mysteries, the antitypes of the body of our Lord, who says that, "I am the living bread"; and antitypes of that blood that came darkly from His side, and flowed thence for the purification of the defiled, and the expiation and salvation of our souls."

T. i. Adv. Hæres. (55), p. 472.
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"For the only-begotten has come, and so holds our mother, the Church, that tranquil harbor of peace, our joy, she that breatheth of the cyprus of the vine (Canticle of Canticles 1:14), and she that bears to us that grape-cluster of the eulogy, and daily gladdens us with that care-dispelling drink, Christ's blood, unmingled, true."

T. i. Adv. Hæres. (Expos. Fid.) pp. 1096-7.
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Pope St. Siricius, (A.D. c.334-398), an active Pope, involved in the administration of the Church and the handling of various factions and viewpoints within it; author of two decrees concerning clerical celibacy. The decree of A.D. 385 stated that priests should stop cohabiting with their wives.

"We have also been informed that certain Christians have passed into a state of apostasy — a thing which it is a shame to name — and have profaned themselves by the worship of idols, and by the defilement of the sacrifices. Such we order to be cut off from Christ's body and blood, with which, in times past, they were, at the new birth, redeemed."

Ep. i. ad Ilimer. n. 4, Galland. t. viii. p. 534.
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St. Gregory of Nyssa, (A.D. c.335 - c.394), bishop of Nyssa in A.D. 371, an erudite theologian who made significant contributions to the doctrine of the Trinity and the Nicene creed. Gregory's philosophical writings were influenced by Origen. He was the brother of the great St. Basil.

The question, therefore, arises how does the body of Christ in each man give life to the whole nature of those men in whom there is faith; and is shared amongst all; and is itself not lessened?

Perhaps, then, we are near the probable reason. For, if the subsistence of every body is derived from nourishment, and this nourishment is food and drink, and this food again is bread, and this drink water gladdened with wine; and the Word of God, (who was both God and the Word, as has been already said) was commingled with human nature, and being in our flesh, did not invent any fresh substance for that human nature, but gave permanency to his body by the usual means adapted to that end, obtaining, that is, a subsistence by food and drink (and that food was bread): as, -- then, amongst us, as we have already several times remarked, when a man sees bread, he, in some way, beholds the human body, inasmuch as when that (bread) has entered into this (body), it becomes this (body); so also, in the other case, that body that received God, when it had received the nourishment of bread, was, in a certain sense, the same thing as it (the bread); that nourishment, as has been said, passing into the nature of that body. For that which is the peculiarity of all bodies, that is also acknowledged with regard to this flesh, -- that the body (of Christ) was completely constituted of bread. But that body, by the indwelling of the God-Word, was transmuted into the divine dignity. Rightly, therefore, do I believe that now also the bread that is sanctified by the Word of God is transmuted into the body of the God-Word."

T. iii. Orat. Catech. Magn. c. 37, pp 102-105.
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St. Ambrose of Milan, (A.D. 340-396), German; reluctantly made bishop in the A.D. 374., Doctor of the Church. He closed a great and glorious career in A.D. 396. We have his life by Paulinus.

Perhaps you may be saying, "I see something else; how can you assure me that I am receiving the body of Christ?" It but remains for us to prove it. And how many are the examples we might use! . . . Christ is in that sacrament, because it is the body of Christ.

The Mysteries 9:50, 58 [A.D. 390]

"Oh blessed wood of the Lord which crucified the sins of all men; oh blessed flesh of the Lord which ministered food to all men."

T. i. Enar. in Ps. xxxiv. n. 3, p. 76
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 2, Page 283

"Let not thy faith fail. For though thou art weak, Christ who fails not is solicitous for thee. He says to His disciples, "Give you them to eat, lest they fail by the way." Thou hast the apostolic food; eat it, and thou wilt not fail. Eat it first, that thou mayest afterwards come to the food of Christ, to the food of the body of the Lord, to the banquets of the sacraments, to that cup wherewith the affections of the faithful are inebriated; so as to be clothed with gladness on account of the remission of sins, and so as to put off the cares of this world, the fear of death, and anxieties. Thus inebriated the body staggers not, but rises again; the mind is not confounded, but hallowed."

T. i. in Ps. cxviii. (Samech), n. 28, p. 1166.
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St. Jerome, (A.D. 342-420), Dalmatian; born in Strido; priest, hermit, abbot, biblical scholar, translator and Doctor of the Church. In an age distinguished by men of the greatest eloquence and learning, St. Jerome, especially in all matters connected with the Sacred Scriptures, was then preeminent, and has probably never since been equalled.

"But, driven from this position, thou wilt appeal to the clergy. God forbid that I should say anything harsh of such, seeing that, succeeding to the apostolic rank, with their sacred mouth, they make the body of Christ; through whom also we are Christians. Who, having the keys of the kingdom of Heaven, in some manner judge before the day of judgment; who in sober chasteness preserve the spouse of Christ. . . . They feed the flock of Christ, I am fed."

T. i. Ep. xiv. ad Heliodor. n. 8, p. 33.
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 2, Page 294-295

"The Saviour of mankind celebrated the passover in an upper chamber . . . made ready for the spiritual banquet, where He delivered to His disciples the mystery of the body and blood, and left us the eternal festival of the immaculate Lamb."

T. v. I. xii. Comm. in Ezech. col. 498.
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St. John Chrysostom, (A.D. 344 - 407), Syrian; archbishop, Doctor of the Church. Born at Antioch in 344; he was ordained priest in A.D. 383, and raised to the see of Constantinople in the year A.D. 398. His eloquence gained him the title of Chrysostom, or the mouth of gold. His expositions of Scripture, especially the Epistles of St. Paul, are very valuable. This illustrious prelate died on his road to exile, in A.D. 407.

"In no common way is our mouth honored receiving the body of the Lord."

Hom. xxx. in Ep. ii. ad Cor. n. 2, p. 773.
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"When you are about to approach to the dread and divine table, and to the sacred mystery, do it with fear and trembling, with a pure conscience, with fasting and prayer. . . . Reflect, O man, what a sacrifice thou art about to touch; what a table thou art going to approach; think that, though dust and ashes, thou receives Christ's body and blood.

Were even a king to invite you to a banquet, you recline at table with fear, and receive the food that is before you reverently and silently; whilst, when God invites you to His own table, and sets before you His own Son, -- the heavenly powers standing round with fear and trembling, and the cherubim hiding their faces, the seraphim crying out with dread, "Holy, holy, holy Lord", -- do you approach with shouting and confusion to this spiritual banquet?"

T. ii. In Diem Nat. Jesu Christ. n. 7, p. 430.
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"When thou art going to approach to the sacred table, consider too that the King of all is present there, for indeed He is present really, thoroughly acquainted with each one's disposition, and seeing who comes with becoming holiness, who with a wicked conscience, with impure and foul thoughts, with evil deeds."

T. vi. In IUud, Vidi Dom. n. 4, p. 165.
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St. Chromatius of Aquileia, (unknown- A.D. c.407), Italian; bishop (and scholar) of Aquileia, in which see he succeeded Valerian in the year 387; he was the friend of St. Ambrose and of St. Jerome.

"Give us this day our daily bread."

"We understand this saying of the Lord in two ways. First, that we are not to ask for anything but daily food. . . . But we must notice that the command to beg for daily bread is given to us in a spiritual sense, -- to beg, that is, for that heavenly and spiritual bread, which we daily receive as a medicine of the soul, and unto the hope of eternal salvation, -- concerning which the Lord says in the gospel, "The heavenly bread, is my flesh which I will give for the life of the world." Wherefore, we are commanded to ask daily for this bread also, that is, that by the mercy of the Lord, we may deserve daily to receive the bread of the body of the Lord. For the holy Apostle says, "But let a man prove himself and so let him eat of the bread of the Lord, and drink of the chalice." And again, "He that eateth the bread of the Lord unworthily, and drinketh the chalice, shall be guilty of the body and of the blood of the Lord." Whence not without cause ought we always to pray, that we daily be found worthy to receive this heavenly bread : for fear lest, by the intervention of some sin or other, we be separated from the body of the Lord."

Tra. xiii. in St. Matt. n. 5, Galland. t. viii. p. 348.
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St. Gaudentius of Brescia, (unknown - A.D. 410), Italian; became bishop around A.D. 387, theologian and author of many letters and sermons, held in high esteem by the people of Brescia.

"To us Christ lives; for us He rose again; seeing that He was no more beheld of the Jews; neither, after the resurrection, did He. enter into the synagogue of the Jews, but came unto the assembled disciples. He comes in unto us, and shows us the verity of His own venerable body, if so be that we have deserved or deserve to be His disciples."

De Paschae Observ. Tr. iv. T. v.pp. 949, Bibl. Maxim.
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St. Theodore of Mopsuestia, (A.D. 350-428), bishop of Mopsuestia in Cilicia and ecclesiastical writer. A friend of St. Pachomius.

"When [Christ] gave the bread he did not say, "This is the symbol of my body," but, "This is my body." In the same way, when he gave the cup of his blood he did not say, "This is the symbol of my blood," but, "This is my blood"; for he wanted us to look upon the [Eucharistic elements] after their reception of grace and the coming of the Holy Spirit not according to their nature, but receive them as they are, the body and blood of our Lord. We ought . . . not regard [the elements] merely as bread and cup, but as the body and blood of the Lord, into which they were transformed by the descent of the Holy Spirit".

Catechetical Homilies 5:1 [A.D. 405]

St. Paulinus of Nola, (A.D. 353-431), Roman; convert and bishop Of Nola, Born at Bordeaux he was ordained priest in 393, and was appointed bishop of Nola in 409; may have been indirectly responsible for Augustine's Confessions. One who knew St. Paulinus well says he was "meek as Moses, as priestly as Aaron, innocent as Samuel, tender as David, wise as Solomon, apostolic as Peter, loving as John, cautious as Thomas, brilliant as Stephen, fervent as Apollos."

"He has sanctified His own flesh as food for us for ever; for His flesh, as Himself says, "is truly food, is life."

Ep. iii. ad Severum, p. 172, T. vi. Bib. Maxim. SS. PP.
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"Christ is a rock, out of which, when His side was pierced with a lance, there gushed forth water and blood; that He who is both the fountain of our salvation, and our price, might at once open for us two saving springs, the water of grace, and the blood of the sacrament."

Ep. xxxiii. ad Florent.p. 219.
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St. Augustine of Hippo, (A.D. 354-428), North African; born in Tagaste in A.D. 354, baptized in Milan in A.D. 387, ordained a priest in A.D. 391 and appointed bishop of Hippo in A.D. 395, Augustine is one of our greatest theologians. His numerous works display genius of the highest order, and have ever had great weight in the Christian churches. He is also a Doctor of the Church.

I promised you [new Christians], who have now been baptized, a sermon in which I would explain the sacrament of the Lord's table, which you now look upon and of which you last night were made participants. You ought to know that you have received what you are going to receive, and what you ought to receive daily. That bread which you see on the altar having been sanctified by the word of God is the body of Christ, That chalice, or rather, what is in that chalice, having been sanctified by the word of God, is the blood of Christ.

Sermons 227 [A.D. 411]

What you see is the bread and the chalice, that is what your own eyes report to you. But what your faith obliges you to accept is that the bread is the body of Christ and the chalice is the blood of Christ. This has been said very briefly, which may perhaps be sufficient for faith, yet faith does not desire instruction.

Sermons 272

"We also are fed from the cross of Christ, because we eat His body."

In Ps. c. n. 9, col. 1553.
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"There are also some who do not promise this (everlasting life) to all who have the sacrament of the baptism of Christ and of His body; but to Catholics only, even though evil livers: for as much as not in sacrament only, but in very truth have they eaten the body of Christ, being placed in that body of His of which the Apostle says. "We being many are one bread, one body", so that even though they lapse into some heresy, or even into the idolatry of the Gentiles, they will not die forever, but will at length attain unto everlasting life, merely because they have received the baptism of Christ, and have eaten the body of Christ, in the body of Christ, that is, in the Catholic Church."

De Civ. Dei, l. xxi. c. xx. col. 1023.
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Blessed Eusebius of Alexandria, (lived around A.D. 400), called by Cyril of Alexandria to be his successor in the episcopate, his homilies were renown in the Eastern Church in the sixth and seventh centuries.

"On the (Sunday) morning be early in the church ; approach to the Lord ; confess to Him thy sins ; repent with prayer and a contrite heart; remain during the divine and sacred liturgy ; finish thy prayer, not going forth until the dismissal. Behold thy Lord divided into parts, and distributed and not consumed. And, if thou have a clean conscience, draw nigh, and communicate of the body and blood of the Lord.1 But if thy conscience condemn thee of wicked and unbecoming deeds, decline communion> until thou hast amended it by penitence ; abide however at thy prayer, and leave not the church until thou be dismissed. . . . What do they see who come to the church ? I tell thee ; Christ the Lord lying upon the sacred table ; the seraphim singing the thrice-holy hymn ; the presence and advent of the Holy Ghost ; the prophet and king, David, uttering his strains ; the blessed Apostle Paul pouring forth his doctrine into the ears of all. ... If any of the laity shall taste food before the dismissal, he shall make himself liable to a great jndgment and punishment ; but if, even after having tasted of food, he shall partake of the mysteries, his portion is with Judas."

Or. de die Dom. n. 2-4, Galland. t. viii. pp. 2524.
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St. Cyril of Alexandria, (A.D. 376-444), Egyptian; bishop, theologian and Doctor of the Church. He succeeded Theophilus in the patriarchal see of Alexandria, in A.D. 412, and was the great champion of orthodoxy against Nestorius, against whom the general council of Ephesus was called, in A.D. 431 and in which St. Cyril presided.

"The Son is within us, bodily indeed as man, being commingled and conjoined with us, by means of the mystic eulogy; and furthermore, spiritually as God, by the energy and grace of His own Spirit renewing the spirit that is within us unto newness of life, and making us partakers of His divine nature. . . . We have, therefore, been perfected into union as it were with God and the Father, by means of Christ the Mediator. . . . For, receiving, as I have just said, within ourselves both bodily and spiritually Him who by nature, and in truth, is the Son, we have been glorified by becoming partakers of, and sharers in, that nature which is above all things. "

T. iv. Comm Joann. in loco, l. xi. pp. 1001-2.
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"Christ said, "Amen, amen I say unto you: Except you eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, you shall not have life in you. He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath everlasting life: and I will raise him up in the last day." The holy body and blood of Christ are therefore truly vivifying. For it is the body, as I have said, not of any one man that is a partaker of life, but rather the proper body of that life by nature, that is, of the only-begotten."

T. v. p. 2, Ep. in S. Symbolum, p. 189.
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I hear also that these men say of the mystic eulogy, if a portion of it remain until the following day, it avails nothing to sanctification. They who say this are mad. For Christ alters not, neither shall His holy body be changed, but the virtue of the eulogy and the vivifying grace is perpetual in it (His body)."

T. vi. Epist. ad Calosyr. Adv. Anthrop. p. 365.
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St. Nilus the Elder, (c. A.D. 385 - c. 430) (also known as Nilus of Sinai, Neilos, Nilus of Ancyra), Syrian, was one of the many disciples and fervent students of St. John Chrysostom; an eyewitness of the martyrdom of Theodotus.

"Paper made of papyrus and glue is called plain paper, but when it has received the superscription of a king, it is manifest that it is called sacred. So would I have you understand the divine mysteries.

Before, indeed, the prayer of the priest, and the descent of the Holy Ghost, the things that lie to open view are plain bread, and common wine; but, after these awful invocations, and the advent of the adorable, and vivifying, and good spirit, the things that lie upon the holy table are no longer plain bread and common wine, but the precious and immaculate body and blood of Christ, the God of all, which (body and blood) purify from every defilement those who partake thereof with much fear and eagerness."

L. i. Ep. xliv. p. 21.
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"They who strive to purify their own souls, will not merely abound with intellectual bread and water, but will also have flesh; for, as the Apostle says, "Strong meat is a perfect thing." (Hebrews 5) And Moses foretells to the people, saying, "You shall be purified tomorrow, and shall eat flesh." {Numbers 11), understanding then by flesh, the divine body, as the faithful now eat (it) in the Church."

Ep. xc. pp. 42-3.
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"You have also inquired of me, how we are to understand that which is written by Solomon, "Be not deceived by the fullness of the belly." Oh beloved of Christ, we do not partake in the Church of that awesome and sacred table, as of common bread and wine for the filling of the belly, but there is given to us, by those who minister (sacrifice) to God, a certain small portion, and lifting up on high the eyes of the soul, we partake for the cleansing away of sins, and for the obtaining of purification and salvation."

Lib. ii. Ep. cxliv. p. 186.
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"Not as to plain bread do we draw toward that mystic bread, for it is God's flesh, flesh precious, adorable, and lifegiving: for it vivifies those men who are dead in their sins; common flesh could not vivify the soul. And, in the gospel, this is said by our Lord, that "the flesh", that is common and plain flesh, profits nothing. Wherefore, partaking of the flesh and of the blood of the God-Word, with blessing and desire, we inherit life everlasting; for he that eateth and drinketh with an upright heart is blessed."

Lib. iii. Ep. xxxix. pp. 322-23.
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"It is impossible for a believer to be saved otherwise, and to receive remission of sins, and to obtain the heavenly kingdom, unless he partake with fear and desire of the mystic and spotless body and blood of Christ our God."

Ep. cclxxx. p. 435.
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St. Isidore of Pelusium, (unknown - A.D. 440), a disciple of St. John Chrysostom, he was born in Egypt to a prominent Alexandrian family. He became an ascetic, and moved to a mountain near the city of Pelusium, in the tradition of the Desert Fathers; known to us for his letters, written to Cyril of Alexandria, Theodosius II, and a host of others. His letters display great judgment, precision, and learning.

"If our incarnate God and Saviour taught that the most Holy Spirit is the completion of the Holy Trinity, and that Spirit is numbered with Father and Son, in the invocation (used) in holy baptism, as freeing from sins; and He (that Spirit) make, on the mystic table, that common bread, the proper body of His (Christ's) incarnation, why, thou foolish (thunder-stricken) man, dost thou teach, that the Holy Spirit was made, or created, or is of a servile nature, and not rather of a nature cognate, and consubstantial with the lordly, creative, and kingly essence? For, if a servant, let him not be numbered with the Lord."

Lib. i. Ep. cix. Marath. Contr. Maced. pp. 33-34.
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"That clean linen-cloth which is spread under the ministry of the divine gifts, is the service rendered by Joseph of Arimathea. For as he, having wrapped the body of the Lord in a clean linen-cloth, sent it to the sepulchre, through which our whole race has gathered as fruit the resurrection; so we hallowing upon a cloth the bread of proposition, find without any doubt Christ's body, which is a well-spring unto us of that incorruption which Jesus, the Saviour, who was indeed buried by Joseph, but rose again from the dead, has bestowed upon us."

L. i. Ep. cxxiii. p. 38.
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"The Jews eat the flesh of the lamb, roasted with fire, shadowing forth typically, by that manducation, the great mystery of the divine incarnation, and instructed beforehand concerning that lamb of God, who united, in an ineffable manner, the fire of the divine essence with flesh, that flesh which is now eaten by us, and which effects the remission of our evil deeds."

Lib. i. Ep. ccxix. p. 64.
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"The participation of the divine mysteries is called communion, on account of its bestowing on us the grace of union with Christ, and making us sharers of His kingdom."

L. i. Ep. ccxxviii. p. 65.
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"Either cease from doing such things, or withdraw thyself from the sacred table, that those fed by the Church may henceforward without fear approach to the divine mysteries, without which it is not possible to be saved."

Lib. v. Ep. ccccclxix. in fine.
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St. Prosper of Aquitain, (A.D.c.390- c.463), a Christian writer and disciple of St. Augustine, as well as the friend and secretary of Pope Leo I. He was the first continuator of Jerome's Universal Chronicle. Prosper was a layman, but he threw himself with ardour into the religious controversies of his day, defending Augustine and propagating orthodoxy.

"This is that food concerning which the Lord says, "My flesh is veritable food", which is given to all nations. For no one of the faithful, who is born again, is excluded from eating [the Bread of Life]."

In Ps. cxxxv. col. 493.
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Pope St. Leo I, ( A.D. c.391-461), also known as Leo the Great, bishop of Rome (A.D. 440 to 461); an Italian aristocrat, remembered theologically for issuing the Tome of Leo, a document which was foundational to the debates of the Ecumenical Council of Chalcedon.

"The participation of the body and blood of Christ effects no other but that we pass into that which we receive, and that Him, with whom we died and were buried and were raised again, Him we may bear, both in flesh and in spirit, in all things."

Serm. lxiii. (De Pass. Dom. xii.), c. 7, p. 247.
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"They are to be accounted excluded from the gift of divine grace, and from the sacrament of the salvation of man, who, denying the nature of our flesh to be in Christ, both gainsay the Gospel, and oppose the creed; nor perceive that, in their blindness, they are led to this precipice, that they neither stand fast in the verity of the Lord's Passion, nor of His Resurrection: for both are made void in the Saviour, if the flesh of our kind is not acknowledged in Him. In what darkness of ignorance, in what torpor of sloth, have these men been hitherto lying? As neither to have learnt by the hearing, nor ascertained by reading, that which is by the mouths of all men so uniformly declared, as that not even by the tongues of infants is the verity of the body and blood of Christ unacknowledged in (among) the sacraments of communion. For that, in that mystic distribution of spiritual nourishment, this is imparted, this is taken: that we, receiving the virtue of the heavenly food, may pass into His flesh who was made our flesh."

T. i. Ep. lix. ad Clerum et Pleb. CP. c. 2. p. 977.
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St. Theodotus of Ancyra, (unknown-A.D. 446), bishop and theologian of Ancyra, modern day Ankara, flourished about the year 429, attended the Council of Ephesus in 431, during the reign of Byzantine Emperor Theodosius II. Although he had earlier supported the Nestorian theology of Nestorius, bishop of Constantinople, Theodotus at the council supported Patriarch Cyril of Alexandria in condemning Nestorius.

"He who on that occasion drew, by His ineffable power, the Magi to godliness, has also this day summoned us together, to this glad festival, not now placed in a manger, but lying before us on this saving table, for that manger was the parent of this table. On this account is He placed in that (manger), that at this (table) He may be eaten, and become to the faithful a saving food. Yea, that manger did indeed show forth this resplendent table."

Hom. Hab. in Die Nativ. in Concil. Eph. Galland, t. ix. pp. 446-7.
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Theodoret of Cyrus or Cyrrhus, (A.D. 393-458), Greek; an influential author, theologian, and Christian bishop of Cyrrhus, Syria (A.D. 423-457). He played a pivotal role in many early Byzantine church controversies that led to various ecumenical acts and schisms. His friendship for Nestorius embroiled him, for a time, with his great contemporary, St. Cyril of Alexandria.

"He shall wash His robe in wine." (Genesis 49:11)

His body he terms a "robe", and His blood "wine", as the Lord also called the mystic wine, blood."

T. ii. Qaest. ex. in Genes, p. 115.
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"Moses was a type of Christ the Saviour; the rod was a type of the cross; Pharaoh, of the devil; the Egyptians were a type of the evil spirits; and the manna, a type of the divine food; the water of the rock, of the saving blood. For as they, after passing through the Red Sea, partook of that novel food, and of that strange water, so we, after saving baptism,
partake of the divine mysteries."

Qaest. xxvii. in Exod. p. 144.
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Therefore whosoever shall eat this bread, or drink the chalice of the Lord unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and of the blood of the Lord. (Corinthians 11:27)

But that phrase, "shall be guilty of the body and of the blood", means this, that in like manner as Judas betrayed Him, and the Jews insulted Him, so do they dishonor Him who receive His all-holy body with unclean hands, and put it into a defiled mouth."

T. iii. In Ep. i. ad Cor. c. xi. pp. 237-8.
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Salvian, (A.D. c.400-c.484), a Christian priest and writer of Gaul, who appeared to have a special background in law. He died at Marseilles in 484.

"But some one may perhaps ask, how is it that God now requires more from Christians by the Gospel, than from the Jews of old by the law? The reason of this is past all question. For we now render more to our Lord, because we are indebted much more. For the Jews had formerly but the shadow of things; we have the verity: the Jews were servants; we are adopted children. . . . The Jews passed through the sea to a desert; we enter through baptism into a kingdom: the Jews eat manna; we, Christ: the Jews (eat) the flesh of birds; we, the body of God: the Jews (eat) the dew of Heaven ; we, the God of Heaven, "who being", as the Apostle says, "in the form of God . . ." (Philippians 2:6,8)

L. ii. adv. Avarit. n. 6; Galland, t. x. p. 64.
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St. Peter Chrysologus, (A.D. 406 - 450), deacon, bishop of Imola and Ravenna, and Doctor of the Church, his piety and zeal won for him universal admiration, and his oratory merited for him the name Chrysologus, meaning: golden-worded or golden mouth.

"That woman "touched His garment", and was healed. . . . Wretched we, who daily handle and receive the body of the Lord, and are not cured of our wounds. It is not Christ, but faith that fails the infirm: for much more now would He be able to heal the wounded, abiding as He does in us, than when merely passing on He thus healed that shrinking woman.

Oh how great did that woman teach the Lord's body to be; she who showed that so great virtue was in the hem of Christ's garment! Let Christians who daily touch the body of Christ, hear how great a remedy they may derive from that body, since a woman stole perfect health from the hem of Christ's garment only. But this is matter for our tears, that she drew a cure for her wound from that hem, while the remedy itself is turned by us into a wound. For this cause it is, that the Apostle admonishes and bewails those who touch the body of Christ unworthily, in this way. For he that touches unworthily the body of Christ, receives his damnation."

Serm. xxiii. p. 56 and Serm. xxxiv. p. 57.
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"I grieve when I read that the Magi adorned with gold the birth-place of Christ, and see that Christians have left the altar of the body of Christ, without an offering."

Serm. ciii. p. 156.
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St. Jacob (James) of Sarug, (A.D. 452-521), Syrian; bishop of Batnas, or Sarug, he was a writer in the Syrian Church, named by one of his biographers "the flute of the Holy Spirit and the harp of the believing church."

"Having become above earthly things, in the lofty house of virtue, like the disciples in the "upper chamber", let us eat the passover, having with us Christ, who was immolated for us, eating Him entire (as being) life."

Fragm. ex. i Ep. Fest. in Cosm. Ægypt. Topograph. Christ. Montfaucon. t. ii. p. 320 Nov. Collect. Script. et Patr. Graec.
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"Neither let us designate the substance of the body a vanity, as this man accounts it, falling into the fancies of Manichaeus, under different terms, lest the body of Christ also be subject to vanity, satiated with which, as food, we daily ponder on Our Lord's words "Unless a man eat my flesh and drink my blood, he shall not have part with me." (John 6:53)

Epis. Pasch. n. xi. Galland. t. vii. n. 17, p. 622.
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"Is not she (the Blessed Virgin) that golden urn which received the manna; yea, that received within her womb that heavenly bread which is given for food and strength to the faithful?"

Orat. xxxix.; In Ed. Op. S. Greg. Thaum. Paris. 1622.
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He who inflames the spirits of fire in His lofty region, Him, under bread and wine, dost thou behold upon the table. . . . He who is full of envy and of deceitfulness against his neighbor, resembles Judas, to whom the Lord did not deliver His body. For He broke, and distributing His body and blood upon the table to the eleven that they might eat of it holily, and for that Judas was meditating deceit in his mind, He restrained him from the holy thing, because he was not worthy to receive it with the disciples."

De Euchar. Assem. T. i. pp. 326-27.
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"Again also here, at this table let us not abjectly attend to the bread and to the chalice which lie before us; but, lifting up our mind, let us with faith understand, that there lies upon that sacred table the Lamb of God who taketh away the sin of the world, sacrificed in an unbloody manner by the priests, and veritably receiving His precious body and blood, believe that these are the symbols of our resurrection. For, for this cause we receive not much, but a little, that we may know that we (partake) not for repletion, but for sanctification."

Hist. Concil. Nicaen. Labbe, t. ii. p. 234.
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Arnobius Junior, (flourished in the 5th century, A.D. c.460), also known as Arnobius the Younger, Christian priest or bishop in Gaul, author of a mystical and allegorical commentary on the Psalms, first published by Erasmus in 1522, and by him attributed to the elder Arnobius.

"But we who believe, let us say, "The light of Thy countenance, O Lord, is signed upon us." (Psalm 4) In that light, gladness has been given in our heart, from the time that we received corn in the body, wine in the blood, oil in the chrism."

Comm. in Ps. iv. p. 240, T. viii. Bibl. Maxim.
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"He hath made a remembrance of His wonderful works", saying, As often as you shall do these things, do them in remembrance of me. When did the Lord, merciful and gracious, say this? Then, undoubtedly, when "He gave the food" of His own body, "to them that fear Him."

In Ps. cx. p. 302.
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The Real Presence of Jesus

Christ is not present in this sacrament, according to His natural way of existence; that is, as bodies naturally exist; but in a manner proper to the character of His exalted and glorified body. His presence then is realand substantial, but sacramental; not exposed to the external senses, nor obnoxious to corporal contingencies.


The Church's Scriptures that support the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist:


The Eucharistic Discourse in John's Gospel, Jesus speaking:

51 I am the living bread which came down from Heaven ; if any one eats of this bread, he will live for ever; and the bread which I shall give for the life of the world is my flesh." 52 The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, "How can this man give us his flesh to eat?" 53 So 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; 54 he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. 55 For my flesh is food indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. 56 He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him. 57 As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats me will live because of me. 58 This is the bread which came down from Heaven, not such as the fathers ate and died; he who eats this bread will live for ever." 59 This he said in the synagogue, as he taught at Capernaum. 60 Many of his disciples, when they heard it, said, "This is a hard saying; who can listen to it?" 61 But Jesus, knowing in himself that his disciples murmured at it, said to them, "Do you take offense at this? 62 Then what if you were to see the Son of man ascending where he was before? 63 It is the spirit that gives life, the flesh is of no avail *; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life. 64 But there are some of you that do not believe." For Jesus knew from the first who those were that did not believe, and who it was that would betray him. 65 And he said, "This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father." 66 After this many of his disciples drew back and no longer went about with him. 67 Jesus said to the twelve, "Do you also wish to go away?" 68 Simon Peter answered him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life; 69 and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God."

John 6:51-69

* For the meaning of "spirit and flesh" when put in contrast, see Romans 8:1-14.

Verse 63 confirms that we receive both the spiritual (spirit) and sacramental (life) of Jesus in the Eucharist.

Matthew's Account of the Last Supper:

26 Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, "Take, eat; this is my body." 27 And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, "Drink of it, all of you; 28 for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.

Matthew 26:26-28

Mark's Account of the Last Supper:

22 And as they were eating, he took bread, and blessed, and broke it, and gave it to them, and said, "Take; this is my body." 23 And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, and they all drank of it. 24 And he said to them, "This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many. 25 Truly, I say to you, I shall not drink again of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God."

Mark 14:22-25

Luke's Account of the Last Supper:

19 And he took bread, and when he had given thanks he broke it and gave it to them, saying, "This is my body which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me." 20 And likewise the cup after supper, saying, "This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.

Luke 22:19-20

St. Paul proclaims and catechizes on the Mass.

16 The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ? 17 Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread. 18 Consider the people of Israel; are not those who eat the sacrifices partners in the altar? 19 What do I imply then? That food offered to idols is anything, or that an idol is anything? 20 No, I imply that what pagans sacrifice they offer to demons and not to God. I do not want you to be partners with demons. 21 You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons. You cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons. 22 Shall we provoke the Lord to jealousy? Are we stronger than he?


1 Corinthians 10:16-21

Abuses of the Lord's Supper

17 But in the following instructions I do not commend you, because when you come together it is not for the better but for the worse. 18 For, in the first place, when you assemble as a church, I hear that there are divisions among you; and I partly believe it, 19 for there must be factions among you in order that those who are genuine among you may be recognized. 20 When you meet together, it is not the Lord's supper that you eat. 21 For in eating, each one goes ahead with his own meal, and one is hungry and another is drunk. 22 What! Do you not have houses to eat and drink in? Or do you despise the church of God and humiliate those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I commend you in this? No, I will not.

1 Corinthians 11:17-22

St. Paul proclaims and catechizes on the Mass.

23 For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, 24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, "This is my body which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me." 25 In the same way also the cup, after supper, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me." 26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes.


1 Corinthians 11:23-26

Partaking of the Lord's Supper unworthily.

27 Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of profaning the body and blood of the Lord. 28 Let a man examine himself, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. 29 For any one who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment upon himself. 30 That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died.


1 Corinthians 11:27-30

If the Eucharist were just a symbol, why does Paul say, "That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died." If the Eucharist is just a symbol it shouldn't have effected them.


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