Friendship between two saints: St. John Paul II and Padre Pio

Padre Pio, generous dispenser of divine mercy

Italian Capuchin, (1887-1968), canonized in 2002 in a massive ceremony by St. John Paul II under the name of St. Pio of PietrelcinaThis holy priest received an extraordinary spiritual gift to serve the people of God. This gift marked his life, filling it with suffering, not only the physical pain caused by his stigmata, but also the moral and spiritual suffering caused by those who considered him crazy or a swindler.

The reality is that this saint helped thousands of people to return to the faith, to convert and come closer to God. Padre Pio performed amazing healings. And predictions difficult to contrast, such as the one made to Karol Wojtyla himself, predicting his future papacy. The Frenchman Emanuele Brunatto credited that same gift of prophecy that allowed him to find out from time to time what was going to happen. "It is Jesus," explained Padre Pio, "who sometimes lets me read his personal notebook...".

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Privilege of a penitent

At the Mass of canonization on June 16, 2002 in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, St. John Paul II affirmed that "Padre Pio was a generous dispenser of divine mercy, making himself available to everyone through his hospitality, spiritual direction and especially the administration of the sacrament of penance. I too, in my youth, had the privilege of benefiting from his availability to penitents. The ministry of the confessional, which is one of the distinctive features of his apostolate, attracted countless crowds of the faithful to the convent of San Giovanni Rotondo".

How did St. John Paul II and Padre Pio meet?

The relationship between Padre Pio and St. John Paul II is not only due to the fact that the beatification and canonization ceremonies of the Capuchin friar were held during the Polish pope's pontificate, but also because, in 1948, Karol Wojtyla met Padre Pio at San Giovanni Rotondo.

The first meeting of two saints

It was in April 1948 that Karol Wojtyla, a newly ordained priest, decided to meet Padre Pio. "I went to San Giovanni Rotondo to see Padre Pio, to participate in his Mass and, if possible, to go to confession with him." This first meeting was very important for the future pope. This was reflected years later in a letter he sent in his own handwriting, written in Polish, to the Father Guardian of the convent of San Giovanni Rotondo: "I spoke with him in person and exchanged a few words, it was my first meeting with him and I consider it the most important". While Padre Pio was celebrating the Eucharist, the young Wojtyla took special note of the friar's hands, where the stigmata could be seen covered by a black scab "On the altar of San Giovanni Rotondo the sacrifice of Christ himself was being fulfilled, and during confession, Padre Pio offered a clear and simple discernment, addressing the penitent with great love".

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The painful wounds of Padre Pio

In addition, the young priest was interested in Padre Pio's wounds: "The only question I asked him was which wound caused him the most pain. I was convinced it was the one on my heart, but Padre Pio surprised me when he told me: 'No, the one that hurts me the most is the one on my back, the one on my right side. This sixth wound in the shoulder, like the one Jesus suffered while carrying the cross or the patibulum on the road to Calvary. It was the sore "that hurt the most", because it had festered and had never "been treated by the doctors".

The letters linking St. John Paul II and Padre Pio date back to the period of the Council.

The letter dated November 17, 1962 read: "Venerable Father, I ask you to pray for a forty year old mother of four daughters who lives in Krakow, Poland. During the last war she was in the concentration camps in Germany for five years and is now in grave danger of health, even life, because of cancer. Pray that God, with the intervention of the Blessed Virgin, will show mercy to her and her family. In Christo obligatissimus, Carolus Wojtyla".

At that time, Monsignor Wojtyla was in Rome and received the news of Wanda Poltawska's serious illness. Convinced that Padre Pio's prayer had a special power before God, he decided to write to him to ask for help and prayers for the woman, mother of four daughters. This letter came to Padre Pio through Angelo Battisti, an official of the Vatican Secretariat of State and administrator of the Casa Alivio del Suffering. He himself recounts that after reading the contents to him, Padre Pio uttered the famous phrase: "I can't say no to this one!", and added: "Angelo, keep this letter because one day it will be important".

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Thanks for the healing

A few days later, the woman underwent a new diagnostic examination which showed that the cancerous tumor had completely disappeared. Eleven days later, John Paul II again wrote a letter, this time to thank her. The letter read: "Venerable Father, the woman who lives in Krakow, Poland, mother of 4 girls, on November 21 before the surgical operation was suddenly cured. We give thanks to God and also to you, Venerable Father. I express my sincere thanks on behalf of the lady, her husband and the whole family. In Christ, Karol Wojtyla, Capitular Bishop of Krakow". On that occasion the friar said: "Praise be to the Lord!

"Look at the fame that Padre Pio has achieved, the followers he has gathered around him from all over the world. But why? Because he was a philosopher? Because he was a wise man? Because he had the means? Nothing of the sort: because he said Mass humbly, heard confessions from morning to night and was, it is difficult to say, a representative sealed with the wounds of Our Lord. A man of prayer and suffering".

Pope St. Paul VI, February 1971.
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Karol Wojtyla praying at the tomb of Padre Pio in San Giovanni Rotondo.

The visits of St. John Paul II to the tomb of Padre Pio

Wojtyla returned to San Giovanni Rotondo on two more occasions. The first, when he was Cardinal of Krakow, in 1974 and the second, when he was already proclaimed Pope, in 1987. On these two trips he visited the mortal remains of Padre Pio and prayed kneeling at the tomb of the Capuchin friar. In the autumn of 1974, then Cardinal Karol Wojtyla was back in Rome and, "as the date of the anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood (November 1, 1946) approached, he decided to commemorate the anniversary in San Giovanni Rotondo and to celebrate the Mass at the tomb of Padre Pio. Due to a series of vicissitudes (November 1 was especially rainy) the group composed of Wojtyla, Deskur and six other Polish priests was delayed considerably, arriving in the evening at around 9 p.m. Unfortunately Karol Wojtyla could not fulfill his wish to celebrate Mass at Padre Pio's tomb on the day of his ordination to the priesthood. So he did it the next day. Stefano Campanella, director of Padre Pio TV.

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Love for penitents

Padre Pio "had a simple and clear discernment and treated the penitent with great love," John Paul II wrote that day in the visitors' book of the convent in San Giovanni Rotondo.

In May 1987, St. John Paul II, now Pope, visited the tomb of Padre Pio on the occasion of the first centenary of his birth. Before more than 50,000 people, His Holiness proclaimed: "Great is my joy at this meeting, and for several reasons. As you know, these places are linked to personal memories, that is, to my visits to Padre Pio during his earthly life, or spiritually after his death, at his tomb".

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St. Pio of Pietrelcina

On May 2, 1999, John Paul II beatified the stigmatized friar, and on June 16, 2002, he proclaimed him a saint. On June 16, 2002, His Holiness John Paul II canonized him as St. Pio of Pietrelcina. In the homily of his sanctification, John Paul recited the prayer composed by him for Padre Pio: 

"Humble and beloved Padre Pio: Teach us too, we ask you, humility of heart, to be considered among the little ones of the Gospel, to whom the Father has promised to reveal the mysteries of His Kingdom. Help us to pray without ever tiring, with the certainty that God knows what we need before we ask Him. Reach out to us with a look of faith able to readily recognize in the poor and suffering the very face of Jesus. Sustain us in the hour of struggle and trial, and if we fall, make us experience the joy of the sacrament of forgiveness. Transmit to us your tender devotion to Mary, Mother of Jesus and our Mother. Accompany us on our earthly pilgrimage to the happy homeland, where we also hope to get to to contemplate eternally the glory of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.


- La Brújula Cotidiana interviews the director of Padre Pio TV, Stefano Campanella.
- Interview with Polish Archbishop Andrew Maria Deskur, 2004.
- Homily of John Paul II, Mass of Sanctification, 2002.

What is a pilgrimage and what places to visit

Origin of the pilgrimages?

Pilgrimages date back to the first centuries of Christianity. One of the earliest documented records of Christian pilgrimages dates back to the 4th century, when sacred sites were identified in Holy Land associated with the life of Jesus Christ. This led an increasing number of pilgrims to travel to places such as Jerusalem, Bethlehem and Nazareth.

However, one of the most significant events in the history of pilgrimages was the discovery of the relics of St. Peter and St. Paul in Rome in the 1st century. Since then the Eternal City has become a favorite destination for pilgrims of all ages and nations.

When did Christian pilgrimages begin?

Over the centuries, important pilgrimage routes began to develop in Europe, such as the Camino de Santiago in Spain. These roads connected sacred places with each other and were traveled by pilgrims from all over the world.

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Pope Francis encouraged people to visit the Marian shrines of Guadalupe, Lourdes and Fatima: "oases of consolation and mercy". General Audience on Wednesday, August 23, 2023 in the Paul VI Hall.

8 Catholic pilgrimage sites

We review below the main pilgrimage sites of the Catholic Church. Holy places since ancient times and some sanctuaries and basilicas dedicated to the Virgin Mary, which attract a multitude of pilgrims.

Every year the CARF Foundation organizes pilgrimages, in collaboration with travel agencies and specialists in religious tourism, with an important participation of benefactors and friends, who share these unique and unforgettable experiences. A different way to get closer to the Lord.

Pilgrimage to the Holy Land

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At Holy Land Jesus was born, lived and died. Its roads are the pages of the "fifth gospel". It was also the scene of the events of the Old and New Testament. It was a land of battles, such as the Crusades; the object of political and religious disputes.

Among the places you can visit is Jerusalem in Israel, the city where Christ did part of his public life and where he entered in triumph on Palm Sunday. You can also visit the Holy Sepulcher, the Wailing Wall, the Church of the Multiplication of the Loaves and Fishes, the Church of the Condemnation and Imposition of the Cross, the Church of the Visitation, the Basilica of the Nativity, and much more.

Pilgrimage to Rome and the Vatican

Rome, the Eternal City, is home to the Vatican City, the heart of the Catholic Church. It features St. Peter's Basilica and the Vatican Museums, which house masterpieces such as Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel frescoes. On the outskirts of Rome are the Catacombs of St. Callixtus, also known as the Crypt of the Popes.

Pilgrimage to Rome offers the opportunity to experience the Catholic Church as a mother. It is an experience that strengthens faith and helps to live in communion with the tradition and teachings of the Catholic Church.

Pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela

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In Spain we have one of the most important Catholic pilgrimages in the world, Santiago de Compostela. In the 12th century, thanks to the impulse of Archbishop Diego Gelmirez (1100-1140), the Cathedral of Santiago was consolidated as a destination for millions of Catholic pilgrims. Last Xacobeo 2021-2022 year, 38,134 pilgrims from all over the world walked the route.

There are different routes to make this pilgrimage. The most used of all is the French Way. It is the route par excellence, traditionally used by pilgrims from all over Europe and has the most complete network of services, accommodation and signposting of all.

Marian pilgrimage to the shrine of Medjugorje

Located in Bosnia Herzegovina, the town of Medjugorje is famous for the numerous apparitions of the Virgin Mary from 1981 to the present day. Although the Church has not yet officially recognized these apparitions, Pope Francis authorized in 2019 the organization of official pilgrimages of dioceses and parishes, giving it an official character.  

The Sanctuary surrounded by mountains where the image of the Virgin Mary is located. Our Lady of Medjugorjeis an essential stop for pilgrims in search of solace, healing and a profound faith experience.

Marian pilgrimage to the basilica of the Virgen del Pilar

The Cathedral-Basilica of the Virgin of Pilar is the first Marian temple of Christianity. Tradition has it that in the year 40 of the first century, the Virgin appeared to the apostle Santiago, who was preaching in what is now Zaragoza.

The basilica, with its impressive architecture and atmosphere of recollection, is an ideal space for prayer and meditation. Pilgrims come to this sacred place to pay homage to the Virgin of Pilar, patron saint of Latin America. On October 12, the celebration of the festivity, offerings of flowers and fruits are made. Also on that day takes place the crystal rosary, a parade of 29 crystal floats that are internally illuminated and represent the mysteries of the rosary.

Marian pilgrimage to the sanctuary of Torreciudad

Located in the province of Huesca, Spain, this sanctuary is a place of great Marian devotion and is known in the region for being a natural enclave of great beauty. 

Pilgrims come to pay homage to Our Lady of Torreciudad and experience a conversion of heart, especially through the sacrament of confession. 

This shrine, erected thanks to the impulse of St. Josemaría Escrivá de Balaguer, attracts faithful from all over the world who seek to strengthen their relationship with the Virgin Mary and grow in their faith. The feast of Our Lady of Torreciudad is celebrated on the Sunday following August 15. Every year, it celebrates the multitudinous Marian Family Day which takes place on a Saturday in September.

Marian pilgrimage to the sanctuary of Our Lady of Fatima (Portugal)

This is one of the most important Marian shrines. Where the Virgin Mary appeared Our Lady of Fatima in 1917 to three little shepherds (Lucia, Francisco and Jacinta).

The sanctuary of Fatima is composed of several chapels and basilicas. The main one is the basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary where the tombs of the three seers are located. The exterior is flanked by a colonnade of about 200 columns. Inside there are 14 altars that also represent the Stations of the Cross.

The climate of prayer at Fatima has left an indelible mark on the faith of generations of Catholics, making this shrine a point of encounter with the divine and a symbol of the intercession of the Virgin Mary in the history of mankind.

Marian pilgrimage to the sanctuary of Lourdes (France)

It is the place of pilgrimage for the sick par excellence. From the grotto of Massabielle, where the Virgin Mary appeared to St. Bernadette, a spring of pure water gushed forth from which water has never ceased to flow. A miraculous water responsible for countless cures. Visitors also leave thousands and thousands of candles in thanksgiving or for a petition.

On the rock where the grotto is located, the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception was erected, inaugurated in 1871. Lourdes is also home to the Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary.

Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

On the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, we celebrate the liturgical solemnity of God's love: today is the feast of love, Pope Francis said a few years ago. And he adds "the Apostle John tells us what love is: not that we loved God, but that "He loved us first". He waited for us with love. He is the first to love.

When is it celebrated?

The whole month of June is dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, although its feast day is after the octave of Corpus Christi. This 2023 is celebrated on Monday, June 18.

During the feast, St. Josemaría invites us to meditate on the Love of God: "They are thoughts, affections, conversations that souls in love have always dedicated to Jesus. But to understand this language, to really know what the human heart and the Heart of Christ are, we need faith and humility.

Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus

St. Josemaría emphasizes that as devotees we should keep in mind all the richness that is contained in these words: Sacred Heart of Jesus.

When we speak of human heart we do not refer only to feelings, we allude to the whole person who loves, who loves and treats others. A man is worth what his heart is worth, we can say.

The Bible speaks of the heart, referring to the person who, as Jesus Christ himself said, directs all of himself - soul and body - to what he considers to be his good. "For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also" (

In speaking of devotion to the Heart, St. Josemaría shows the certainty of God's love and the truth of his self-giving to us. In recommending devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, he recommends that we direct ourselves entirely-with all that we are: our soul, our feelings, our thoughts, our words and our actions, our labors and our joys-to the whole of Jesus.

This is what true devotion to the Heart of Jesus is all about: knowing God and knowing ourselves, and looking to Jesus and turning to Him, who encourages us, teaches us, guides us. There is no room for more superficiality in devotion than that of a man who, not being fully human, does not succeed in perceiving the reality of God incarnate. Without forgetting that the Sacred Heart of Mary is always at his side.

What is its significance?

The image of the Sacred Heart of Jesus reminds us of the central core of our faith: how much God loves us with his Heart and how much we, therefore, must love him. Jesus loves us so much that he suffers when his immense love is not reciprocated.

Pope Francis tells us that the Sacred Heart of Jesus invites us to learn "from the Lord who has made himself food, so that each one can be even more available to others, serving all those in need, especially the poorest families".

May the Sacred Heart of Our Lord Jesus Christ, which we celebrate, help us to keep our hearts full of merciful love for all those who suffer. Therefore, let us ask for a heart:

  • Able to sympathize with the sorrows of creatures, able to understand.
  • If we want to help others, we must love them, with a love that is understanding and dedication, affection and voluntary humility. As Jesus taught us: love of God and love of neighbor.
  • Let him seek God: And Jesus, who has fostered our longings, comes out to meet us and says: if anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. And in Him may we find rest and strength.

We can show our love by our works: this is precisely what devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus is all about.

The peace of Christians

On this feast, we Christians must resolve to strive to do good. There is much to be done to ensure that our earthly coexistence is inspired by love.

Even so, the pain will not disappear. In the face of these sorrows, we Christians have an authentic response, a response that is definitive: Christ on the Cross, God who suffers and dies, God who gives us his Heart, which he opened with a lance out of love for all. Our Lord abhors injustice and condemns those who commit it. But, as he respects the freedom of each individual, he allows them to exist.

His Heart full of Love for mankind made Him take upon Himself, with the Cross, all these tortures: our suffering, our sadness, our anguish, our hunger and thirst for justice. To live in the Heart of Jesus is to unite ourselves closely to Christ; it is to become God's dwelling place.

"He who loves me will be loved by my Father, our Lord announced to us. And Christ and the Father, in the Holy Spirit, come to the soul and make their dwelling in it," St. Josemaría.

Men, their lives and their happiness are so valuable that the Son of God Himself gives Himself to redeem them, to cleanse them, to elevate them. Who will not love his heart so wounded? asked a contemplative soul. Who will not return love for love? Who will not embrace a Heart so pure?

How did the feast come about? History of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

It was an explicit request of Jesus. On June 16, 1675, Jesus appeared to her and showed his Heart to her. Saint Margaret Mary of Alacoque. Jesus appeared to her on several occasions and told her how much He loved her and all men and how much it grieved His Heart that men were turning away from Him because of sin.

During these visits, Jesus asked St. Margaret to teach us to love Him more, to have devotion to Him, to pray and, above all, to behave well so that His Heart would no longer suffer from our sins.

Later, St. Margaret with her spiritual director would spread the messages of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. In 1899, Pope Leo XIII published the encyclical "Annum Sacrum" on the consecration of the human race, which took place that same year.

During his pontificate, St. John Paul II established that this feast is also the World Day of Prayer for the sanctification of priests.

Many groups, movements, orders and religious congregations, since ancient times, have placed themselves under her protection.

In Rome is the Basilica of the "Sacro Cuore" (Sacred Heart) built by St. John Bosco at the request of Pope Leo XIII and with donations from the faithful and devotees from various countries.

Prayer to the Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Devotional

How to pray to the Sacred Heart of Jesus? We can get a prayer card or a picture of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and, before it, perform the family consecration to his Sacred Heart, in the following way:

Written by St. Mary of Alacoque:

"I, __________, give and consecrate myself to the Sacred Heart of Our Lord Jesus Christ, my person and my life, my prayers, sorrows and sufferings, so as not to want to use any part of my being but to honor, love and glorify Him. It is my irrevocable will to be all of Him and to do everything for His love, renouncing with all my heart all that may displease Him.

I take you, therefore, O Sacred Heart, for the only object of my love, the protector of my life, the security of my salvation, the remedy for my frailty and my inconstancy, the repairer of all the defects of my life, and my asylum at the hour of my death.


It is Christ who passes by, St. Josemaría Escrivá.
Confessions, St. Augustine.
Letter, October 5, 1986, to Fr. R. Kolvenbach, St. John Paul II.

Corpus Christi 2023: meaning and what is being celebrated

What is Corpus Christi Day?

Corpus Christi, in Latin, Body of Christis one of the most important festivities of the Catholic Church because it is we celebrate the presence of Christ in the Eucharist. On that day, we the faithful acclaim the institution of the Eucharist, which took place on Holy Thursday, during the Last Supper. When Jesus Christ turned the bread and wine into his body and blood, and invited the apostles to commune with him.

We proclaim and reinforce our faith in the presence of Jesus Christ in the Blessed Sacrament, giving Him public adoration. That is why the celebrations of the feast of Corpus Christi include processions in the streets and public places in which the body of Christ is exhibited and accompanied by crowds of the faithful.

When is it?

Corpus Christi is a movable feast of the Catholic religion, contemplated in the liturgical calendar. As such, is celebrated sixty days after Easter Sunday. It is celebrated on the Thursday following the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity, which takes place on the Sunday after the following Sunday. Pentecost.

Thus, the feast of Corpus Christi is the Thursday following the ninth Sunday after the first full moon of spring in the northern hemisphere, and of autumn in the southern hemisphere. Corpus Christi 2023 will be celebrated this Thursday, June 8.

Corpus Christi Meaning

What is Corpus Christi and what is its purpose?

St. Josemaría Escrivá reminds us that On the feast of Corpus Christi, we Christians meditate together on the depth of the Lord's love, which led him to remain hidden under the sacramental species.

"I would like that, in considering all of that, to become aware of our mission as Christians, to turn our eyes towards the Holy Eucharist, towards Jesus who, present among us, has constituted us as his are the body of Christ and members united to other members. Our God has decided to remain in the Tabernacle to nourish strengthen us, to divinize us, to give efficacy to our task and to our efforts. Jesus is simultaneously the sower, the seed and the fruit of the sowing: the Bread of eternal life."

And continues "This continually renewed miracle of the Holy Eucharist has all the characteristics of Jesus' way of acting.. Perfect God and perfect man, Lord of heaven and earth, He offers Himself to us as our sustenance, in the most natural and ordinary way. Thus he has been waiting for our love for almost two thousand years. It is a long time and it is not a long time: for, when there is love, the days fly."

"For me the Tabernacle has always been Bethany, the quiet and peaceful place where Christ is." Homily on devotion to the Blessed Sacrament. May 28, 1964. 

St. Josemaría. Feast of Corpus Christi


The celebration emerged during the 13th century. At Cornillon Abbey, its prioress, St. Juliana, had a great devotion to the Blessed Sacrament. One day, she obtained permission to hold a special celebration in her honor that soon spread throughout Germany.

Thus, The first Corpus Christi celebration took place in 1246 in the city of Liège, in present-day Belgium.

Almost 20 years later, in 1263. In the city of Bolsena (Italy), the so-called miracle of Bolsena took place. Where a priest, who was celebrating the Holy Mass, when he pronounced the words of consecration, blood began to flow from the host.

Pope Urban IV instituted the feast of Corpus Christi in 1264 by means of the bull Transitururs de hoc mundoThe celebration was to be held on the Thursday after the octave of Pentecost.

That is why Corpus Christi is not always celebrated on the same day. The day of the celebration was always on Thursday, but since 1990, when this day ceased to be a holiday, the festivity was moved to Sunday. In fact, although the liturgical solemnity is on Sunday, several localities celebrate the procession on Thursday.

For this solemnity St. Thomas Aquinas was commissioned to prepare the texts for the Office and Holy Mass. of the day, including hymns such as the Pange Lingua (with the Tantum Ergo), the Panis angelicus or the Adoro te devote.

Later, at the Council of Vienne in 1311, Pope Clement V regulates the processional procession inside the temples, and it will be the Pope Nicholas V who, in 1447, will carry out the procession with the Blessed Sacrament through the streets of Rome.

Subsequently, the Council of Trent, held at the 1551 the decree "On the Most Holy Sacrament of the Eucharist" was approved.. In it, the importance of celebrating and venerating the Blessed Sacrament of the altar during the feast of Corpus Christi is recognized..

"Let's widen our hearts"

Pope Francis. Feast of Corpus Christi 2021


"As a peculiar celebration of this solemnity is the procession born of the piety of the Church; in it the Christian people, carrying the Eucharist, go through the streets with a solemn rite, with songs and prayers, and thus render public testimony of faith and piety towards this sacrament." canon 386 of the Ceremonial of Bishops.

Although the bull did not speak of any parade, the feast soon began to be crowned with a procession in which the consecrated host in a monstrance is taken out into the street. The first processions were held in Cologne (Germany), Paris (France) and the Italian cities of Genoa, Milan and Rome. In Spain, the processions of Ponteareas and Toledo are of International Tourist Interest.

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Corpus Christi Spain

In our country, the celebration of Corpus Christi has had and still has special roots. Numerous cities celebrate it with solemnity, the procession with the Blessed Sacrament is joined by popular festivities that make this feast a very important moment of the year. The procession takes on a special solemnity, the streets are decorated with ornaments on balconies and carpets of aromatic plants; altars are erected along the procession route; even the walls of the cathedrals are covered with tapestries.

Accompanying the Blessed Sacrament are the members of the clergy, the faithful and brothers and sisters of confraternities and brotherhoods, the members of the Nocturnal Adoration, the children who have received their First Communion that year, and together with all of them, the civil and military authorities, and even the academic institutions.

Corpus Christi Seville and Guadix

In some cities such as Seville or Guadix (Granada), the seises, a group of children who dance in front of the Blessed Sacrament during the procession, will also be present.

Once again, popular art is present through multiple elements around this solemnity, especially the monstrances. This piece, made of gold, silver or other noble metal, is used to place the Blessed Sacrament in it and thus be exposed for the veneration and adoration of the faithful. Many of them are framed in a templete or throne that facilitates its transfer in the procession. They are elements of great artistic and material value, standing out among many, those of Toledo, Cordoba, Seville and Baeza.

As a curiosity there is a city with that name in the United States: Corpus Christi, Texas.


Why make a solidarity bequest or will to the CARF Foundation?

By including the CARF Foundation in your will, you will give continuity to its commitment to integral formation. You will help priests and seminarians around the world receive a solid academic, theological, human and spiritual preparation.

What is a legacy of solidarity?

The solidarity bequest is a testamentary disposition in favor of a non-profit institution. It is in the will where it is decided to allocate a very specific part of the assets and/or rights to support the objectives of a person, natural or legal. These assets, which are called legacies, are separated from the inheritance and are not subject to distribution among the forced heirs. They can be a specific asset such as a house, apartment, apartment, rural property, etc. or a right such as a benefit, a percentage of the estate, etc.

Bequests have a limit, they can in no case be detrimental to the legitimate inheritance of the heirs. In addition, they must be granted by will and must be expressly indicated.

For the CARF Foundation your collaboration is essential and one way to make it tangible is through the legacy of solidarity. It is a boost in your commitment to the formation of priests, the spreading of their good name and prayer for vocations.

What is a joint and several will?

Article 667 of the Civil Code defines a will as the written declaration of a person's will by which he/she disposes of the destination of his/her assets and obligations, or part of them, after his/her death, depending on the extent to which it was made.

Making a will is a right that entails a simple procedure, with which you can avoid problems for your family and loved ones. The will also serves to order your wishes and be certain that they will be perpetuated when you are gone.
A will is revocable until the time of death. The subsequent valid will revokes the previous one. It can be modified by complying with the same requirements that were necessary to grant the previous one, that is to say, to go to the notary to manifest the changes that are wanted to be made.

Types of wills you can make

The current Spanish legal system includes three ways of making a will:

  • Open: In this way, the testator expresses his or her wishes about the destiny of his or her assets before the notary who will draft it according to the legal prescriptions. It is a secret procedure until the death of the testator. The open will is the most advisable modality, as it is the safest and most comfortable as well as the most used.
  • Closed: The testator delivers the signed will to the notary in a sealed envelope.
  • Ológrafo: It will be written by the testator by hand. But before it is fulfilled, it will be necessary to initiate a notarial procedure to verify its authenticity.

Did you know that you don't need to be a member of the CARF Foundation to leave your will or legacy?

All you have to do is decide to express your commitment to solidarity in the form of a will or bequest. This gesture will always be present, since the CARF Foundation is an institution declared of public utility, your entire bequest or will will will be destined to the foundational purposes of supporting the integral formation of priests and seminarians around the world.

The CARF Foundation will see to it that, when the young men in formation return to their dioceses to be ordained priests, they will be able to transmit all the light, science and doctrine they have received. We try to inspire the hearts of our benefactors and friends so that every day there will be more of us building a more just society.

What can I donate as a legacy of solidarity?

Most of the vocations are born today in countries in Africa or America that lack the means to do so. Every year, more than 800 bishops from all over the world ask the CARF Foundation for help in training their candidates. Leaving part of your legacy of solidarity is easy and accessible, and can be done without affecting the interests of your heirs. When your voice falls silent, your ideals can continue with strength and courage by supporting these candidates so that they can complete their training at the ecclesiastical universities of Rome and Pamplona. You can donate:

  • Real estate, such as a house, apartment, apartment, rural property, etc.
  • Other assets such as jewelry, works of art, cash in banks or in cash.
  • You can also donate a percentage of your assets, mutual funds, stocks or life insurance to the Foundation.

How does the CARF Foundation manage its legacy of solidarity?

The proceeds from the sale of the bequeathed assets will be used for a significant investment. Guaranteeing a secure procedure for the treatment of the bequeathed assets. The constant support to the integral formation of priests and seminarians goes beyond the cycles of the economy. That is why, at the CARF Foundation, we work in the endowment fund (endowment) of the foundation so that we can always support them.

It is a commitment to think that, behind every priestly vocation, there is another call from the Lord to each one of us Christians, asking for personal effort to ensure the means for formation.

How can I make a solidarity bequest to the CARF Foundation?

Depending on your intention and family circumstances, and within the provisions of current legislation, there are several ways to have us present in your last will:

  • If you have no heirs, you can name the CARF Foundation as your universal heir, making it the beneficiary of all your assets, rights and/or shares.
  • You can also leave your assets to more than one person or institution, you can designate the CARF Foundation as co-heir, indicating in the will the percentage assigned to each of the parties.
  • Or, you can nominate the CARF Foundation. legatee, leaving a legacy of a concrete good.

Once you have made the decision to collaborate by making a will or solidarity legacy in favor of the CARF Foundation, you only need to go to a notary and express your will to testament or bequeath, all or part of your assets in favor of:

Centro Académico Romano Foundation
Conde de Peñalver, 45, Entre planta of 1 - 28006 Madrid
CIF: G-79059218

If your personal circumstances or intention change, your final decision can always be modified, you can contact the Foundation with any questions you may have.

The solidarity bequest is a tax-exempt donation.

In the liquidation of the will, non-profit entities are not subject to the Inheritance and Donations Tax set forth in the Decentralization Act 49/2022 and therefore joint and several legacies are tax exempt for the beneficiaries.

The totality of the donated bequest is entirely dedicated to the purposes of the CARF Foundation, which is why the allocated portion will be tax exempt.

"The message of Divine Mercy constitutes a very concrete and demanding program of life, for it involves works."

Pope Francis
Message of Pope Francis for the XXXI World Youth Day 2016.


  • Civil Code Art. 667
  • Law 49/2002, of December 23, 2002, on the tax regime for non-profit entities and tax incentives for patronage.

Knows the different sacred vessels and liturgical objects

Liturgical objects: what are sacred vessels?

Liturgical objects were gaining importance since the first centuries of Christianity. Many of them were conceived of as relics, such as the Holy Grail and the Lignun Crucis. The presence of sacred vessels in the Middle Ages is evident not only from the objects that have come down to us to the present day, but also from the numerous documentary sources: inventories of the churches in which the acquisitions or donations of certain liturgical objects were recorded, among which the sacred vessels stood out.

Nowadays, sacred vessels are called the utensils of liturgical worship which are in direct contact with the Eucharist. As they are sacred, they are used only for that purpose and must be blessed by the bishop or a priest.

In addition, they must have the necessary dignity to carry out the Holy Mass. According to the Spanish Episcopal Conference, they must be made of noble metal or other solid, unbreakable and incorruptible materials that are considered noble in each place.

The paten and chalice are the most important sacred vessels since the beginning of Christianity. They contain the bread and wine to be consecrated during the Holy Mass. With the passing of time, and the needs of Eucharistic worship and the faithful, other sacred vessels have appeared, such as the ciborium or pyx and the monstrance, as well as other accessories.

After the celebration of the sacraments, the priest cleans and purifies the liturgical objects he has used, since all must be clean and well preserved.

Why are sacred vessels important to a priest?

Having all the necessary elements to impart the sacraments and celebrate the Holy Mass is indispensable for a priest.

This is why the Social Action Board (PAS) of the CARF Foundation delivers each year more than 60 cases of sacred vessels The backpack is complete for deacons and priests from all over the world who study in Pamplona and Rome. The current backpack contains everything necessary to celebrate Holy Mass with dignity in any place, without the need for a previous installation.

The Sacred Vessel Case of the CARF Foundation enables young priests without resources to administer the sacraments where they are most needed. At this time, it is not only the priest in front of them, but also all the benefactors who will make it possible for them to exercise their ministry with adequate material dignity.

Which liturgical objects are sacred vessels?

Sacred vessels primary are those which, previously consecrated, have been destined to contain the Holy Eucharist. Like the chalice, paten, ciborium, monstrance and tabernacle.

Contrary to the sacred vessels secondary, that do not have contact with the Eucharist, but are intended for divine worship, such as the cruets, acetre, hyssop, incense burner, bell, alb and the candlestickamong others.

sacred vessels


From Latin calix which means drinking cup. The chalice is the sacred vessel par excellence. Used by Jesus and the apostles at the Last Supper, it was probably a cup of kiddush (Jewish ritual tableware for the Passover celebration), being at the time a semi-precious stone bowl.

The earliest known official decrees from synods date back to the 11th century, already expressly prohibit the use of glass, wood, horn and copper, because it is easily oxidized. Tin is tolerated and noble metals are recommended instead.

The shape of the ancient chalices resembled more a cup or amphora, often with two handles for easy handling. This type of chalice was in use until the 12th century. Since that century almost all chalices, devoid of handles, are distinguished by the width of the cup and by a greater separation between it and the foot that constitutes the stem of the chalice with the knot, at mid-height.

sacred vessels


It comes from the Greek phatne which means plate. It refers to the shallow, slightly concave tray or saucer where the consecrated bread is placed in the Eucharist. The paten came into liturgical use at the same time as the chalice and must be gilded on the concave side. It is important that it allows easy collection of particles on the body.

In the accounts of the Last Supper, mention is made of the dish with the bread that Jesus had before him on the table (Mt 26:23; Mk 14:20). As for the material of the patens, it followed the same evolution as the chalice.

sacred vessels

Chalice and paten accessories

  • Purifier: A piece of white linen, distinguishable from the other cloths by its smaller size and by a red or white cross embroidered in the middle. For the Mass is placed just above the chalice, because it is used to purify the inside of the cup by rubbing it before pouring wine into it. And after having put it, the drops that could have remained on the edges are dried with it.
  • Palia / hijuela / cubrecáliz: square of starched cloth that covers the chalice while it is on the altar. It prevents foreign particles from falling into the chalice and is only removed at the moment of the Consecration.
  • Veil of the chalice: covers the chalice prepared for Mass. It is used until the offertory, when the chalice is prepared to be consecrated. It is of the same liturgical color as the vestments and is accompanied by a bag for the corporal that is placed on top.
  • Body: square piece of cloth on which the chalice, paten and ciboria are placed. The monstrance for the exposition of the Blessed Sacrament is also placed on it. It must be made of linen or hemp and not of any other fabric. It may have a woven cross.

sacred vessels


The conservation of the Eucharist after the celebration of Mass is a custom that dates back to the early days of Christianity. ciborium.

In ancient times the faithful sometimes kept the Eucharist, with exquisite care, in their own homes. St. Cyprian speaks of a little chest or ark that was kept at home for this purpose (De lapsis, 26: PL 4,501). It was also, of course, kept in the churches. They had a space called secretarium o sacrarium, in which there was a kind of closet (conditorium) where the Eucharistic chest was kept. These conditorium were the first tabernacles. They were usually made of hard wood, ivory or noble metal; and they were called píxides -with a flat lid, fastened with hinges, or with a conical lid and in the form of a turret with a foot.

In the late Middle Ages, the possibility of receiving communion outside of Mass became popular, requiring a larger size and evolving into the present-day cup: a large cup used to distribute communion to the faithful and then to keep it to preserve the Eucharistic body of Christ. It is covered, when kept in the tabernacle, with a circular veil called a conopeo, the name also given to the veil that covers the tabernacle in the color of the liturgical season.

In places where Holy Communion is solemnly brought to the sick, a small ciborium of the same style is used. The small pyx used is made of the same material as that of the ciborium. It should be gilded on the inside, the lower part should have a slight elevation in the center, and it should be blessed by the shape of the ciborium. Benedictio tabernaculi (Rit. Rom., tit. VIII, XXIII). It is also called teak or portaviático and it is usually a round box made of noble materials.

sacred vessels

Custody or monstrance

The monstrance is an urn framed in glass in which the Blessed Sacrament is publicly exposed. It can be made of gold, silver, brass or gilded copper. The most suitable shape is that of the sun that emits its rays everywhere. The lunette (manly or lunula) is the vessel in the middle of the monstrance, made of the same material.

The lunette, provided it contains the Blessed Sacrament, may be placed in the tabernacle inside a monstrance box. If the tabernacle has enough space to hold the monstrance, then it should be covered with a white silk veil. It is also used to make processions outside the Church on special dates such as the Feast of Corpus Christi.

All these vessels should be made of gold, silver or other material, but gilded on the inside, smooth and polished, and may be topped by a cross.

sacred vessels


The wine coolers are two small pitchers where the water and wine necessary to celebrate the celebration are placed. Holy Mass. The priest mixes the wine with a little water and, for this, he has a complementary spoon. They are usually made of glass so that the priest can identify the water in the wine, and also because they are easier to clean. However, you can also find bronze, silver or pewter cruets.


It is a cauldron in which holy water is placed and is used for the liturgical sprinklings. All the water that collects the acetre, is dispersed with the swab.


Utensil with which the sprinkles holy waterconsisting of a handle with a bunch of bristles or a hollow metal ball with a hole at the end to hold the water. It is used together with the acetre.

Censer and incense

The censer is a small metal brazier suspended in the air and held by chains which is used to burn incense. Incense is used to manifest worship and symbolizes the prayer that goes up to God.


It is an inverted cup-shaped utensil of small size with a clapper inside, that used to call for prayer during the consecration. The bell is used to attract attention and, in addition, to express a feeling of joy. There are single-bell or multi-bell bells.


It is a support where the candle is placed which is used in the liturgy as a symbol of Christ, who is the Light that guides all.

"The woman who, in the house of Simon the leper in Bethany, anoints the Master's head with rich perfume, reminds us of our duty to be splendid in the worship of God.
-All the luxury, majesty and beauty seem little to me.
-And against those who attack the richness of sacred vessels, ornaments and altarpieces, the praise of Jesus is heard: opus enim bonum operata est in me -He has done a good deed for me.

St. Josemaría
Road, point 527.


- Augustin Joseph Schulte. "Altar Vessels," The Catholic Encyclopedia.
- Sacrosanctum Concilium n. 122-123; CIC cc. 939, 941, 1220 §2.
- General Instruction of the Roman Missal (2002).
- Instruction Redemptionis Sacramentum (2004) 117-120.