Born near Liège in present-day Belgium, Juliana's parents died when she was five years old, and she and her sister were raised by the Sisters at the convent of Mount Cornillon. The double monastery had a hospital specializing in the care of people suffering from leprosy, and Juliana spent many hours devoted to the patients. She joined the Augustinian Order in 1206.
Over time, Juliana became intensely devoted to the Blessed Sacrament and began receiving repeated visions of a moon crossed by a black band. She did not understand it's meaning until Christ appeared to her and told her that the moon represented the Church calendar, which did not yet have a feast of the Sacrament. Juliana believed it was now up to her to correct the omission.
After being named prioress of Mount Cornillon around 1225, friends persuaded Juliana to ask a local canon for guidance. He in turn spoke with the Archdeacon of Liège, James Pataléon, who would soon be named Pope Urban IV. Both men supported her cause. However, other important people within the Church were suspicious of Juliana's visions. She was falsely accused of stealing money from the hospital and forced to leave the monastery. But the local bishop returned Juliana to her post and introduced the feast in the diocese in 1246.
When the bishop died, Juliana was again driven from the monastery. She withdrew to Fosses, where she died in 1258. Six years later, Pope Urban IV ordered the new feast, now known as the Feast of Corpus Christi, to be made part of the universal Church calendar.
we come to Your sacred table to nourish ourselves,
not with bread but with Yourself,
true Bread of eternal life.
Help us daily
to make a good and perfect meal
of this divine food.
Let us be continually refreshed
by the perfume of Your kindness and goodness.
May the Holy Spirit fill us with His Love.
let us prepare a place for this holy food
by emptying our hearts.
From Ordinary People, Extraordinary Lives
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