St. Francis of Assisi loved France because the sacred Host was more venerated there than in any other country in the world. It is remarkable that in spite of the spread of worldliness and irreligion, the Eucharist has been more and more glorified and honored from century to century. The Eucharistic life of Christ has developed in the world as did His human life on earth. Jesus began to breathe in the seclusion of an obscure workshop and rose gradually to infinite glory. Likewise, the first Christians fed on the Bread of Life, but they did so in darkness.

But even when It is hidden, the Host gives life to the humblest church. Neither hymns nor lights are necessary to let us know that It is there. The small lamp only attests Its presence. The temples of those who deny the Real Presence are like corpses. The Lord was taken away and we do not know where they have laid Him. We can feel the gloominess of those churches, and especially of those which were formerly Catholic. Now, they resemble tombs sealed upon nothingness. A Catholic church remains always open, like the Heart forever open.

Corpus Christi…. This body of Christ was brought forth by the Blessed Virgin, and this is why the veneration paid to the Virgin Mary goes hand in hand with the cult of the Eucharist — without rivaling it and, a fortiori, without rising above it. But we do not separate the Mother from the Son.

Lourdes, where non-Catholics imagine that we accord Mary undue eminence, is no doubt that place in the world where Christ in the Eucharist is most glorified. It is the only place in the world where, under the veil of the Host, Christ mingles in the midst of so many rich people and is as closely pressed by them as He was during His mortal life. His mother prays for these bodies and these souls, and Christ cures them. The procession of the Blessed Sacrament in Lourdes starts from the Grotto to show that Jesus was given to us by the Virgin. And she who stood on Golgotha, at the foot of the Cross of the condemned Man, stands here by the side of the King of eternal glory.

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