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Corpus Christi returns to St John Lateran

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Pope Francis celebrated the solemnity of Corpus Christi at the basilica of St John Lateran Sunday 2 June.

He is returned to the basilica after several years moving to the outskirts of the city to celebrate or staying in the Vatican because of the pandemic or even cancelling his presence due to health issues.

After the Mass, the tradition is to process to Rome’s nearby Basilica of St Mary Major a route that Pope Francis made on foot only the first year of his pontificate. In the following years, due to his knee problems, he travelled by car and imparted a blessing when he arrived.

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Corpus Christi is one of the main solemnities of the liturgical year. Until 2017, the traditional Mass and subsequent procession in Rome took place on Thursday, nine days after Pentecost. But Pope Francis changed the date and, since then, it has been held on that following Sunday.

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