Pope Francis will not celebrate the Solemnity of Corpus Christi, with the annual Eucharistic Procession, in Rome but in Ostia.
This was communicated in a notice from the Vatican’s Prefecture of the Papal Household on April 28, 2018, which stated the following: “On Sunday 3 June, on the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, at 18.00, the Holy Father Francis will celebrate Holy Mass in the square in front of the Santa Monica parish in Ostia.”
“The Eucharistic celebration will be followed by the procession with the Most Holy Sacrament, which will conclude near the parish of Nostra Signora di Bonaria, with the Eucharistic Blessing imparted by the Holy Father,” it concluded.
After some 100 years without the Eucharistic Procession in Rome, Pope John Paul II had restored the Roman tradition in 1982. This will be the first year since then without it.
In the past for Corpus Christi, Pope Francis presided over the Eucharistic celebration for the Solemnity of Corpus Christi in the courtyard of the Basilica of Saint John Lateran. After the Pope would lead the traditional procession that took place to the nearby Basilica of Saint Mary Major, the Pontiff would impart the solemn Eucharistic Blessing.
All faithful interested in attending the Papal Mass, and partaking in the procession which followed, were welcome to attend. Tickets were not needed, as faithful had free access to the square to take part in the celebration.
Tradition involves candle-carrying faithful taking part in the procession, thereby the candles illuminated an otherwise dark Via Merulana, the arterial street leading from the archbasilica of St. John Lateran to the Marian Basilica of St. Mary Major.
The festivities of the evening used to conclude in front of Saint Mary Major, with the Pope’s benediction with the Blessed Sacrament.