BY JOAN WANJIKU,NAIROBI,6TH JUNE,2021-The Catholic church on Sunday 6th June,2021 celebrated the solemnity of the most holly body and blood of Christ.
The Feast of Corpus Christi (Ecclesiastical Latin: Dies Sanctissimi Corporis et Sanguinis Domini Iesu Christi, lit. ‘Day of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Jesus Christ the Lord’), also known as the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, is a Roman Catholic, Anglican, and Western Orthodox liturgical solemnity celebrating the Real Presence of the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ in the elements of the Eucharist. Two months earlier, the institution of the Eucharist at the Last Supper is observed on Maundy Thursday in a sombre atmosphere leading to Good Friday. The liturgy on that day also commemorates Christ’s washing of the disciples’ feet, the institution of the priesthood, and the agony in the Garden of Gethsemane.
The feast of Corpus Christi was proposed by Saint Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church, to Pope Urban IV, in order to create a feast focused solely on the Holy Eucharist, emphasizing the joy of the Eucharist being the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ. Having recognized in 1264 the authenticity of the Eucharistic Miracle of Bolsena, on input of Aquinas, the pontiff, then living in Orvieto, established the feast of Corpus Christi as a Solemnity and extended it to the whole Roman Catholic Church.
The feast is liturgically celebrated on the Thursday after Trinity Sunday or, “where the Solemnity of The Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ is not a holy day of obligation, it is assigned to the Sunday after the Most Holy Trinity as its proper day”
The feast was celebrated with holly mass animated by priests and bishops across various parishes in the country.In Nairobi at the holly Family Minor Basilica, Father Adolf Poll-Alleluia celebrated his last Holy Mass in Kenya at the Holy Family Basilica on Sunday before returning to his home country Italy, where he will spend his time in retirement.
Father Alleluia, who has been in Kenya for the last 53 years doing missionary work under the Mill Hill Missionaries, has been praised for touching lives and reaching out to the less fortunate in the society.
While celebrating the last Holy Mass in a country where he has spent almost his entire life, his message was not any different.
The 81 year old Priest urged the faithful to dedicate their lives in serving Christ.
Father Simon Peter Kamomoe, the Administrator at the Holy Family Basilica lauded Father Alleluia for his humility and dedication in serving Christ.
“Father Alleluia arrived in Kenya at the age of 29 and he has since served the Catholic Church in the country with utmost dedication and commitment,” he said
Father Alleluia was ordained as a priest in 1966 in his home Diocese of Bolzano-Brixen, Northern Italy.
In December 1968, he left his hometown, South Tyrol at the border of Italy and Austria to serve as a Missionary priest in Kenya.
He was first posted at the Catholic Diocese of Kisii where he served for 31 years from 1969 to 2000 under the then Bishop, the late Maurice Cardinal Otunga.
It is in Kisii where he got the name “Alleluia” as that is how he would respond to the people who greeted him in Ekegusii, a language he was not familiar with.
Father Alleluia was later transferred to the Catholic Diocese of Malindi where he has served for last 20 years until his retirement.
During his time in Malindi, Father Adolf amazed many by how he would freely interact with the Muslim Community. He touched the lives of people whenever he went regardless of whether they were Catholics or not.