Slide 15 Slide 2 Foto di Filippo Maria Gianfelice

This Is My Body

2005 – Pauline, Boston.

Eucharistic reflections inspired by Adoro te devote and Ave verum Raniero Cantalamessa


This book is a collection of meditations on the Eucharist, which I gave at the Pontifical Household, during Advent and Lent in the Year of the Eucharist 2004-2005. The first Eucharistic Year, proclaimed by John Paul II in 1985, offered me the occasion to write the series of meditations entitled “The Eucharist, Our Sanctification”; this second Eucharistic Year has given me the opportunity to offer this new series of meditations based on a commentary on two of the most well-known and venerated Eucharistic hymns of the Latin Church: the Adoro Te Devote and the Ave Verum.

They are the last meditations that I had the honor and grace to be able to hold in the presence of the Holy Father John Paul II. During the sermons preached in Lent 2005, he was repeatedly hospitalized in conditions of health that the whole world followed with trepidation, and which ended with his holy death. And yet, even in these conditions he wished to follow, through a special television connection, the reflections of a simple priest of his Church, giving all, and above all the preacher, an example of humility and of extraordinary love of the Eucharist. I consider the letter that the Holy Father wrote me, at the conclusion of the cycle of meditations, the best recompense for my 25 years of service as Pontifical Household preacher.

In a poem written in his youth Karol Wojtya praised the vocation of being a “Eucharistic I”; as Pope he realized this calling before the Church and the world. In the penultimate chapter of this book there is a description of the edifying death of a great lover of the Eucharist, St. Thomas Aquinas. John Paul II’s death was no different. It is comforting to think that for him what is written in the last stanza of the Adoro Te Devote is now a reality:

Jesus! Whom for the present veil’d I see,
What I so thirst for, O vouchsafe to me:
That I may see Thy countenance unfolding,
And may be blest Thy glory in beholding.