The Blessed Eucharist: A Timeless Understanding

A collection of quotes on the Blessed Eucharist also known as the Holy Communion or the Lord’s Supper, from the ancient Church to the present Church with the same ancient understanding and authority.

I am the bread of life. Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that a man may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread which came down from heaven; if any one eats of this bread, he will live for ever; and the bread which I shall give for the life of the world is my flesh. ~Jesus Christ (John 6:48-51 RSV)

So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you; he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is food indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him. As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats me will live because of me. This is the bread which came down from heaven, not such as the fathers ate and died; he who eats this bread will live for ever.” (John 6:53-58 RSV)

Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, “Take, eat; this is my body.” And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, “Drink of it, all of you; for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. I tell you I shall not drink again of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.” (Matthew 26:26-29 RSV)

I speak as to sensible men; judge for yourselves what I say. The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ? Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread. ~St. Paul of Tarsus (1 Corinthians 10:15-17 RSV)

For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, “This is my body which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way also the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes. Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of profaning the body and blood of the Lord. Let a man examine himself, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For any one who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment upon himself. That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died. ~St. Paul of Tarsus (1 Corinthians 11:23-30 RSV)

And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. ~St. Luke the Evangelist (Acts 2:42 RSV)

Let no one eat and drink of your Eucharist but those baptized in the name of the Lord; to this, too the saying of the Lord is applicable: ‘Do not give to dogs what is sacred’. ~Didache 9:5

On the Lord’s own day, assemble in common to break bread and offer thanks; but first confess your sins, so that your sacrifice may be pure. However, no one quarreling with his brother may join your meeting until they are reconciled; your sacrifice must not be defiled. For here we have the saying of the Lord: ‘In every place and time offer me a pure sacrifice; for I am a mighty King, says the Lord; and my name spreads terror among the nations.’ ~Didache 14

I have no taste for corruptible food nor for the pleasures of this life. I desire the bread of God, which is the Flesh of Jesus Christ, who was the seed of David; and for drink I desire His Blood, which is love incorruptible! ~St. Ignatius of Antioch (Letter to the Romans 7:3)

We call this food Eucharist, and no one else is permitted to partake of it, except one who believes our teaching to be true and who has been washed in the washing which is for the remission of sins and for regeneration and is thereby living as Christ enjoined. For not as common bread nor common drink do we receive these; but since Jesus Christ our Savior was made incarnate by the word of God and had both flesh and blood for our salvation, so too, as we have been taught, the food which has been made into the Eucharist by the Eucharistic prayer set down by him, and by the change of which our blood and flesh is nurtured, is both the flesh and the blood of that incarnated Jesus. ~St. Justin Martyr (First Apology 66 )

He has declared the cup, a part of creation, to be his own blood, from which he causes our blood to flow; and the bread, a part of creation, he has established as his own body, from which he gives increase unto our bodies. When, therefore, the mixed cup and the baked bread receives the Word of God and becomes the Eucharist, the body of Christ, and from these the substance of our flesh is increased and supported, how can they say that the flesh is not capable of receiving the gift of God, which is eternal life—flesh which is nourished by the body and blood of the Lord, and is in fact a member of him? ~St. Irenaeus of Lyon (Against Heresies 5:2)

Christ was carried in his own hands when, referring to his own body, he said, ‘This is my body’. For he carried that body in his hands. ~St. Augustine of Hippo (Explanations of the Psalms 33:1:10)

The Blessed Eucharist is the perfect Sacrament of the Lord’s Passion, since It contains Christ Himself and his Passion. ~St. Thomas Aquinas

God dwells in our midst, in the Blessed Sacrament of the altar. ~St. Maximillian Kolbe

Make frequent visits to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament and the devil will be powerless against you. ~St. John Bosco

When you look at the crucifix you understand how much Jesus loved you then. When you look at the sacred host, you understand how much Jesus loves you now. ~Bl. Mother Teresa of Calcutta

Keep close to the Catholic Church at all times, for the Church alone can give you true peace, since she alone possesses Jesus, the true Prince of Peace, in the Blessed Sacrament. ~St. Padre Pio of Pietrelcina

All the good works in the world are not equal to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass because they are the works of men; but the Mass is the work of God. Martyrdom is nothing in comparison for it is but the sacrifice of man to God; but the Mass is the sacrifice of God for man. ~St. John Mary Vianney

What wonderful majesty! What stupendous condescension! O sublime humility! That the Lord of the whole universe, God and the Son of God, should humble Himself like this under the form of a little bread, for our salvation. ~St. Francis of Assisi

If angels could be jealous of men, they would be so for one reason: Holy Communion. ~St. Maximillian Kolbe

I throw myself at the foot of the Tabernacle like a dog at the foot of his Master. If we could comprehend all the good things contained in Holy Communion, nothing more would be wanting to content the heart of man. The miser would run no more after his treasures, or the ambitious after glory; each would shake off the dust of the earth, leave the world, and fly away towards heaven. ~St. John Mary Vianney

He remains among us until the end of the world. He dwells on so many altars, though so often offended and profaned. ~St. Maximillian Kolbe

When we go before the Blessed Sacrament, let us open our heart; our good God will open His. We shall go to Him; He will come to us; the one to ask, the other to receive. It will be like a breath from one to the other. ~St. John Mary Vianney

The culmination of the Mass is not the consecration, but Communion. ~St. Maximillian Kolbe

God is as really present in the consecrated Host as He is in the glory of Heaven. ~St. Paschal Baylon

When I am before the Blessed Sacrament I feel such a lively faith that I can’t describe it. Christ in the Eucharist is almost tangible to me. When it is time for me to leave, I have to tear myself away from His sacred presence. ~St. Anthony Claret

Holy Communion is the shortest and safest way to heaven. ~Pope St. Pius X

Ours is the Spirit of the Eucharist, the total Gift of Self. ~St. Katharine Drexel

When you approach the tabernacle remember that he has been waiting for you for twenty centuries. ~St. Josemaria Escriva

With all the strength of my soul I urge you young people to approach the Communion table as often as you can. Feed on this bread of angels whence you will draw all the energy you need to fight inner battles. Because true happiness, dear friends, does not consist in the pleasures of the world or in earthly things, but in peace of conscience, which we have only if we are pure in heart and mind. ~Bl. Pier Giorgio Frassati

O Jesus, You instituted this Sacrament, not through any desire to draw some advantage from it for Yourself, but solely moved by love which has no other measure than to be without measure. You instituted this Sacrament because Your love exceeds all words. Burning with love for us, You desired to give Yourself to us and took up Your dwelling in the consecrated Host, entirely and forever, until the end of time. And You did this, not only to give us a memorial of Your death which is our salvation, but You did it also, to remain with us entirely and forever. ~St. Angela of Foligno

Ask Jesus to make you a saint. After all, only He can do that. Go to confession regularly and to Communion as often as you can. ~St. Dominic Savio

The Eucharist is a fire which inflames us. ~St. John Damascene

Out of the darkness of my life, so much frustrated, I put before you the one great thing to love on earth: the Blessed Sacrament. There you will find romance, glory, honour, fidelity, and the true way of all your loves on earth. ~J.R.R. Tolkien

While all the sacraments confer grace, the Eucharist contains the author of grace, Jesus Christ Himself. ~Fr. John Hardon, S.J.

The greatest love story of all time is contained in a tiny white host. ~Archbishop Fulton Sheen

Our own belief is that the renovation of the world will be brought about only by the Holy Eucharist. ~Pope Leo XIII

The happiness you have a right to enjoy has a name and a face: it is Jesus of Nazareth, hidden in the Eucharist. ~Pope Benedict XVI

When the bee has gathered the dew of heaven and the earth’s sweetest nectar from the flowers, it turns it into honey, then hastens to its hive. In the same way, the priest, having taken from the altar the Son of God (who is as the dew from heaven, and true son of Mary, flower of our humanity), gives him to you as delicious food. ~St. Francis de Sales

It is not to remain in a golden ciborium that He comes down each day from Heaven, but to find another Heaven, the Heaven of our soul in which He takes delight. ~St. Therese of Lisieux

“Rabbi, where are you staying?” Each day the Church responds: Christ is present in the Eucharist, in the sacrament of His death and resurrection. In and through the Eucharist, you acknowledge the dwelling-place of the Living God in human history. For the Eucharist is the Sacrament of the Love which conquers death. It is the Sacrament of the Covenant, pure Gift of Love for the reconciliation of all humanity. It is the gift of the Real Presence of Jesus The Redeemer, in the bread which is His Body given up for us, in the wine which is His Blood poured out for all. Thanks to the Eucharist, constantly renewed among all peoples of the world, Christ continues to build His church: He brings us together in praise and thanksgiving for salvation, in the communion which only infinite love can forge. Our worldwide gathering now takes on its fullest meaning, through the celebration of the Mass. Dear young friends, may your presence here mean a true commitment in faith! For Christ is now answering your own question and the questions of all those who seek the Living God. He answers by offering an invitation: This is My Body, take It and eat. To the Father He entrusts His supreme desire: that all those whom He loves may be one in the same communion. Bl. Pope John Paul II (World Youth Day homily on Sunday, August 24, 1997 in Paris, France)

Since Christ Himself has said, “This is My Body” who shall dare to doubt that It is His Body? ~St. Cyril of Jerusalem

The quotes provided above form a remarkable collection that spans the ages, offering insights into the Blessed Eucharist, also known as the Holy Communion or the Lord’s Supper. These quotes illuminate the deep and enduring understanding of the Eucharist from the ancient Church to the present day. In this article, we will explore the significance of these quotes and their relevance in understanding the Blessed Eucharist in the context of the Christian faith.

Jesus Christ as the Bread of Life

The foundation of the Blessed Eucharist lies in the words of Jesus Himself. In the Gospel of John, Jesus proclaims, “I am the bread of life.” This statement carries profound implications for the Christian faith. Jesus draws a parallel between the manna in the wilderness, which sustained the Israelites physically, and the living bread that He offers, which provides eternal life. This declaration sets the stage for the institution of the Eucharist.

As we delve into these words, we realize that Jesus is not merely speaking symbolically but rather conveying a spiritual reality. He states that anyone who partakes of this bread will live forever, and He explicitly connects it to His own flesh. This initial quote establishes the foundational belief in the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist, a belief that has been passed down through the centuries.

The Institution of the Eucharist

The moment of the institution of the Eucharist is a pivotal event in Christian history, captured in the Gospel of Matthew. During the Last Supper, Jesus takes bread, blesses it, and gives it to His disciples, saying, “Take, eat; this is my body.” He also takes a cup, gives thanks, and offers it to them, saying, “Drink of it, all of you; for this is my blood of the covenant.” These words are at the heart of the Eucharistic celebration in the Christian tradition.

This quote emphasizes the sacrificial nature of the Eucharist. Jesus’ words echo the act of offering Himself as a sacrifice for the forgiveness of sins. He points to the new covenant sealed with His own blood, signifying the intimate connection between the Eucharist and the redemption of humanity. The Eucharist is not a mere symbol but a profound mystery in which Christ offers Himself anew for the salvation of all.

St. Paul’s Understanding

St. Paul of Tarsus, in his First Letter to the Corinthians, provides further insight into the Eucharist. He speaks of the “cup of blessing” and the “bread which we break” as a participation in the blood and body of Christ. St. Paul underscores the unity that arises from partaking in the Eucharist, emphasizing that despite many individuals partaking, there is “one bread” and “one body.” This passage highlights the communal aspect of the Eucharist, where believers come together as one body of Christ.

Moreover, St. Paul’s teachings in 1 Corinthians 11 shed light on the importance of approaching the Eucharist with reverence and self-examination. He warns against partaking in an “unworthy manner,” as it can lead to judgment and even illness. St. Paul’s words emphasize the solemnity of the Eucharist and the need for believers to approach it with a pure heart and sincere faith.

The Didache: Early Christian Instruction

The Didache, an ancient Christian text, provides practical guidance for the early Christian community. It contains instructions regarding the Eucharist, emphasizing the importance of receiving it only by those baptized in the name of the Lord. This directive aligns with the understanding that the Eucharist is a sacred act that requires preparation and commitment.

The Didache also underscores the significance of confession and reconciliation before partaking in the Eucharist. It echoes the words of the Lord, emphasizing the need for purity when offering the sacrifice. This early Christian document reminds us of the reverence and holiness associated with the Eucharist from the earliest days of the Church.

The Church Fathers’ Testimony

The quotes attributed to St. Ignatius of Antioch, St. Justin Martyr, and St. Irenaeus of Lyon reinforce the belief in the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist. St. Ignatius expresses his desire for the “bread of God” and the “Blood, which is love incorruptible.” His words reflect a profound longing for the Eucharist as the source of spiritual nourishment and love.

St. Justin Martyr, in his First Apology, affirms the transformation of bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ through the Eucharistic prayer. He emphasizes that this food nurtures the flesh and blood of believers, highlighting the intimate connection between the Eucharist and the life of the Church.

St. Irenaeus of Lyon underscores the capacity of the flesh to receive the gift of God, which is eternal life. He refutes the notion that the flesh is incapable of such a gift, emphasizing that it is nourished by the body and blood of the Lord. These early Church Fathers provide valuable testimony to the belief in the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist from the earliest days of Christianity.

The Wisdom of St. Augustine

St. Augustine of Hippo, in his “Explanations of the Psalms,” offers a unique perspective on the Eucharist. He asserts that when Christ said, “This is my body,” He carried His own body in His hands. St. Augustine’s words highlight the profound mystery of the Eucharist, where Christ, the Word made flesh, is present in the consecrated host. His statement reinforces the belief in the real presence and the wonder of the Eucharistic miracle.

Saints and Their Insights

Throughout history, saints have provided profound insights into the Blessed Eucharist. St. Thomas Aquinas describes the Eucharist as the perfect Sacrament of the Lord’s Passion. He recognizes that the Eucharist contains Christ Himself and His redemptive sacrifice. St. Maximilian Kolbe speaks of God dwelling in the Blessed Sacrament, emphasizing the divine presence. These saints remind us of the centrality of the Eucharist in the life of the Church.

Mother Teresa’s Perspective

Bl. Mother Teresa of Calcutta offers a unique perspective on the Eucharist. She draws a poignant comparison between the crucifix and the sacred host. While the crucifix represents Christ’s love in the past, the sacred host embodies His love in the present. Mother Teresa’s words highlight the immediacy and intimacy of the Eucharist, where Jesus’ love is continually offered to humanity.

Saints and the Church

The quotes from St. Padre Pio of Pietrelcina and St. John Mary Vianney underscore the importance of remaining close to the Catholic Church, as it alone possesses the Blessed Sacrament. St. Padre Pio emphasizes that the Church’s true peace comes from having Jesus, the Prince of Peace, in the Blessed Sacrament. St. John Mary Vianney extols the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, describing it as the work of God and a means to receive eternal life. These saints emphasize the irreplaceable role of the Church and the Eucharist in the spiritual journey of believers.

St. Francis of Assisi’s Wonder

St. Francis of Assisi’s quote expresses his awe and wonder at the Eucharist. He marvels at the condescension of Christ, who humbles Himself under the form of bread for the salvation of humanity. St. Francis’s words resonate with the sense of reverence and adoration that the Eucharist inspires in the hearts of believers.

The Perspective of St. Maximilian Kolbe

St. Maximilian Kolbe, known for his deep devotion to the Eucharist, highlights the envy of angels for humanity’s privilege of Holy Communion. He suggests that if angels could be jealous, it would be because of the profound encounter with Christ in the Eucharist. St. Maximilian Kolbe’s words encourage us to appreciate the extraordinary gift of the Eucharist.

St. John Mary Vianney’s Devotion

St. John Mary Vianney’s quotes emphasize the transformative power of the Eucharist. He likens himself to a dog at his Master’s feet when before the Tabernacle and describes the Eucharist as a source of strength and energy to fight inner battles. His words remind us of the profound impact the Eucharist can have on individuals, drawing them closer to Christ.

The Perpetual Presence

St. Maximilian Kolbe’s quote about the Eucharist remaining among us until the end of the world highlights the enduring nature of Christ’s presence in the Blessed Sacrament. Despite being offended and profaned, the Eucharist remains a source of grace and blessing for those who seek it. This quote underscores the constancy of Christ’s love for humanity.

A Mutual Encounter

St. John Mary Vianney beautifully expresses the mutual encounter between the believer and Christ in the Eucharist. He urges believers to open their hearts before the Tabernacle, emphasizing that as they go to Christ, He comes to them. This reciprocity reflects the intimate relationship that the Eucharist fosters between the individual and the Divine.

The Culmination of the Mass

St. Maximilian Kolbe’s statement that the culmination of the Mass is not the consecration but Communion sheds light on the significance of receiving the Eucharist. While the consecration is a pivotal moment, the act of partaking in the Body and Blood of Christ represents the peak of the Eucharistic celebration. This insight underscores the central role of Communion in the Mass.

The Real Presence of God

St. Paschal Baylon’s quote reinforces the belief in the real presence of God in the consecrated Host. He emphasizes that God is as truly present in the Eucharist as He is in the glory of Heaven. This affirmation reaffirms the profound nature of the Eucharistic mystery.

Personal Encounters with Christ

St. Anthony Claret’s description of feeling a lively faith and the tangible presence of Christ in the Eucharist resonates with many believers’ experiences. His words reflect the deep spiritual connection that individuals can have during their encounters with the Blessed Sacrament.

Holy Communion: The Shortest Way to Heaven

Pope St. Pius X succinctly captures the essence of Holy Communion as the shortest and safest way to heaven. This quote underscores the belief that partaking in the Eucharist brings believers closer to salvation and eternal life.

The Spirit of the Eucharist

St. Katharine Drexel’s statement that “Ours is the Spirit of the Eucharist, the total Gift of Self” emphasizes the selfless nature of the Eucharist. It reflects the idea that the Eucharist calls believers to imitate Christ’s self-giving love.

Waiting for Christ

St. Josemaria Escriva’s quote invites us to imagine Christ waiting for us before the Tabernacle for centuries. It emphasizes the personal encounter with Christ that is available to every believer through the Eucharist.

The Bread of Angels

Bl. Pier Giorgio Frassati’s words encourage young people to approach the Communion table frequently. He likens the Eucharist to the “bread of angels” that provides strength to fight inner battles. This quote underscores the spiritual nourishment and support that the Eucharist offers to believers.

The Culmination of Love

St. Angela of Foligno’s quote beautifully articulates the depth of Christ’s love in the Eucharist. She describes the Eucharist as the result of Christ’s boundless love and His desire to be with humanity forever. This quote invites us to contemplate the incredible love behind the Eucharistic gift.

Seeking Sainthood

St. Dominic Savio’s advice to ask Jesus to make us saints reminds us of the transformative power of the Eucharist. It encourages believers to seek holiness through the grace and strength received in Holy Communion.

The Eucharist as Fire

St. John Damascene’s comparison of the Eucharist to a fire that inflames us reflects the spiritual ardor that can be ignited through participation in the Blessed Sacrament. The Eucharist is not a passive act but an encounter that stirs the soul.

J.R.R. Tolkien’s Insight

J.R.R. Tolkien’s statement about the Eucharist as a source of romance, glory, honour, fidelity, and the true way of all loves on earth captures the richness and depth of the Eucharistic experience. His words remind us that the Eucharist encompasses the most profound aspects of human existence.

The Teachings of Pope Leo XIII

Pope Leo XIII’s belief that the renovation of the world will be brought about through the Holy Eucharist underscores the transformative power of the Blessed Sacrament in society. His words inspire us to recognize the Eucharist as a source of spiritual renewal and societal transformation.

The Happiness in the Eucharist

Pope Benedict XVI’s statement that the happiness one has a right to enjoy is found in Jesus of Nazareth, hidden in the Eucharist, reinforces the idea that ultimate happiness is discovered in the presence of Christ. The Eucharist is the source of true and lasting joy.

St. Francis de Sales’ Comparison

St. Francis de Sales likens the priest’s role in consecrating the Eucharist to that of a bee gathering nectar to make honey. This analogy beautifully illustrates the priest’s role in facilitating the transformation of bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ, a process that brings spiritual nourishment to the faithful.

St. Therese of Lisieux’s Insight

St. Therese of Lisieux’s reflection on Christ’s delight in finding another Heaven in our souls through the Eucharist highlights the intimate communion between the individual and Christ. It emphasizes the joy that Christ experiences in dwelling within us through the Blessed Sacrament.

Pope John Paul II’s Encouragement

Bl. Pope John Paul II’s words to young people underscore the Eucharist’s significance as a means of encountering the living God. He encourages young believers to approach the Communion table as a commitment of faith and a response to Christ’s invitation. His words inspire a deeper appreciation for the Eucharist among the youth.

The Certainty of Christ’s Presence

Finally, St. Cyril of Jerusalem’s affirmation that Christ Himself has declared, “This is My Body,” leaves no room for doubt about the reality of Christ’s presence in the Eucharist. This quote encapsulates the unwavering faith in the real presence, a belief that has remained a cornerstone of Catholic doctrine.

To wrap it up, the quotes in this article demonstrate a longstanding belief and understanding of the Blessed Eucharist. They remind us that the Eucharist is not a static doctrine but a living encounter with Christ, a source of grace and communion, and a central pillar of the Christian faith. As we continue to celebrate and contemplate the Eucharist, may we be drawn closer to the heart of Christ and find in His presence the ultimate fulfillment of our spiritual journey.

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
Scroll to Top