Today in Catholic History – The Beginning of Perpetual Adoration

On 14 September 1226, in celebration of a victory over the Albigensians, French King Louis VIII ordered that the Blessed Sacrament be exposed in the Chapel of the Holy Cross. So many faithful came to offer adoration that Bishop Pierre de Corbie of Avignon obtained the approval of Pope Honorius III for adoration to be continued day and night. This is the first recorded evidence of Perpetual Adoration of the Eucharist and would continue until the French Revolution.

Since the Albigensians/Cathars denied the Incarnation, they also denied the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. By promoting Perpetual Adoration, Louis VIII asserted that his victory over the Albingensians was proof of the truth of Catholic teaching regarding Christ. Indeed Louis VIII desired Perpetual Adoration as a means of promoting penance for the sacrileges committed against the Eucharist by the Albigensians.

In 1829, the Confraternity of the Grey Penitents returned Perpetual Adoration to the Chapel of the Holy Cross.

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