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Before long it came to be regarded as a very meritorious act to look upon and salute the Body of the Lord.

In this way, even before the middle of the thirteenth century, all kinds of fanciful promises were in circulation regarding the special privileges enjoyed by him, who, on any day, saw the Body of his Maker.

Those who believed that when the words "Hoc est enim corpus meum" had been pronounced, the bread was at once changed into the flesh of our Lord, supported their opinion by adoring the Sacrament, and holding It up for the adoration of the people, without waiting for the words to be spoken over the chalice.

At Paris, this elevation became a matter of synodal precept, probably before the year 1200.

Whether the institution of the feast of Corpus Christi with its procession, an innovation due to the visions of the Flemish contemplative, St.

Juliana Cornelion, is to be regarded as the cause, or rather the effect, of this great desire to behold the Body of Christ is somewhat doubtful. This also seems to show that the devout longing of the faithful to gaze upon the Sacred Host was not confined to the time of Mass.

In the fifteenth century, we find numerous synodal decrees passed, prohibiting this continuous and informal Exposition, as wanting in proper reverence.

The decree enacted at Cologne in 1452, under the presidency of Cardinal Nicholas de Cusa , altogether forbids the reserving, or carrying of the Blessed Sacrament in such monstrances, except during the octave of Corpus Christi.

In most of these cases we may assume that the Blessed Sacrament is exposed upon the altar, though in some religious institutes of this kind the exposition is only continued by day.

The Church distinguishes between private and public Expositions of the Blessed Sacrament ; and though the former practice is hardly known in northern Europe, or in America, it is clearly within the competence of a parish priest to permit such private exposition for any good reason of devotion, by opening the tabernacle door and allowing the ciborium containing the Blessed Sacrament to be seen by the worshipers.

Exposition is a manner of honouring the Holy Eucharist, by exposing It, with proper solemnity, to the view of the faithful in order that they may pay their devotions before It.