Washington, D.C. Newsroom, May 22, 2022 / 08:24 am
The Catholic Church recognizes seven sacraments. Of these, the Eucharist stands apart. St. Thomas Aquinas called it the “Sacrament of Sacraments.”
The Eucharist is the real presence of Jesus Christ, body, blood, soul, and divinity, under the appearance of bread and wine. The Eucharist is also referred to as “Holy Communion.”
“Communion” comes from the Latin communio, which means “to be in union with.” According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC), the Church refers to the Eucharist by this name “because by this sacrament we unite ourselves to Christ, who makes us sharers in his Body and Blood to form a single body” (CCC 1331).
The Church teaches that anyone who receives Jesus in the Eucharist also receives “the pledge of glory with him” (CCC 1419). The Catechism says that participating in the Eucharist “identifies us with his Heart, sustains our strength along the pilgrimage of this life, makes us long for eternal life, and unites us even now to the Church in heaven, the Blessed Virgin Mary, and all the saints” (CCC 1419).