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On the Body and Blood of the Lord (De corpore et sanguine Domini) - Lanfranc of Canterbury Luginbill, Sarah


In 1050, Berengar of Tours (c.999-1088) argued that the bread and wine of the Eucharist were not really Christ, but symbolic of His body and blood respectively. Around 1062, Lanfranc of Canterbury (1005/10- 1089), prior of the Benedictine abbey of Bec, responded to Berengar with the De corpore et sanguine Domini, which reaffirmed Paschasius Radbertus’ declaration that the consecrated bread and wine were truly the body and blood of Christ. Lanfranc’s assertion rested on three main points: 1) transformation of the bread and wine into Christ at the moment of consecration relied on the miraculous power of the priest, 2) even though the bread and wine transform, they maintain their earthly properties and appearance, and 3) the body of the Eucharist is identical to the body of the Virgin Mary’s son, Jesus Christ.

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