Saint Juliana of Liège, a Premonstratensian nun during the 13th century, can be credited with the formal establishment of the feast of Corpus Christi. She was born in 1193 and entered the convent of Mount Cornillon.
She entered the convent at the age of 13 and worked in the hospital, caring for the sick and pilgrims. It was during this time that she was favoured with visions and ecstasies from Our Lord who reminded her that there was no feast in honour of His Presence in the Most Holy Eucharist. She urged the Archdeacon of Liège to approve such a feast in the diocese. The Archdeacon became Pope Urban IV and in 1264 extended this glorious solemnity to the Universal Church. St. Juliana led a difficult life and was later forced to flee from her convent.
Juliana was canonized in 1869 by Pius IX and further celebrated by Pope John Paul II, who wrote a letter mentioning her on the 750th anniversary of the Feast of Corpus Christi. Her feast day is April 6. On Friday we celebrated a votive Mass in St. Juliana’s honour in the Extraordinary Form (photos below).