Real Presence

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Real Presence,

expression of the belief among certain Christians, especially Roman Catholics and some Anglicans, that the actual presence of the body and blood of Jesus is in the EucharistEucharist
[Gr.,=thanksgiving], Christian sacrament that repeats the action of Jesus at his last supper with his disciples, when he gave them bread, saying, "This is my body," and wine, saying, "This is my blood." (Mat. 26; Mark 14; Luke 22; 1 Cor. 11.
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. Saints Ignatius of AntiochIgnatius of Antioch, Saint
, d. c.107, bishop of Antioch and Christian martyr, called Theophorus [Gr.,= God-bearer]. He was probably a convert and a disciple of St. John the Evangelist.
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, Justin MartyrJustin Martyr, Saint,
c.A.D. 100–c.A.D. 165, Christian apologist, called also Justin the Philosopher. Born in Samaria of pagan parents, he studied philosophy, and after his conversion in Ephesus to Christianity at about the age of 38, he went from place to place trying to
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, and IrenaeusIrenaeus, Saint
, c.125–c.202, Greek theologian, bishop of Lyons, and one of the Fathers of the Church. Born in Asia Minor, he was a disciple of St. Polycarp. Irenaeus went to Rome to plead for leniency toward the Montanists (see Montanism) and for those Eastern Christians
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 wrote of the bread and wine of the Eucharist as the actual body and blood of Christ. In the 4th cent. the focus shifted to the substantial transformation of the elements; by the 7th cent. the idea that the bread and wine were transmuted or converted in substance to the body and blood of Christ was prevalent throughout Christendom. This transformation was the subject of controversy in the 9th and 11th cent., and a Roman Council of 1079 issued a statement declaring that the bread and wine are changed substantially through consecration. The Fourth Lateran Council (1215) again sanctioned belief in transubstantiation. The doctrine recieved its classic formulation in the writing of St. Thomas AquinasThomas Aquinas, Saint
[Lat.,=from Aquino], 1225–74, Italian philosopher and theologian, Doctor of the Church, known as the Angelic Doctor, b. Rocca Secca (near Naples).
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. The Council of TrentTrent, Council of,
1545–47, 1551–52, 1562–63, 19th ecumenical council of the Roman Catholic Church, convoked to meet the crisis of the Protestant Reformation.
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, confronted with Protestant challenges, especially from Ulrich ZwingliZwingli, Huldreich or Ulrich
, 1484–1531, Swiss Protestant reformer. Education of a Reformer
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 and John CalvinCalvin, John,
1509–64, French Protestant theologian of the Reformation, b. Noyon, Picardy. Early Life

Calvin early prepared for an ecclesiastical career; from 1523 to 1528 he studied in Paris.
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, issued an authoritative teaching upholding the doctrine of transubstantiation. For Protestant interpretations, see Lord's SupperLord's Supper,
Protestant rite commemorating the Last Supper. In the Reformation the leaders generally rejected the traditional belief in the sacrament as a sacrifice and as an invisible miracle of the actual changing of the bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ
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