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Perpetual adoration is a practice of the Roman Catholic Church in which the Blessed Sacrament is constantly viewed and meditated upon by a volunteer parishioner. The Church believes in transubstantiation; the essence of Christ is literally present in the Eucharist and that it actually becomes the body of Christ upon consecration. For this reason, the Eucharist serves as a focal point of devotion. Some Protestants view this as a form of idolatry.
The practice of adoration began in Avignon, France on September 11, 1226. To celebrate and give thanks for the victory over the Albigensians in the later battles of the Albigensian Crusade, King Louis VII asked that the sacrament be placed on display at the Chapel of the Holy Cross . The overwhelming number of adorers brought the local bishop, Pierre de Corbie, to suggest that the exposition be continued indefinitely. With the permission of Pope Honorius III, the idea was ratified and the adoration continued there practically uninterrupted until the chaos of the French Revolution halted it from 1792 until the efforts of the "Confraternity of Penits-Gris" brought it back in 1829.
- McMahon, Joseph H. "Perpetual adoration." The Catholic Encylopedia. .
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