Italian Dominican priest, St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274), is the Church’s most important and venerated theologian. Thomas wrote twenty tomes of brilliant teachings on the Catholic Faith before his early death at the age of 49. He was particularly devoted to the Eucharist and composed the prayers for the Church’s Feast of Corpus Christi in 1265. His Prayer before Mass is a classic.
Almighty and ever-living God, I approach the sacrament of Your only-begotten Son Our Lord Jesus Christ, I come sick to the doctor of life, unclean to the fountain of mercy, blind to the radiance of eternal light, and poor and needy to the Lord of Heaven and earth. Lord, in your great generosity, heal my sickness, wash away my defilement, enlighten my blindness, enrich my poverty, and clothe my nakedness.
May I receive the bread of angels, the King of kings and Lord of lords, with humble reverence, with the purity and faith, the repentance and love, and the determined purpose that will help to bring me to salvation. May I receive the sacrament of the Lord’s Body and Blood, and its reality and power.
Kind God, may I receive the Body of Your only-begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, born from the womb of the Virgin Mary, and so be received into His mystical body and numbered among His members.
Loving Father, as on my earthly pilgrimage I now receive Your beloved Son under the veil of a sacrament, may I one day see Him face to face in glory, who lives and reigns with You forever. Amen.