During the Mass of Corpus Christi, Pope Francis explained the meaning behind the Christian expression of "breaking bread.”
"Jesus was broken; he is broken for us. And he asks us to give ourselves, to break ourselves, as it were, for others. This "breaking bread” became the icon, the sign for recognizing Christ and Christians.”
The Pope recalled that thanks to the act of breaking bread, the disciples of Emmaus recognized Jesus. The "breaking of bread" is the center of the Church.
"From the outset, it is the Eucharist which becomes the center and pattern of the life of the Church.”
So, thanks to the strength of the Eucharist, many Christians throughout the centuries have been broken just like Jesus asks us to give ourselves, to break ourselves, as it were, for others.
"How many mothers, how many fathers, together with the slices of bread they provide each day on the tables of their homes, have broken their hearts to let their children grow, and grow well! How many Christians, as responsible citizens, have broken their own lives to defend the dignity of all, especially the poorest, the marginalized and those discriminated!”
Every year, the ceremony takes place in the Basilica of Saint John Lateran. After Mass, there is a procession of Corpus Christi through the streets of Rome to Saint Mary Major.