Corpus Christi (Lat., the body of Christ), a festival of the Roman Catholic church, celebrated on the Thursday after Trinity Sunday. It is called by the French Fete-Dieu, feast of God. The Catholic church holds that the proper time of the festival is Thursday, the eve of Good Friday, because on the night before his death Christ instituted the eucharist; but as the sadness begotten by the commemoration of Christ's death is supposed to absorb every other feeling during Holy Week, so the first Thursday after the paschal season is chosen to celebrate with befitting solemnity the real presence of Christ in the sacrament. Hence the procession in Rome and in all Catholic countries, in which the consecrated host is carried through the decorated streets and public places. The first decree enjoining a separate festival was that of a synod held in Liege in 1246. Pope Urban IV. in 1264 commanded its observance by the whole church, placing it on the same footing as the solemnities of Christmas, Epiphany, Easter, and Pentecost.
Corpus Christi, a post village and the capital of Nueces co., Texas, on the neck of the peninsula which separates Corpus Christi and Nueces bays, 178 m. S. by E. of Austin; pop. in 1870, 2,140, of whom 288 were colored, and 707 of foreign birth. It enjoys an active trade, and has regular steamboat communication with New Orleans. The business part of the town is situated at the foot of a bluff from 80 to 100 ft. high, the upper part of which is occupied by pleasant dwellings. It has a good harbor. Before the Mexican war, the American army under Taylor was encamped here from August, 1845, to March, 1846.