Phone: 203 742-1450
Fairfield County Catholic Cemeteries of the Diocese of Bridgeport

June 2, 2024

“The bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world,
 And he who eats of this bread, he shall live forever, he shall live forever…”

I Am the Bread of LifeToday we celebrate the Solemnity of Corpus Christi, which is also known as the Feast of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ. As Catholics we believe that Jesus Christ is really, truly and substantially present under the appearances of bread and wine, after the Consecration of the Mass, when the priest says the words that Christ pronounced over bread and wine, “This is My Body” “This is the chalice of My Blood,” “Do this in remembrance of Me.”

One of our most popular hymns, which celebrates this truth, is “I Am the Bread of Life.”

The song was written during the Second Vatican Council by a young Sister of Mercy, Suzanne Toolan, who was teaching chorale at Mercy High School in California. She wrote the words in between classes in 1964 and wasn’t satisfied so she discarded the original copy, but then, one of her students urged her to save it and continue. Two years later, she presented the song for the first time at a conference for musical educators.

The hymn, which is based on Jesus’ Bread of Life discourses in the Gospel of John, has been translated into 20 languages. Sr. Toolan says, “It is popular because of its message of resurrection, which is so strong in these words of Jesus. We so need that message of hope.”

Today, even at 96, Sister is still making music. She is a liturgist who directs Taizé prayer at Mercy Center, which is a ministry of the Sisters of Mercy in Burlingame, California.

Hear Izzy Wignall and Kara Jones of Contend Music sing “I Am the Bread of Life” (https://youtu.be/EJDM-eH7Bcw?si=V_L3hAFVzeeum_1j).

I Am the Bread of Life

I am the Bread of life,
He who comes to Me shall not hunger,
He who believes in Me shall not thirst.
No one can come to Me
Unless the Father beckons.

And I will raise you up,
And I will raise you up,
And I will raise you up on the last day.

The bread that I will give
Is My flesh for the life of the world,
And he who eats of this bread,
He shall live for ever,
He shall live for ever.
Unless you eat
Of the flesh of the Son of Man
And drink of His blood,
And drink of His blood,
You shall not have life within you.
Refrain

I am the Resurrection,
I am the Life,
He who believes in Me
Even if he die,
He shall live for ever.
Refrain

Yes, Lord, we believe
That You are the Christ,
The Son of God,
Who has come
Into the world.

And I will raise you up,
And I will raise you up,
And I will raise you up on the last day.

(Words by Suzanne Toolan
Copyright © 1967 Suzanne Toolan)

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