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Dear catholic.com visitors: This website from Catholic Answers, with all its many resources, is the world's largest source of explanations for Catholic beliefs and practices. A fully independent, lay-run, 501(c)(3) ministry that receives no funding from the institutional Church, we rely entirely on the generosity of everyday people like you to keep this website going with trustworthy , fresh, and relevant content. If everyone visiting this month gave just $1, catholic.com would be fully funded for an entire year. Do you find catholic.com helpful? Please make a gift today. Thank you. Wishing you a blessed Lenten season.

Arca

Box in which the Eucharist was kept by the primitive Christians in their homes

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Area, a box in which the Eucharist was kept by the primitive Christians in their homes. St. Cyprian (De lapsis, xxvi) tells of a woman “who with unworthy hands” attempted “to open her box in which was the Holy (Body) of the Lord”, but was unable to do so because of fire which issued there from the moment she touched it. (Cum quaedam arcam suam in quo Domini sanctum fuit manibus immundis temptasset aperire, etc.) A representation of the Eucharistic Area is believed by Wilpert to exist in a fresco of the catacomb of Sts. Peter and Marcellinus. The scene depicts Christ seated, reading from an open roll; on His right are three amphorae, and on the left a square box filled with loaves, symbols of the Eucharist. It also signified a receptacle for the offerings of Christians for the Church or the poor (Tert., Apol., xxxix; Liber Pontif., I, 154).

MAURICE M. H ASSETT


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