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THE FEAST OF THE THREE HOSTS AT ANDECHS

The “Three Holy Hosts” refer to the consecrated hosts. Two are said to trace back to Pope Gregory the Great (+ 604); the third host goes back to Pope Leo IX (+ 1054).

As early as the 12th century, they came from Rome and via Bamburg to Andechs Castle. Their rediscovery in 1388 created a sensation and reinvigorated the pilgrimage at Andechs, whose beginnings go back to the 11th century.

In the mid-1450s, the papal cardinal legate Nicholas of Cusa approved the pilgrimage at Andechs and recommended that it be continued. Over the course of its revival, the pilgrimage church underwent construction at the beginning of  the 15th century.  Duke Ernst of Bavaria promoted the pilgrimage and pastoral care at Holy Mountain. In 1455, his son Albrecht III founded the Benedictine monastery.

(Rights: Ikarus-Film Max Kronawitter)

It is in this way that the castle hill of the Andechs counts became Bavaria's “Holy Mountain.” The feast of the three hosts is held every year on the fourth Sunday after Pentecost. Following the mass, the triple-host monstrance is carried in a ceremonial procession around Holy Mountain. It is with the feast of the three hosts that Andechs gains significance as the original Christ pilgrimage: the Lord Jesus Christ, who is present in the bread and wine, is celebrated here. The feast of the three hosts at Andechs reminds us that Jesus Christ lives within His church and unites people in faith. This feast is therefore a symbol for the pilgrimage of the people as well, as described by Isaiah (Jes 25:6-10): the Lord himself bids all people to feast at His Holy Mountain.