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Juan De Ávila And Frequent Communion: Historical Background

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Chapter Summary

A distinguishing aspect of Juan De Ávilas ascetic spirituality was his emphasis on frequent communion. In his time there was no universal consensus regarding the practice of receiving the Eucharist on a daily or even weekly basis, and the practice remained controversial in Spain for most of Ávilas lifetime. Daily communion continued to be the ideal held by many clerics during the medieval period. By the end of the fifteenth century there were several modalities of frequent communion in the West. First, the daily reception of the Eucharist was still widely practiced during the time of Augustine and Jerome. The perspectives of Erasmus and Spanish Erasmians regarding frequent communion were not identical. In fact, it is necessary to distinguish among the Spanish Erasmians. The movement for frequent communion within the Roman Catholic Church reached climatic points in the seventeenth and nineteenth centuries.

Keywords: Eucharist; frequent communion; Juan De Ávila; Spanish Erasmians



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