Popular piety encouraged the process that led to the institution of the feast of Corpus Christi, which reciprocally inspired the development of new forms of Eucharistic piety among the people of God.
For centuries, the celebration of Corpus Christi remained the principal point of popular piety's concentration on the Eucharist. In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, faith, in reaction to various forms of protestantism, and culture (art, folklore and literature) coalesced in developing lively and significant expressions Eucharistic devotion in popular piety."
- From the Vatican's Directory of Popular Piety.
There are two remarkable masterpieces painted to commemorate this great devotion. First, the 'Disputation of the Blessed Sacrament' (or more appropriately, The Triumph of Religion), was painted by Raphael between 1508 and 1511.
Another masterpiece is painted by Jean Colombe and has illustrated the service with two superimposed scenes. The large one represents the interior of a Gothic church, with lavishly decorated pillars, in which two groups of figures pay tribute to the veritable presence of Christ in the Eucharist.
The scene below depicts a story of Saint Anthony of Padua and the mule. The story tells of a heretic of Toulouse who obstinately refused to believe in Christ's presence unless a mule knelt before the Sacrament. After a few moments of prayer, Saint Anthony presented a mule with the Eucharist in one hand and some oats in the other. To the amazement of the onlookers, the animal refused the grain and knelt before the Eucharist. Convinced by this experience, the heretic believed henceforth.