BREAD. The use of the term bread Gk. a;rtoj, Lat. panis is extremely vast in patristic writings, in conjunction, moreover, with its frequency in biblical texts, where different meanings are applied to the word for the NT see GLNT I, 1267-1272. One can distinguish the following meanings given to bread by ancient Christian authors. 1. Bread as indicative of any food and all bodily necessities Orig., Com. in Jo. X, 17,100; De or. 27,4; Greg. Nyss., Or. dom. 4; Aug., Serm. 57,7,7 and as daily nourishment, often in relation to Mt 6:11 and Lk 11:3 see Lord’s Prayer.
2. Bread in the eucharistic sense: the bread of God is the flesh of Jesus Christ from the line of David Ign., Rom. 7,3; bread is the necessary element for the Eucharist Just., 1 Apol. 65-67; Tertull., Adv. Marc. I, 14,3; Trad. ap. 21 ed. Botte; Cyr. of Jer., Cat. 22,3,6; 23,20. The use of ordinary bread is an expression of divine condescension to human customs John of Dam., De fid. ort. IV, 13, but this becomes the body of Christ Greg. Nyss., Bapt. chr.; cf., Orig., C. Cels. VIII, 33 as soon as it is consecrated with the epiclesis Iren., Adv. haer. IV, 18,5; Cyr. of Jer., Cat. 19,7; 21,3; 23,8; Theod. of Mops., Hom. cat. 15,12 or consecrated with the words of the Lord Jesus Ambr., De sacr. IV, 14.23. Cleveland Map Tourist Attractions Christ calls bread his flesh because it can be eaten Theod. of Mops., Jo.
6,31ff.. The eucharistic bread is the memory of the incarnation Just., Dial. 70,4 and demonstrates its reality Tertull., Adv. Marc. V, 8,3. Irenaeus inserts a discussion of the eucharistic bread in a polemical, antignostic context: one can be certain that the bread offered in the Eucharist is the body of the Lord only if one recognizes in him the Son of the one who created bread Adv. haer. IV, 18,4; cf., IV, 33,2. According to Macarius of Magnesia Apocr. III, 23, Christ has the ability of working upon bread inasmuch as he is the creator of the earth from which are derived bread, the human body and his own body. The eucharistic bread makes a person immortal Ign., Eph. 20,2; Theod. of Mops., Hom. cat.
15,12 and incorruptible Iren., Adv. haer. IV, 18,5; V, 2,2-3; Aug., Tract. Jo. 26,17. In the history of mankind it has put an end to death Cyr. of Alex., Ador. III, and it bestows life Hilar., In ps. 128,10, not temporal but eternal Aug., Ep. 186,2; Tract. Jo. 26,15, because it remits sin Ambr., Ben. patr. 9,38. Patristic authors also saw the eucharistic bread as the sacrament of unity, often in connection with 1 Cor 10:17: as one sole bread is formed from many grains Did. 9,4; Cypr., Ep. 63,13; 69,5; John Chrys., Hom. 24,2 in I Cor.; Aug., Serm. 272, thus those who receive it, though being many, become one sole bread, that is, one sole body of Christ Aug., Serm. 227; Serm. Guelferb. 7,1-2. This bread is the source of peace and an eschatological sign of the society of the saints Aug., Tract. in Jo. 26,14.17; but it is also a sign of a unity already actualized the unity of faith Faustus of R., Serm. 16,10-11, the unity in the body of Christ accomplished by baptism Ful. of R., Ep.
12,11,24 and when it is offered, the entire people is signified in it Ambrosiast., In I Cor. 11,20. Finally, with regard to the preparation of the bread for the Eucharist, it seems that during the patristic era the churches used both unleavened bread and leavened bread and that both customs can be traced back to an ancient tradition see J. Parisot: Azyme: DTC 1, 2653-2664; F. Cabrol, Azymes: DACL 1, 3254-3260; A. Penna – M. Jugie, Azimo: EC 2, 578-580.
3. Bread of blessing or blessed bread or eulogy or avnti,dwron in the Byzantine liturgy seems to have designated the bread offered by the faithful for the Eucharist, which was blessed and distributed to catechumens or to those who did not receive Communion. This unconsecrated bread was distinguished from the consecrated bread used for the Eucharist Trad. ap. 26. In some Eastern churches, perhaps in relation to 1 Cor 10:16, the consecrated bread and the wine were called euvlogi,a Act. Thom. 50; Orig., Hom. 19 18,13 in Jer.; Cyr. of Alex., Ador. XIII; Jo. IV, 2; Nest. IV, 5. It then came to indicate also the bread or any gift sent by the priests to their bishops or friends as a symbol of fraternal communion Paul. of N., Ep. 3,6; 4,5; 7,3; Aug., Ep. 31,9 see DACL 5, 733-734; LTK 3, 1180-1181.
4. Bread in a metaphorical sense: the bread is Christ Orig., Cant. II on Song 1:12; Prud., Cat. 9,61; Aug., Serm. 130,2, inasmuch as he is life, as the bread is life Tertull., De or. 6,2. He is the Logos, the Word of God Orig., Com. in Jo. X, 17,99; XXXII, 24,310; De or. 27; Mt. ser. 85; Greg. Nyss., V. Mos. II, 140; Aug., Serm. 56,6,10; In ps. 95, s. II, 6; for the relation between the divinity of Christ and his being bread, see John Chrys., Hom. 45,2 in Jo.; he is wisdom Athan., Ep. fest. 7,5.8; Greg. Nyss., Hom. 5 in Eccl.. Bread is the Scripture Aug., Serm. 95,1, the Mosaic law Ambrosiast., Quaest.
47,3; Aug., In 83 quaest. 61,1, the teaching of Christ Tertull., Adv. Marc. IV, 7,6 and faith in him Jn. Chrys., Hom. 46,1 in Jo., the preaching of the NT or the work of the Holy Spirit Aug., In 83 quaest. 61,4; cf., Serm. 95,2, the knowledge of the Trinity Aug., Serm. 105,4; cf., In ps. 102,10, charity Aug., Serm. 105,6, and the martyr Ign., Rom. 4,1. For other meanings of the term bread, see Greg. Great, Moral. XXIII, 49. In patristic texts, the bread of angels of Ps 78:25 77:25 LXX has special prominence, identified by some with material manna, by others with the Logos, true manna and supersubstantial bread, with Christ the living bread.
Augustine, in particular, affirms that the Word of God, bread of the angels, was made flesh so that man might be able to eat the bread of angels see G. Madec, Panis angelorum selon les P¨res de l’‰glise, surtout s. Augustin, in Forma futuri. Studi in onore di M. Pellegrino, Turin 1975, 818-829. 5. One frequently finds Old Testament types related to bread in the writings of ancient Christian authors, often in explanation of Jn 6:31-33; 49-51, the comparison between manna and Christ with his gifts Cypr., Ep. 69,14; Hilar., In ps. 57,9; Ambr., De myst. 8,47-49; Ambrosiast., Quaest. 95,3; 20,2; John Chrys., Hom. 46,2 in Jo.; Hom. 47,1 in Jo.; Aug., Tract. in Jo. 25,13; 26,12-13; Cyr. Alex., Jo. IV,2-3; Glaph. Ex. II, mann. et coturn.. The manna, bread which is not produced from earth, is a figure of the Word, who shows himself to every person in the aspect that corresponds to one’s needs, just as the manna had the ability to satisfy every taste Wis 16:20-21 Greg. Nyss., V. Mos. II, 137-140.