In the Catechism of the Catholic Church, viaticum is defined as “the last Sacrament of the Christian”. Normally, viaticum is given during the administration of the Sacrament of the Sick to those who are near, or in danger of, death.
It has been reported that Kolbe Bryant attended the 7 A.M. Sunday Mass at his parish church, Our Lady Queen of Angels in Newport Beach, California, shortly before boarding the doomed helicopter that would crash two hours later ending his life and the lives of eight others including his daughter, Gabriella.
Viaticum is an ancient term that once was defined as ‘provisions for a journey”.
The Eucharist as viaticum is offered to “those who are about to leave this earth” states the Catechism.
Receiving the Eucharist is communion in the body and blood of Christ and has “particular significance and importance” when it is received at the moment of “passing over to the Father.”
“It is the seed of eternal life and the power of resurrection, according to the words of the Lord”, the Church states, basing it’s teaching on,
“He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.” John 6:54
Viaticum, Communion with Christ who was once dead and now risen, received shortly before death, is “the sacrament of passing over from death to life, from this world to the Father”.
The world is reveling in bringing up Kolbe Bryant’s past sins. What the Church is reminding the world is that the sinner Kolbe Bryant belonged to Christ and His Church, where he received Christ’s forgiveness, and in the end, Christ’s “sacrament of passing over to the Father.”
(Quotes taken from the Catechism of the Catholic Church #1524-1525)