Eucharistic Miracles

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"So Jesus said to them, 'Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the Flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no Life in you; he who eats My Flesh and drinks My Blood has Eternal Life, and I will Raise him up at the Last day. For My Flesh is food indeed, and My Blood is drink indeed'".

(John 6:53-55)

Throughout Christian History, Our Lord has shown us that He is really present as the Blessed Sacrament. Interestingly, many Eucharistic Miracles have occurred during Times of Weakened Faith. For instance, many Eucharistic Miracles have taken place as a result of someone Doubting the Real Presence. Included on this page are descriptions of just a Few of these Miracles. All of them have received Full Approval by the Church.

Most Eucharistic Miracles involve Incidences in which the Host has "turned into Human Flesh and Blood". Of course we as Catholics, believe that the Consecrated Host is the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Our Lord, only under the Appearances of Bread and Wine (see Transubstantiation). Therefore, Jesus, through these Miracles, merely manifests His Presence in a more Tangible Way.

"Then He said to Thomas, 'Put your finger here, and see My Hands; and put out your hand, and place it in My Side; do not be Faithless, but Believing'. Thomas answered Him, 'My Lord and my God!' Jesus said to him, 'Have you Believed because you have seen Me? Blessed are those who have not seen, and yet Believe'" (John 20:27-29).

 

euch-lanciano15.jpg (14924 bytes) The Eucharistic Miracle
of Lanciano

This wondrous Event took place in the 8th Century A.D. in the little Church of Saint Legontian, as a Divine Response to a Basilian Monk's, doubt about Jesus' Real Presence in the Eucharist.

During Holy Mass, after the Two-fold Consecration, the Host was changed into Live Flesh and the Wine was changed into Live Blood.

[Host-Flesh] The Host-Flesh, since 1713, has been Reserved in an Artistic Silver Ostentorium, at the top, and as can be very distinctly observed today, has the same dimensions as the large Host used today in the Latin Church; it is Light Brown and appears Rose-colored when Lighted from the back.

The Blood is enclosed in a Rich and very Old Cup, at the bottom, made of Rock-Crystal. It has an Earthy Color, resembling the Yellow of Ochre, and Coagulated into Five Globules, Irregular and Differing in Shape and Size.

Science has given a Sure and Exhaustive Response concerning the Authenticity of the Eucharistic Miracle of Lanciano.

In 1970-71, and taken up again partly in 1981, there took place a Scientific Investigation by Odoardo Linoli, eminent Professor in Anatomy and Pathological Histology and in Chemistry and Clinical Microscopy. He was assisted by Professor Ruggero Bertelli of the University of Siena.

The Analyses were conducted with Absolute and Unquestionable Scientific Precision, and they were Documented with a series of Microscopic Photographs.

littlegoldcross.gif (962 bytes) The Flesh is real Flesh. The Blood is real Blood, and belong to the Human Species.

littlegoldcross.gif (962 bytes) The Flesh consists of the Muscular Tissue of the Heart. In the Flesh we see present in section: the Myocardium, the Endocardium, the Vagus Nerve and also the Left Ventricle of the Heart for the large thickness of the Myocardium.

littlegoldcross.gif (962 bytes) The Flesh and the Blood have the same Blood-type: 'Type-AB'. The Blood-type is identical to that which Professor Baima Bollone uncovered in the Holy Shroud of Turin.

littlegoldcross.gif (962 bytes) In the Blood there were found Proteins in the same normal proportions (percentage-wise) as are found in the Sero-Proteic make-up of the fresh, normal blood. There were also found these Minerals: Chlorides, Phosphorus, Magnesium, Potassium, Sodium and Calcium.

The Preservation of the Flesh and of the Blood, which were left in their Natural State for Twelve Centuries and exposed to the Action of Atmospheric and Biological agents, remains an Extraordinary Phenomenon.

In conclusion, it may be said that Science, when called upon to Testify, has given a Certain and Thorough response as regards the Authenticity of the Eucharistic Miracle of Lanciano.

 

The Eucharistic Miracle
of
Bolsena-Orvieto

In 1263 a German Priest, Peter of Prague, stopped at Bolsena, while on a Pilgrimage to Rome. He is described as being a Pious Priest, but one who found it difficult to Believe that Christ was actually present in the Consecrated Host. While celebrating Holy Mass above the Tomb of Saint Christina (located in the Church named for this Martyr), he had barely spoken the Words of Consecration, when blood started to seep from the Consecrated Host and trickle over his hands onto the Altar and the Corporal.

The Priest was immediately confused. At first he attempted to hide the blood, but then he interrupted the Mass and asked to be taken to the neighboring City of Orvieto, the City where Pope Urban IV was then Residing.

The Pope listened to the Priest's Account and Absolved him. He then sent Emissaries for an Immediate Investigation. When all the facts were ascertained, he ordered the Bishop of the Diocese to bring to Orvieto the Host and the Linen Cloth bearing the Stains of Blood. With Archbishops, Cardinals and other Church Dignitaries in attendance, the Pope met the Procession and, amid Great Pomp, had the Relics placed in the Cathedral. The Linen Corporal bearing the Spots of Blood is still reverently Enshrined and Exhibited in the Cathedral of Orvieto.

It is said that Pope Urban IV was prompted by this Miracle to commission Saint Thomas Aquinas to compose the Proper for a Mass, and an Office Honoring the Holy Eucharist as the Body of Christ. One year after the Miracle, in August of 1264, Pope Urban IV introduced the Saint's Composition, and by means of a Papal Bull, instituted the Feast of Corpus Christi.

After visiting the Cathedral of Orvieto, many Pilgrims and Tourists journey to Saint Christina's Church in Bolsena to see for themselves the place where the Miracle occurred. From the North aisle of the Church, one can enter the Chapel of the Miracle, where the Stains on the Paved Floor are said to have been made by the Blood from the Miraculous Host. The Altar of the Miracle, which is surmounted by a 9th-Century Canopy, is now situated in the Grotto of Saint Christina. A reclining statue of the saint is nearby.

In August of 1964, on the 700th anniversary of the Institution of the Feast of Corpus Christi, Pope Paul VI celebrated Holy Mass at the Altar, where the Holy Corporal is kept in its Golden Shrine in the Cathedral of Orvieto. (His Holiness had journeyed to Orvieto by helicopter; he was the first Pope in history to use such a means of transportation).

Twelve years later, the same Pontiff visited Bolsena and spoke from there via Television to the 41st International Eucharistic Congress, then concluding its activities in Philadelphia. During his Address, Pope Paul Vl spoke of the Eucharist as being ". . . a Mystery Great and Inexhaustible".

 

Eucharistic Miracle

Sienna -- 1730

euch72-2.jpg (45023 bytes) The Eucharistic Miracle of Sienna has Roots in the 13th Century, when special Services and Festivities were introduced in Honor of the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. These Observances became Traditional, and were still conducted at the Time of the Miracle. So it was that on August 14, 1730, during Devotions for the Vigil of the Feast, while most of the Sienese Population and the Clergy of the City were attending these Services, Thieves entered the deserted Church of Saint Francis. Taking advantage of the Friars' absence, they made for the Chapel where the Blessed Sacrament was kept, picked the Lock to the Tabernacle, and carried away the Golden Ciborium containing Consecrated Hosts.

The Theft went undiscovered until the next morning, when the Priest opened the Tabernacle at the Communion of the Mass. Then later, when a Parishioner found the Lid of the Ciborium lying in the street, the Suspicion of Sacrilege was confirmed. The Anguish of the Parishioners, forced the cancellation of the Traditional Festivities for the Feast of Our Lady's Assumption. The Archbishop ordered Public Prayers of Reparation, while the Civil Authorities began a search for the Consecrated Hosts, and for the Scoundrel who had taken them.

Two days later, on August 17, while praying in the Church of Saint Mary of Provenzano, a Priest's attention was directed to something White, protruding from the Offering Box attached to his Prie Dieu. Realizing that it was a Host, he informed the other Priests of the Church, who in turn notified the Archbishop, and the Friars of the Church of Saint Francis.

When the Offering Box was opened, in the presence of Local Priests and the Representative of the Archbishop, a large number of Hosts were found, some of them suspended by cobwebs. The Hosts were compared with some Unconsecrated ones used in the Church of Saint Francis, and proved to be exactly the same size and to have the same Mark of the Irons upon which they were baked. The number of Hosts corresponded exactly to the Number the Franciscan Friars had estimated were in the Ciborium -- 348-Whole Hosts and 6-Halves.

Since the Offering Box was opened but once a year, the Hosts were covered with the Dust and Debris that had collected there. After being carefully Cleaned by the Priests, they were enclosed in a Ciborium and placed inside the Tabernacle of the Main Altar of the Church of Saint Mary. The following day, in the company of a great gathering of townspeople, Archbishop Alessandro Zondadari carried the Sacred Hosts in Solemn Procession back to the Church of Saint Francis.

During the Two Centuries that followed, it has sometimes been wondered why the Hosts were not Consumed by a Priest during Mass, which would have been the Ordinary Procedure in such a case. While there is no definite answer, there are Two (2) Theories. One (1) explanation is that crowds of people from both Sienna and Neighboring cities gathered in the Church to Offer Prayers of Reparation before the Sacred Particles, forcing the Priests to conserve them for a time. The Other Reason the Priests did not consume them, might well have been because of their Soiled Condition. While the Hosts were Superficially Cleaned after their discovery, they still retained a Great Deal of Dirt. In such cases, it is not necessary to consume Consecrated Hosts, but it is permitted to allow them to Deteriorate Naturally, at which time Christ would no-longer be present.

To the Amazement of the Clergy, the Hosts did not Deteriorate, but remained Fresh and even retained a Pleasant Scent. With the Passage of Time, the Conventual Franciscans became convinced that they were witnessing a continuing Miracle of Preservation.

Fifty years after the recovery of the Stolen Hosts, an Official Investigation was conducted into the Authenticity of the Miracle. The Minister General of the Franciscan Order, Father Carlo Vipera, examined the Hosts on April 14, 1780, and upon tasting one of them he found it Fresh and Incorrupt. Since, a number of the Hosts had been Distributed during the Preceding Years, the Minister General ordered that the remaining 230 Particles be placed in a New Ciborium, and forbade further Distribution.

A more detailed Investigation took place in 1789 by Archbishop Tiberio Borghese of Sienna, with a number of Theologians and other Dignitaries. After examining the Hosts under a Microscope, the Commission declared that they were Perfectly Intact, and showed no Sign of Deterioration. The three Franciscans who had been present at the Previous Investigation, that of 1780, were questioned under Oath by the Archbishop. It was then reaffirmed that the Hosts under Examination were the same ones stolen in 1730.

As a Test to further Confirm the Authenticity of the Miracle, the Archbishop, during this 1789 Examination, ordered several Unconsecrated Hosts to be placed in a Sealed Box, and kept under lock in the Chancery Office. Ten (10) Years later, these were examined and found to be not only Disfigured, but also Withered. In 1850, 61 years after they were placed in a Sealed Box, these Unconsecrated Hosts were found Reduced-to Particles of a Dark Yellow Color, while the Consecrated Hosts retained their Original Freshness.

Other Examinations were made at Intervals over the Years, the most significant being that of 1914, undertaken on the Authority of Pope Saint Pius X. For this Inquiry, the Archbishop selected a Distinguished Panel of Investigators, which included Scientists and Professors from Sienna and Pisa, as well as Theologians and Church Officials.

Acid and Starch Tests performed on One (1) of the Fragments, indicated a Normal Starch content. The conclusions reached from Microscopic Tests indicated that the Hosts had been made of Roughly sifted Wheat Flour, which was found to be well Preserved.

The Commission agreed that Unleavened Bread, if prepared under Sterile Conditions and kept in an Airtight, Antiseptically cleaned Container, could be kept for an Extremely Long Time. Unleavened Bread, prepared in a Normal Fashion and Exposed to Air, and the Activity of Micro-Organisms, would remain Intact for no more than a Few Years. It was concluded that the stolen Hosts had been both prepared without Scientific Precautions and kept under Ordinary Conditions, which should have caused their Decay more than a Century before. The Commission concluded that the Preservation was Extraordinary, ". . . e la scienza stessa che proclama qui lo straordinario".

Professor Siro Grimaldi, Professor of Chemistry at the University of Sienna and Director of the Municipal Chemical Laboratory, as well as the holder of several other distinguished positions in the Field of Chemistry, was the Chief Chemical Examiner of the Holy Particles in 1914. Afterward, he gave Elaborate Statements concerning the Miraculous Nature of the Hosts, and wrote a Book about the Miracle entitled Uno Scienziato Adora (A Scientific Adorer). In 1914 he declared:

The Holy Particles of Unleavened Bread represent an example of Perfect Preservation ... a singular Phenomenon that Inverts the Natural Law of the Conservation of Organic Material. It is a fact Unique in the Annals of Science.

In 1922, another Investigation was conducted -- this one in the presence of Cardinal Giovanni Tacci, who was accompanied by the Archbishop of Sienna and the Bishops of Montepulciano, Foligno and Grosseto. Again the results were the same: the Hosts tasted like Unleavened Bread, were Starchy in composition, and were Completely Preserved.

In 1950, the Miraculous Hosts were taken from the Old Ciborium and placed in a more Elaborate and Costly one, which caught the Eye of another Thief. Thus, despite the Precautions of the Clergy, another Sacrilegious Theft occurred on the night of August 5, 1951. This time the Thief was considerate enough to take only the Container, and left the Hosts in a Corner of the Tabernacle. After counting 133 Hosts, the Archbishop himself sealed them in a Silver Ciborium. Later, after being Photographed, they were placed in an Elaborate Container which replaced the one that had been stolen.

The Miraculously Preserved Hosts are displayed Publicly on various occasions, but especially on the 17th of each Month, which Commemorates the day they were found after the First Theft in 1730. On the Feast of Corpus Christi, the Sacred Hosts are placed in their Processional Monstrance and Triumphantly carried-in Procession from the Church, through the Streets of the Town, an Observance in which the Whole Populace participates.

Among many Distinguished Visitors who have Adored the Hosts was Saint John Bosco. They were likewise Venerated by Pope John XXIII, who Signed the Album of Visitors on May 29, 1954, when he was still the Patriarch of Venice. And although unable to visit the Miraculous Hosts, Popes Pius X, Benedict XV, Pius Xl and Pius Xll, Issued Statements of Profound Interest and Admiration.

With a Unanimous Voice, the Faithful, Priests, Bishops, Cardinals and Popes have Marveled-at and Worshiped the Holy Hosts, recognizing in them a Permanent Miracle, both Complete and Perfect, that has Endured for over 250 Years.

By this Miracle, the Hosts have remained Whole and Shiny, and have Maintained the Characteristic Scent of Unleavened Bread. Since they are in such a Perfect State of Conservation, Maintaining the Appearances of Bread, the Catholic Church assures us that although they were Consecrated in the Year 1730, these Eucharistic Hosts are still Really and Truly the Body of Christ. The Miraculous Hosts have been Cherished and Venerated in the Basilica of Saint Francis in Sienna for over 250 years.

 

Saint Anthony's
Miracle of the Eucharist

During the 13th Century, Saint Anthony of Padua was reported to have Converted a hardened Heretic, through a rather unique Contest. The Heretic, by the name of Bononillo, was unmoved by the Reasoning of the "Hammer of Heretics", as Saint Anthony was called. Bononillo was as Stubborn as the Mule, that stood beside him.

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Eyeing the Mule, Anthony made an offer to Bononillo. He asked him whether he would give up his Heresy if the Mule were to Bow-down and Adore its Creator, present in the Blessed Sacrament. The Heretic answered he would, provided he could lay down certain conditions: for Two Days the Mule was not to be Fed, and on the Third Day it was to be led into the Public Square. On one side of the Square would be placed a Tempting Pile of Fresh Feed, on the opposite side, Anthony could stand with what Bononillo contemptuously called the "Body of Christ". Anthony agreed, but in all Humility, made One condition. If the Animal did not Kneel before the Blessed Sacrament, his Sins alone, were to be Blamed.

 

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Miracle of the Mule - by DONATELLO -
from Basilica di Sant'Antonio, Padua

The Day arrived for this Strange Contest, and the Square was crowded with People. When the derisive Bononillo arrived with his Half-starved Mule, he was fully Confident that his Mule had Sense and Appetite enough to go after the Feed. But he was Wrong. Anthony had Implored his Lord in the intervening Two Days, for the Soul of this Heretic. God did not let his Faithful Servant down. When turned loose, the Mule, without the least hesitation, advanced towards Anthony and Knelt in an Attitude of Adoration before the Blessed Sacrament. With much Emotion and Contrition the Heretic too, Fell on his Knees and gave up his Heresy.

As Wonderful as these Miracles are, the Greatest of all, Transubstantiation, has to be Viewed with the Eyes of Faith.

 

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