Eucharistic miracle

Eucharistic miracle

A Eucharistic miracle is an alleged miracle when, during consecration during the Catholic or Orthodox Mass, the bread and wine visibly become the body and blood of Jesus Christ. Catholics believe that when the priest pronounces the words of consecration, the bread and wine actually become the body and blood of Christ, but retain the outward appearance of bread and wine. This is called transubstantiation, and differs from most Protestant Eucharistic theologies, which believe that the sacramental elements are not physically transubstantiated. Some Catholics claim that Eucharistic miracles happen most often when people, mainly priests or monks, doubt the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist.Fact|date=February 2007

Types of Eucharistic miracles

The rarest reported type of Eucharistic miracle is where the Eucharist begins to look like human flesh. Some Catholics believe this occurred at Lanciano, Italy, in the 8th century A.D. In fact, Lanciano is the only reported case of Eucharistic miracle where the host is supposed to have been transformed into human flesh. However, a Eucharistic miracle more commonly reported by Catholics is that of the Bleeding Host, where blood starts to trickle from a consecrated host, the bread consecrated during Mass. Some claim to have recorded this occurrence in photos or videos, like in a case in the Sanctuary of the Virgin of Guadalupe (Mexico).Fact|date=February 2007 Other types of purported miracles include consectrated hosts being preserved for hundreds of years, a consecrated host passing through a fire unscathed, stolen consecrated hosts vanishing and turning up in churches, and levitating consecrated hosts.

The miracle of Lanciano

In the city of Lanciano, Italy, around A.D. 700, a Basilian monk and priest was assigned to celebrate the Eucharistic sacrificein the Latin Rite in the small Church of St.Legontian. Usually celebrating in the Greek Rite and using leavened bread and having been taught that unleavened bread was invalid matter for the Holy Sacrifice he was disturbed to be constrained to use unleavened bread and had trouble believing that the miracle of transubtantiation would take place with unleavened bread. During the Mass, when he said the words of consecration "(This is my Body...This is my Blood)", he saw the bread change into live flesh and the wine change into live blood, which coagulated into five globules, irregular and differing in shape and size (this number corresponds to the number of wounds Christ suffered on the cross: one in each hand and foot from the nails, and the wound from the centurion's spear). He was frightened and confused by the miracle, and stood a while as if in divine ecstasy, but eventually he turned his face to the congregation, and said "Behold the Flesh and the Blood of our Most Beloved Christ." At those words, the congregation members ran to the altar and began to cry for mercy. This miracle proved to him that unleavened bread was acceptable matter for the Holy Sacrifice.Years later other Basilian monks stole the documentation that was in the archives of the parish church. The Byzantine rejection of unleavened bread eventuated in the schism of 1054 that started out as a disagreement concerning the "azymes" between Patriarch Michael Keroularios and Cardinal Humbert of Silva Candida acting for the already deceased Pope Leo IX.

Various ecclesiastical investigations have been conducted upon the miracle since 1574, and the evidence of the miracle remains in Lanciano to this day. In 1970-71, Professor Odoardo Linoli, eminent Professor in Anatomy and Pathological Histology and in Chemistry and Clinical Microscopy, and Professor Ruggero Bertelli of the University of Siena, conducted a scientific investigation into the miracle. The report was published in Quaderni Sclavo di Diagnostica Clinica e di Laboratori in 1971, and reaffirmed by a scientific commission appointed by the Higher Council of the World Health Organization in 1973. [] The following conclusions were drawn: []
* The Flesh of the miracle is real Flesh and the Blood is real Blood.
* The Flesh and the Blood belong to the human species.
* The Flesh consists of the muscular tissue of the heart, which would be highly unlikely to "fake", given that only an expert hand could have done it, and not without serious difficulties.
* 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. The Flesh is a heart complete in its essential structure.
* The Flesh and the Blood have the same blood type, AB, which is also the same blood type found on the Shroud of Turin and all other Eucharistic Miracles.
* 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.
* In the Blood there were also found these minerals: chlorides, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, sodium and calcium.
* There is no trace whatsoever of any materials or agents used to preserve the Flesh or Blood.

The Flesh and Blood of the miracle can still be seen today. The Host-Flesh, which is the same size as the large Host used today in the Latin Church, is fibrous and light brown in colour, and becomes rose-coloured when lighted from the back. The Blood consists of five coagulated globules and has an earthly colour resembling the yellow of ochre.

Photos and Documents (Lanciano)

Miracles of the Bleeding Host

Unreferenced|date=February 2007 Please see Bibliography section at the bottom of the article for the over all reference, the individual references for each section are listed in this book's bibliography.

There have been many purported miracles of the Bleeding Host throughout history.

Bolsena-Orvieto, Italy, 1263

In 1263, Peter of Prague stopped at Bolsena while on a pilgrimage to Rome. He was described as a pious priest, however he had trouble believing in transubstantiation. When he celebrated Mass above the tomb of St Christina, he had barely spoken the words of consecration when the Host started to bleed profusely. Peter of Prague wrapped up the Host in the corporal and immediately took it to Pope Urban IV, who was at the nearby town of Orvieto. The Holy Father declared indeed that a Eucharistic Miracle had taken place. In honour of this miracle, he created a new feast which he called Corpus Christi, which remains to this day.

"See also": Corporal of Bolsena

antarem, Portugal, mid-13th century

A woman of Santarem sought the counsel of a sorceress as she thought her husband was unfaithful to her. The sorceress asked for a consecrated Host, and in return, she would return the husband's affection. The woman realised that what she had been asked to do was desperately wrong, and a sacrilege against the Holy Eucharist. However, she went to Mass and received Communion, but she took the Host out of her mouth and wrapped it in her handkerchief. She hurried out of the church, not noticing that the Host had started to bleed. A villager, seeing the blood, was worried that the woman herself was injured and drew the blood to her attention. Seeing that the Host had started to bleed, she took it home and placed it in a trunk. That night, the woman and her husband were woken by rays of bright light emmanating from the trunk. Other people came to the house and also saw the miracle. The parish priest took the Host back to the church in a wax container and placed it in the Tabernacle. The next time the priest opened the Tabernacle, the wax container was broken and a crystal container held the Blood of the Host.

Blanot, France, 1331

The village of Blanot is situated in a long, narrow valley surrounded by picturesque mountains. Inconspicuous because of its location, it was nevertheless favored by God, who honored it with a Eucharistic miracle. The physical evidence of this event is still preserved in the church in which it occurred.

In those days, the congregation knelt side by side along the altar rail to receive Holy Communion. The two altar boys took one end the long linen cloth that hung the length of the railing on the side facing the sanctuary and flipped it over. The communicants would place their hands beneath the cloth, so that if the Host fell out of their mouths (Communion was placed directly in the mouth by the priest in those days and still is today in many churches) it would not fall on the floor and be defiled.

The miracle happened on Easter Sunday, March 31, 1331, during the first Mass of the day, celebrated by the vicar of Blanot, Hugues de la Baume. Because of the solemn occasion, two men of the parish named Thomas Caillot and Guyot Besson were also serving in addition to the altar boys. At Communion time, the communicants walked to the altar railing, placed their hands under the cloth and waited for the approach of the priest. A widow named Jaquette was one of the last to receive Communion. The priest placed the Host on her tongue, turned, and started walking toward the altar. Several of the communicants, plus Caillot and Besson, saw the Host fall from her mouth. Caillot went to the altar and informed the priest of the accident. He approached the railing and saw a spot of blood exactly the same size as the Host, which had apparently dissolved into blood.

After the Mass, the priest took the cloth and placed the part with the spot of blood in a basin of clear water. He scrubbed the spot with his fingers several times and found that, instead of becoming smaller, the spot was becoming larger and darker. When he removed the cloth, he saw that the water had become bloody. The priest and his assistants were astonished and also frightened, and exclaimed, "This is the Precious Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ!" The priest then took a knife and, after washing it, cut from the cloth the piece bearing the bloody imprint of the Host. This square piece of cloth was reverently placed in the Tabernacle. the miracle was investigated and eventually confirmed by Pope John XXII. Many years later, the cloth was placed in a special ostensorium, in which it remains to this day.

Other Eucharistic miracles

There have been numerous other alleged miracles involving consecrated Hosts. Several of these are described below.

A story from Amsterdam, 1345, claims that a priest was called to administer Viaticum to a dying man. He told the family that if the man threw up, they were to take the contents and throw it in the fire. The man threw up, and the family did what the priest had advised them to do. The next morning, one of the women went to rake the fire and noticed the Host sitting on the grate, unscathed and surrounded by a light. It has apparently passed through both the man's digestive system and the fire unscathed.

According to another story, a farmer in Bavaria took a consecrated Host from Mass to his house, believing that it would give him and his family good fortune. However he was plagued by the feeling that what he had done was very wrong and turned to go back to the church to confess his sin. As he turned, the Host flew from his hand, floated in the air and landed on the ground. He searched for it, but he could not see it. He went back, accompanied by many villagers and the priest, who bent to pick up the Host, having seen it from some distance off. It again flew up into the air, floated, and fell to the ground and disappeared. The Bishop was informed and he came to the site and bent to pick up the Host. Again it flew into the air, remained suspended for an extended time, fell to the ground and disappeared.

Another claim states that a church in the village of Exilles, Italy, was plundered by a soldier and the monstrance (with the host still inside) was taken. The sack with the monstrance fell off the soldier's donkey and the monstrance fell out. It immediately rose up into the air and was suspended ten feet above the ground. The Bishop was notified and immediately came to view the miracle. When he arrived, the monstrance opened and fell to the ground, leaving the Host still suspended in the air and surrounded by a radiant light.

Caesarius of Heisterbach also recounts various tales of Eucharistic Miracles in his book, "Dialogue on Miracles"; however, most of the stories he tells are from word of mouth. These stories include Gotteschalk of Volmarstein who saw an infant in the Eucharist, a priest from Wickindisburg who saw the host turn into raw flesh, and a man from Hemmenrode who saw an image of a crucified Jesus and blood dripping from the host. All of these images, however, eventually reverted back into the host. He also recounts more extraordinary tales, such as bees creating a shrine to Jesus after a piece of the Eucharist was placed in a beehive, a church that was burnt to ashes while the pyx containing the Eucharist was still intact, and a woman who found the host transformed into congealed blood after she stored it in a box. [ Dialogue on Miracles, by Caesarius of Heisterbach, London : G. Routledge & sons, ltd., 1929 ]


* "Eucharistic Miracles", by Joan Carroll Cruz, OCDS, TAN Books and Publishers, Inc, 1987. ISBN 0-89555-303-1

ee also

* Eucharist

External links

* [ The Real Presence Association - Eucharistic Miracles]
* [ Eucharistic Miracles]

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