No Simple Explanation
Eucharistic miracles, those that occur when a consecrated communion host has been transformed into bleeding flesh or some similar event, are among the hardest for Christians to accept, and impossible for non Christians to. As St. Thomas Aquinas said: “To one who has faith, no explanation is necessary. To one without faith, no explanation is possible.”
But here are a few historical miracles of the Eucharist reported today over at Sancte Pater blog. The original came from here at Concerned Catholics Org.
For those of us who actually believe what the Catholic Church teaches, that the Eucharist is miraculously transformed to the Body and Blood of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, during the consecration part of the mass, these miracles are still special, but not surprising.
The Most Holy Eucharistic Miracle of Santarém, Portugal
In the village of Santarém Portugal, just a half hour drive from Fátima, there occurred the Church's second most famous Eucharistic Miracle after Lanciano.
The miracle occurred on February 16th in the year 1247 when a woman married to a man who frequently committed adultery in desperation had turned to a Jewish Sorceress to seek a solution to her problem. The sorceress promised her a magical potion but demanded a Consecrated Host as payment. The woman did as she was instructed, and faked an illness in order to receive Holy Communion on a weekday since at that time Mass was only celebrated on Sunday. She went to the Parish Church of Saint Stephen, received communion and then as she was leaving the Church, removed the Host from her mouth and tied it in a knot in the veil covering her head. It was then that the Miracle occurred.
The Host suddenly began to bleed profusely. The blood flowed so heavily that it the people in the streets inquired about her sickness. Frightened, she ran home and placed the Host still wrapped in the veil in a wooden trunk where she kept her clean linens. Her husband discovered the secret when a miracle occurred that night: From the chest came a brilliant light that illuminated the entire house. The Host was freed from the Knot and elevated by angels who sang Divine Praises. The parish priest was called, and the pulsating Host was taken back in procession to the Church of Saint Stephen where the Clergy in order to stop the bleeding decided to seal it in a ball of melted bees wax.
Nineteen years passed and in 1266 when a canonical investigation was held, it was discovered that a second miracle had occurred. The Host had freed itself from the wax ball and was now in a little crystal ampoule.
Kings, Queens and Saints venerated the Relic of the Miraculous-bleeding Host with great splendor over the centuries and the object of national adoration. No fewer than half a dozen Popes granted indulgences to the Cult and Saint Francis Xavier came on pilgrimage before becoming the great apostle of India.
Miraculous phenomena occurred throughout the centuries involving the same Miraculous Host. Images were seen and new emissions of blood were common. All of this stopped however after the North American pilgrimages in the late 1950's began visiting the Shrine very frequently and abusively handling the Host. During this time the crystal ampoule was broken through the sacrilegious practice of the touching of rosaries and other religious items to It to take away as relics. By the 1970's half the glass of the ampoule had been broken off and the silver stopper removed, taken away as relics. The Host subsequently corrupted due to exposure to the air and today only particles of blood and solidified flesh are found clinging to the inside what remains of the glass ampoule.
The Relics were scientifically analyzed in 1997 for the 750th anniversary celebrations of the Miracle and proven to be genuine and of a supernatural origin. The relics of the Host and blood soaked wax were then sealed and placed in a bulletproof case atop the Eucharistic Throne above the main altar.
In 1997 the Church of Saint Stephen of the Holy Miracle was recognized as the Shrine of the Most Holy miracle.
(Based on"The Story and Relics of the Most Holy Miracle of Santarém" by Prof. Carlos Evaristo, Curator of the Museum of the Shrine of the Most Holy Miracle of Santarém. Photos Copyright: Carlos Evaristo 1997)
Eucharistic Miracle of Bolsena, Italy
In 1263, Peter of Prague, a German priest on pilgrimage to Rome, was celebrating Mass in Bolsena, Italy. He had come to doubt the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. During the consecration, blood suddenly dripped from the Sacred Host and covered his hands as well as the altar. Startled, Father Peter interrupted the Mass and left for nearby Orvieto, where Pope Urban IV was then residing. Having absolved the priest of his past sin, the Holy Father ordered the local bishop to bring him the miraculous Host and the bloodstained altar cloth for examination. Impressed by this miraculous event, the Pope had the Host and altar cloth placed in the Cathedral of Orvieto, where they remain perfectly preserved to this day (Michael Freze, S.F.O. Voices, Visions, and Apparitions).
Eucharistic Miracle of Lanciano
In the year 700 at the monastery of St. Longinus in Luciano, Italy, a priest from the Order of St. Basil was celebrating Mass. Having doubted the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist, the priest saw, during the consecration, the bread miraculously transformed into a circle of flesh and the wine appear as bright as fresh blood. Eventually, the liquefied blood turned into five pellets of various sizes and shapes. When the local archbishop later weighed the pellets, it was discovered that one nugget weighed the same as all five together, two as much as any three, and the smallest as much as the largest. In February of 1574, another test was done on the miraculous blood pellets. Again, any one of the pellets weighed alone equaled the weight of all five pellets together. In 1970, further tests were made on the body and blood of Jesus. Analysis has proved that the bread and wine contain characteristics of real human flesh and blood. Both belonged to the same blood type, AB. Eventually, the Franciscans rebuilt the church that houses the Eucharistic miracle of Lanciano. It is now called the Church of St. Francis (Michael Freze, S.F.O. Voices, Visions, and Apparitions).
Eucharistic Miracle of Blaine, France
In 1153, at Blaine, France, it is claimed that a young girl named Agnes refused to believe in the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. During one Mass of the feast of the Holy Spirit celebrated by Archbishop Anculphe de Pierrefonds of Soissons, Agnes and the congregation saw the Host change into an image of the Child Jesus. This occurred during the elevation. Agnes immediately converted and founded a monastery where the miraculous Host was kept for centuries (Michael Freze, S.F.O. Voices, Visions, and Apparitions).
Eucharistic Miracle in Ferrara, Italy
It is claimed that on Easter Sunday, March 28, 1171, during a Mass celebrated by Padre Pietro de Verona in Ferrara, Italy, blood spurted out of the Host when it was broken in two during the sacred consecration. The entire congregation witnessed this; they also saw the Host visibly turn to a substance that looked like fresh human flesh (Michael Freze, S.F.O. Voices, Visions, and Apparitions).