As we celebrate the feast of Corpus Christi and commemorate
the feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, we are called to remember how much
Christ loves us through the liturgy. For many of us, it is still hard to
believe that the Eucharist is the actual body and blood of Jesus Christ. Jesus
provided Himself as an offering for us because of His deep love for mankind. This
is an important part of our Catholic faith, and fortunately for us, God has
been gracious enough to provide miracles over the centuries proving that the
Eucharist is the actual body and blood of Jesus Christ.
Many of these miracles were so important in history that
they have led to celebrations over the centuries and the construction of
chapels and shrines in different cities, towns and countries around the world.
The Vatican has compiled 152 of these miracles in over 20 countries in an
exhibition—The Vatican International
Exhibition on Eucharistic Miracles of the World. This exhibition has
visited more than 3,000 parishes in Italy, USA and Canada. Three of the major
miracles are highlighted below.
Lanciano, Italy – 750
A monk doubted the presence of Christ in the Consecrated Host.
While celebrating Mass, during the words of the Consecration, he saw the host
turn into flesh and the wine turn into blood. This miracle occurred in the
presence of others in the Church of St Francis, and it was written on a stone
tablet in 1631. The relics of the flesh and blood are still intact today. The
blood separated into five unequal parts which together had the exact weight as each
part separately. In 1970, the Archbishop of Lanciano got the Vatican’s approval
to have the relics of the flesh and blood be analysed by Dr Edward Linoli, a Director
of a hospital in Arezzo, Italy, and a Professor of anatomy, histology,
chemistry and clinical microscopy. It was determined by scientific examination
The miraculous ‘flesh’ is authentic human flesh
consisting of heart muscle tissue, also known as striated muscular tissue.
The miraculous ‘blood’ is authentic human blood
and was identified to belong to blood group AB, the same blood type
characteristic of most Middle Eastern populations.
The blood contained the same amount of protein
distribution found in a fresh sample of blood and had no traces of salt
infiltration or other preservatives which would normally be used to preserve
blood for long periods of time. This was miraculous since the miracle of the
flesh and blood occurred almost 1,200 years before the analysis.
In 1973, Dr Linoli’s work was reviewed and corroborated by
the World Health Organization, which conducted more than 500 tests over a period
of 15 months. The scientific community has agreed that it is a supernatural phenomenon
as the flesh and blood remained intact for over 1,200 years. To date, the scientific
world has no explanation, but we know that this is a miracle from God.
of the relic wine which transformed into Christ’s blood, the stone tablet about
the miracle written in 1631, and images of the flesh and striated muscular tissue
can be found and downloaded at
Consecrated Host was stolen from the parish church of
Ettiswil in 1447 by a woman who belonged to a satanic cult. The woman confessed
that although she was able to steal the Host from the church, she was unable to
go far. As she started walking, the Host became so heavy in her hands that she was
forced to throw it down, and it fell against a fence on the road. Her narrative
and the happenings of the miracle were included in the town’s government
documentation written by one of its noblemen, Hermann von Russeg, Lord of Buron.
The Host was discovered by a young swineherd, Margaret Schulmeister. Margaret
was out walking her pigs when she noticed that they suddenly stopped on the
road and did not want to move any further. She requested the assistance of two passersby,
and they noticed in the grass that the Blessed Sacrament had been thrown
against the fence and that the Host had divided into seven sections. Six sections
formed a flower similar to a rose, and a great light was shining around the
Host. This explained why the pigs did not want to move any further along the
The local parish priest was called. He arrived and tried to
pick up all of the sections of the Host. He was able to pick the six sections which
formed the flower. However, the seventh section stuck to the ground, and in
front of everyone’s eyes, it disappeared into the ground. The priest and
townspeople took this as a sign from God to build a church. So, a church was
built at the site where the Host entered the ground. This church is the present
Ettiswil Shrine. Its chapel and altar were consecrated on 28 December 1448, a
year and a half after the incident. The church became known as a location where
God performed many miracles, and villagers came from afar to worship Him. The six
sections of the Host which formed the flower are still in existence and preserved
as a relic in the church. The church also maintains beautiful artworks depicting
key events of the miracle behind the altar.
In the city of Kranenburg, Germany, a local Eucharistic
miracle is also known as the ‘Miracle of the Miraculous Crucifix’. Many
documents discuss the account of a shepherd who in 1280 was unable to swallow
the Holy Communion due to an illness, and threw the Holy Eucharist against a
tree in his garden. The shepherd later felt guilty about this and went to this
parish priest to tell him what had happened. The priest asked the shepherd to
show him where the Eucharist was thrown in the garden. They searched around the
tree for the Host but were unable to find it.
Several years later, the shepherd decided to cut down the
tree where he had thrown the Eucharist. As he cut down the tree, it split into two
and out fell a carved crucifix. The shepherd stood shocked. News spread quickly
through the town that the Sacred Host had changed into a crucifix. People from
all over the country came to visit the site in Kranenburg, including the Bishop
of Cologne and the Count of Kiev. In 1408, the citizens of Kranenburg
constructed a church to honour the miracle. The town holds an annual procession
on 14 September in commemoration of the miracle.
The relic of the crucifix is still in existence and is kept
in the Church of Sts Peter and Paul in Germany.
Pictures of the church and crucifix can be found and
article is about three popular Eucharistic miracles which occurred in Europe. However,
there are many more. When you have the time, you may research more about these
miracles. The stories will encourage you, increase your faith and help you
experience the immense love of God. God asks us to believe in Him. Yet He is so
gracious and compassionate that He provides us with evidence along the way to
encourage us to believe.
Let’s believe in our God. Let’s believe in our Catholic
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten
Son that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.” John
More information on
these miracles can be found at therealpresence.org website. They also have a published book on
these miracles: The Eucharistic Miracles Of the World (Catalogue of the Vatican International Exhibition).