Eucharistic Miracles

Eucharistic Miracle of Avignon France

On November 30, 1433, the Blessed Sacrament was exposed for public adoration in a small chapel cared for by a confraternity known as “the Gray Penitents.” Suddenly, Avignon was flooded when the Rodano, the river crossing the city, overflowed. By boat, two members of the confraternity managed to reach the chapel where the Blessed Sacrament had been left for adoration and was now unattended. When they entered the chapel, they saw that the waters were divided to the right and to the left, leaving the altar and the monstrance perfectly dry.

The Eucharistic miracle of Avignon occurred in the Chapel of the Holy Cross, home of the Gray Penitents, whose founding goes back to the time of pious King Louis VIII. This king, in order to celebrate his victory over the Albigensian heretics who denied the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist, had organized a solemn act of reparation on September 14, 1226, the liturgical feast of the Exaltation of the Cross.

In the official documentation of this event, which is still preserved in the chapel of the Gray Penitents, we read that on November 30, 1433, while the Blessed Sacrament was exposed in the little chapel for public adoration, the city of Avignon was hit by a terrible flood. The Rodano river overflowed after days of heavy rain. In the confusion, Armand and Jehan de Pourzillhac-Fature, the latter being the head of the confraternity at the time, with great effort struggled to reach the chapel by boat in order to save the monstrance containing the Blessed Sacrament.

From the gates the two men looked into the chapel toward the altar to see what had happened to the monstrance. They saw that the water, which was almost six feet deep inside the chapel, had parted to the right and to the left of the altar, like two walls, and the altar and the monstrance had remained dry and untouched.

News of the miracle spread rapidly, and all the people, together with the authorities, hastened to the place singing hymns of praise and thanksgiving to the Lord. Several hundred persons witnessed the miracle. The Confraternity of the Gray Penitents decided that the anniversary of the miracle would be celebrated each year in the chapel on the Feast of St. Andrew the Apostle.

Even today every November 30th the brothers gather at the Chapelle des Penitents Gris to celebrate the memory of the miracle. Before Benediction, the brothers sing a sacred chant taken from the Canticle of Moses, which was composed after the parting of the Red Sea. “I will sing to the LORD, for he is gloriously triumphant…At a breath of your anger the waters piled up, the flowing waters stood like a mound, the flood waters congealed in the midst of the sea… In your mercy you led the people you redeemed; in your strength you guided them to your holy dwelling” (Exodus 15:1-18).

This scene is very interesting as it recalls the Lord’s power coming from the bible. The crossing of the Red Sea (Exodus 14:19-22), the crossing of the Jordan River (Joshua 3:14-17), and the anointing of Elisha by Elijah (2 Kings 2:7-8, 13-14) shows that God has shown this sign before.

Eucharistic Miracles

Eucharistic Miracle of Skete Egypt

Eucharistic Miracle of Skete,Egypt ~3rd Century

The account of this Eucharistic miracle goes back to the first centuries of Christianity and is found in the collection of apothegms of the Fathers of the Desert who lived as hermits in Egypt following the example of St. Anthony the Abbot. A monk was assailed by strong doubts regarding the Real Presence of Jesus in the bread and wine consecrated at Mass. After the Consecration the Infant Jesus was seen in place of the bread. Three other monks who were assisting at the Mass witnessed the same vision.

In the sayings and deeds of the Desert Fathers, we find a description of an ancient Eucharistic miracle. Fr. Daniel the Faranite attests: “Our Fr. Arsenius told us of a monk of Skete who was a hard worker but lacked instruction in the Faith. In his ignorance he would say: ‘The Bread we receive is not really the Body of Christ, but a symbol of that Body.’ Two monks heard his statement and, knowing that he was a good and pious monk, decided to speak to him since they attributed his words to ignorance rather than to malice. So they went to him and said: ‘Father, we heard someone saying something contrary to the Faith: that the bread we receive is not really the Body of Christ, but a symbol.’ The Priest said, ‘I am the one who says this!’ They then began to exhort him, ‘you must not believe that, but rather believe what the Catholic Church teaches. We believe that bread is the Body of Christ, and this chalice is the Blood of Christ, really and truly, and not a symbol.’ The accused replied: ‘Unless you can show me evidence, I will not change my mind.’ The other monks told him, ‘this week we will pray to God about this mystery, and we believe that God will show us the truth.At the end of the week, on Sunday, all three went to the church and stood together. The priest was between the two monks on a step. Their eyes were opened when the Bread was placed on the altar in sacrifice in place of the Host, all three of them saw a Child. When the priest reached for the Bread to pick it up and break It, an angel appeared with a sword and pierced the Boy, whose Blood ran into the chalice. When the priest broke the Bread into pieces, the angel cut little pieces from the Child. When the three monks came up for Communion, the priest was offered bleeding Flesh. At this the doubter was overcome with fear and cried out, ‘Lord, I believe that the Bread is Your Body, and that Your Blood is in the chalice!’ Immediately the bloodied Flesh he had in his hand took on the appearances of bread and he communicated, giving thanks to God.”

Eucharistic Miracles

Eucharistic Miracle of St.Mary of Egypt

This Eucharistic miracle is related in the life of St. Mary of Egypt who lived in the desert for 47 years. The account of her life was written by the Bishop Sofronio of Jerusalem in the 6th century. St. Mary is said to have walked on the Jordan River to reach the opposite bank and receive Communion from the Monk Zosimus.

We are told that when St. Mary was 12 years of age she left her parents and went to Alexandria. There she led a very dissolute life for 16 years. One day she came upon a ship about to set sail with different groups of passengers. She inquired who they might be and where they were going. She was told they were pilgrims sailing toward Jerusalem for the feast of the Exaltation of the Cross. She decided to join them.

When on the feast day she tried to enter the church, she was seized by a mysterious force. Fearfully she raised her eyes to an image of the Holy Virgin and was overcome with a deep sorrow for the sinful life she had led until that day. Only then was she able to make her way into the church and worship the True Cross.

She did not remain in Jerusalem. “If you go across the Jordan you will find peace” was the message of the Madonna. The following day after her confession and Communion she made her way across the Jordan to the desert of Arabia. There she lived for 47 years in solitude encountering neither men nor beasts. Her skin shriveled, her hair was long and white, but the promise of the Virgin proved true, she found her peace of soul.

One day she met up with the Monk Zosimus and asked him to bring her Communion each year. One year Zosimus arrived with the Eucharist, but Mary did not show. In great sorrow Zosimus prayed: “Lord, my God, King and Creator of all, do not deprive me of my desire, but grant that I may see this holy woman.” Then he thought, “Now what will I do if she appears, there is no boat around to get me across? I will not achieve my wish.”

While he gave into these thoughts, Mary appeared on the opposite shore and Zosimus was consoled. Then he saw her make the sign of the Cross over the water and walk out on it as though it were dry land. When 12 months had passed Zosimus returned but was unable to find the mummified remains of the saintly penitent. A lion had dug her grave and buried the body.

Eucharistic Miracles

Eucharistic Miracle of Ludberg Croatia

During Mass at Ludbreg in 1411, a priest doubted whether the Body and Blood of Christ were really present in the Eucharistic species. Immediately after being consecrated, the wine turned into Blood. Today the precious relic of the miraculous Blood still draws thousands of the faithful, and every year at the beginning of September the so-called “Sveta Nedilja – Holy Sunday” is celebrated for an entire week in honor of the Eucharistic miracle that occurred in 1411.

In 1411 at Ludbreg, in the chapel of the Count Batthyany’s castle, a priest was celebrating Mass. During the consecration of the wine, the priest doubted the truth of transubstantiation, and the wine in the chalice turned into Blood.

Not knowing what to do, the priest embedded this relic in the wall behind the main altar. The workman who did the job was sworn to silence. The priest also kept it secret and revealed it only at the time of his death. After the priest’s revelation, news quickly spread and people started coming on pilgrimage to Ludbreg.

The Holy See later had the relic of the miracle brought to Rome, where it remained for several years. The people of Ludbreg and the surrounding area, however, continued to make pilgrimages to the castle chapel.

In the early 1500s, during the pontificate of Pope Julius II, a commission was convened in Ludbreg to investigate the facts connected with the Eucharistic miracle. Many people testified that they had received marvelous cures while praying in the relic’s presence. On April 14, 1513, Pope Leo X published a Bull permitting veneration of the holy relic which he himself had carried in procession several times through the streets of Rome. The relic was later returned to Croatia.

In the 18th century, northern Croatia was ravaged by the plague. The people turned to God to call upon His help, and the Croatian Parliament did the same. During the session held on December 15, 1739 in the city of Varazdin, they vowed to build a chapel at Ludbreg in honor of the miracle if the plague ended. The plague was averted, but the promised vow was only fulfilled in 1994, when democracy was restored in Croatia.

In 2005 in the votive chapel, the artist Marijan Jakubin painted a large fresco of the Last Supper in which Croatian saints and blesseds were drawn in place of the Apostles.St. John was replaced with Blessed Ivan Merz, who was included among the 18 most important Eucharistic saints in the Church’s history during the Synod of Bishops held in Rome in 2005.

Eucharistic Miracles

Eucharistic Miracle of Tumaco

On January 31, 1906, an earthquake having a magnitude of 8.8 on the Richter scale, occurred off the coast of Columbia. Ranking as one of the ten worst on record, it caused a tsunami that was felt as far north as San Francisco and as far west as Japan.

In Panama City, it picked up boats and hurled them long distances, crashed into the market area and wreaked tremendous damage. The worst effects of the tsunami were concentrated along the northern parts of Ecuador and southern parts of Columbia. In the middle of this area, at the outer edge of a bay, lay the small island of Tumaco.

About 10:00 in the morning, the earth shook violently for ten minutes. The inhabitants begged the local pastor, Fr. Gerardo Larrondo, to lead a procession with the Blessed Sacrament. The sea had already penetrated a kilometer and a half inland. A wall of water was building up that threatened to swallow the entire island, which was only about 3 kilometers in length.

Fr. Larrondo consumed the small Hosts in the ciborium and set the large Host aside. He called out to his people: “Let us go, my people. Let us go toward the beach, and may God have pity on us.” Led by Fr. Larrondo and the Eucharist, they began to march. Fr. Larrondo advanced courageously to the water’s edge and as the wave came rushing in he calmly raised the Sacred Host and traced the sign of the Cross.

The wave halted and then receded. Fr. Larrondo and Fr. Julian alongside him saw what was transpiring . The people, overjoyed, cried out “Miracle, miracle!”

The miracle of Tumaco became known across the world, and Fr. Larrondo received letters from people all over Europe asking for his prayers.

Eucharistic Miracles

Eucharistic Miracle of Middleburg-Lovanio, Belgium

This Eucharistic miracle goes back to 1374. In St. Peter’s Church in Middleburg, during Holy Communion the consecrated Host changed into bleeding Flesh. A portion of the Host to this day is kept in Louvain by the Augustinian Fathers. The monk, Jean de Gheest, confessor of the Archbishop who approved the cult, asked for the Precious Relic as a gift. The other portion is in St. Peter’s Church in Middleburg. here exists much documentation on the Eucharistic miracle.

In a monograph written in 1905 by historian Joseph Wils, professor of the Catholic University of Louvain, entitled Le Sacrement du Miracle de Louvain, are cited almost all the contemporary documents and testimonies.

In Middleburg lived a noble woman known by everybody for her great faith and devotion. The woman was also very attentive to the spiritual formation of her family and household staff. During the Lent of 1374, as she did every year in her house, she began to do penance in preparation for the coming of Easter.

A few days before, a new manservant by the name of Jan was hired, who had not gone to confession for many years, in spite of the dissolute life he was living. The woman invited all the household staff to go to Mass. Jan did not dare oppose this invitation so as not to disappoint her.

He attended the whole Eucharistic celebration, and when it was time to receive Holy Communion, the man approached the altar with much superficiality. As soon as he received the Host on his tongue, the Sacrament changed into bleeding Flesh. At once Jan took the Particle from his mouth; Blood dripped from the Sacred Flesh onto the cloth covering the altar rail. The priest realized at once what was happening, and with great emotion, carefully placed the miraculous Particle in a vessel inside the tabernacle.

Jan repented and confessed his sin before everyone. From that day on, he led an exemplary life and nourished a great devotion to the Most Blessed Sacrament to the end of his life. All the church and civil authorities of the city were informed of the miraculous event and after diligent investigation the Archbishop authorized the cult of this miraculous event.

Prayer of St. Ambose:

Most Sweet Bread, heal my heart, that I may taste the sweetness of Your love. Heal it from all weakness, that I may enjoy no sweetness but You. Most pure Bread, containing every delight which ever refreshes us, may my heart consume You and may my soul be filled with Your sweetness. Holy Bread, living Bread, perfect Bread, that has come down from heaven to give life to the world, come into my heart and cleanse me from every stain of body and soul. Enter into my soul; heal and cleanse me completely. Be the constant safeguard and salvation of my soul and body. Guard me from the enemies who lie in wait. May they flee from the protecting presence of Your power, so that, armed in soul and body by You, I may safely reach Your Kingdom.  There we shall see You, not as now as in mysteries, but face to face, when You will deliver the Kingdom to God the Father, and will reign as God over all. Then You, who with the same God the Father and the Holy Spirit, live and reign forever, will satisfy the hunger of my soul perfectly with Yourself, so that I shall neither hunger nor thirst again. Amen.

Eucharistic Miracles

Eucharistic Miracle of Herkenrode-Hasselt,Belgium

On July 25, 1317, the pastor of Saint Quintinus in Viversel (current picture of church shown above -located at Kerkstraat 36, Viversel) was called to give Last Rights and Communion to a parishioner.

While the priest was hearing the confession of the man, a family member went through the priest’s bag and found the Consecrated Host that was going to be used for Communion during the sacrament of Last Rights.  The family  member did not remove the Host, but did touch it.

When the priest came to get the Host for Communion, he discovered that it was covered with Blood  and stuck to the linen of the bag.

This Host was not used for Communion that day.  On August 1, It was taken to the Abbey of Herkenrode, 3 miles to the south (located at Zolderse Kiezel 200, 3511 Kuringen, Belgium), where it was shown to the nuns.  The Host that was stained with Blood by then also contained the image of the face of Christ crowned with thorns.  Many of the religious witnessed this.

Tests were done on this Host in the 18th century by the Apostolic Nuncio Carafa and the Bishop of Liege and it was declared a Eucharistic Miracle.

The Sacred Host remained with the sisters at the Abbey until 1796 when they were expelled from their convent by the French Revolution.

The Sacred Host was then hidden by different families who kept it in a metal box in their homes.

In 1804 the Host was taken in solemn procession from hiding to the Saint Quintinus Church located at Vismarkt, 350, Hasselt, Belgium. This is four miles south of the Abbey and about seven miles south of the Saint Quintinus Church of Viversel.

Saint Quintinus Church dates back to the 11th century.  In the 14th century it was given a Gothic architectural “update”.

Today the Sacred Host from the Eucharistic Miracle of 1317 can still be viewed.  It is perfectly preserved and held in a Reliquary where it can be venerated by the faithful.  In 1967, Saint Quintinus was elevated to a cathedral