Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Seeing a Eucharistic Miracle in Santarem Portugal

On my recent pilgrimage to Fatima, Lourdes, Santiago de Compostela, etc., one stop was at Santarem, Portugal. A Eucharistic Miracle took place here in the 13th century. We were able to see this miracle first hand. This short video explains what happened in this miracle.

To say I was moved by seeing this miracle is an understatement. I wept. In fact I couldn't stop weeping.

I had heard about Eucharistic Miracles before seeing the one at Santarem, and to this day, they still occur. More recent Eucharistic miracles have been tested by scientists. These miracles reveal some astonishing similarities. 

I include the conclusions on the scientific testing done on these most recent miracles. I also include the Miracle in Lanciano from 750 AD, which was also tested scientifically in 1971.

The Eucharistic Miracle in Tixla, Mexico in 2006

  • Bishop Alejo Zavala Castro formed a theological commission to investigate the phenomenon, and to determine whether the host was supernatural or simply a hoax of some kind. Dr. Ricardo Castañón Gomez, who had also investigated the Buenos Aires miracle of 1996, led a team of scientists in an intensive study of the host between 2009 and 2012. The study reported the following findings:
  • The reddish substance “corresponds to blood in which there are hemoglobin and DNA of human origin.
  • The blood type was found to be AB, which corresponds to the miracles at Buenos Aires and Lanciano, as well as traces found on the Shroud of Turin.
  • Forensic experts found that the substance originates from the interior of the host, which would seem to discount the theory that it was somehow planted from outside.
  • Part of the blood was found to have been coagulated since 2006, but further examination shows the presence of flesh blood from 2010.
  • The blood contains intact white blood cells, red blood cells, and active macrophages that engulf lipids, indicating an active metabolism.
  • The tissue seems to correspond to the muscle of the heart, the myocardium, as found in other Eucharistic miracles. Further, this was found to be living cardiac muscle. Normally after 48 hours, the tissue dies, but this case, 3 months had passed before the results could actually be obtained.
  • The study concluded that “the event has no natural explanation.”

Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1996

  • Taken only a few weeks after the host was first discovered, the photographs showed that the host had grown in size, and now had the appearance of bloody flesh. After three years of observation, the host had not shown signs of decomposing, so Bishop Bergoglio asked that it be scientifically analyzed.
  • In 1999, Dr. Frederick Zugibe, a cardiologist and forensic pathologist, began performing tests on the miraculous host. What he discovered about the composition of the host is truly stunning:
  • The analyzed material appeared to be a fragment of heart muscle typically found in the wall of the left ventricle of the heart, close to the valves.
  • This type of muscle is responsible for the contraction of the heart, and the left ventricle connects nearly all the organ systems by pumping oxygenated blood to the rest of the body.
  • The blood found on the sample was indeed human, and type AB, which also matches the blood found on the host of Lanciano and from samples extracted from the Shroud of Turin, believed by many to be the burial cloth of Jesus.
  • The tissue appeared to be in an inflamed state, and contained a large number of white blood cells, indicating that the heart was alive at the time the sample was taken, since these white blood cells die outside of a living organism.
  • Furthermore, the white blood cells had penetrated the tissue, further indicating that the heart was under severe stress, as if the person themselves had been beaten severely near the chest area.
  • In an effort to keep the studies as objective as possible, Dr. Zugibe was not informed about the origin of the samples he had analyzed. But after completing the studies, he remarked, “You have to explain one thing to me: If this sample came from a dead person, how could it be that while I was examining it, the cells of the sample were moving and pulsating? If the heart came from someone who died in 1996, how could it still be alive?” When he was informed that the samples had been taken from the miraculous host, he stated, “This will remain an inexplicable mystery to science—a mystery totally beyond her competence.”

Sokolka Poland in 2008

  • On October 29, the container with the host was transferred to the Divine Mercy Chapel in the rectory and placed in the tabernacle. The next day, by decision of the archbishop, the stained host was taken out of the water and placed on a small corporal, which was then put back in the tabernacle. The host was kept this way for three years, until it was solemnly brought to the church on Oct. 2, 2011. A piece of the altered host was taken and analyzed independently by two experts in order to ensure the credibility of the results.
  • When the samples were taken for analysis, the undissolved part of the consecrated host had become embedded in the cloth. However, the red blood clot was as clear as ever. This transformed part of the host was dry and fragile, inextricably interwoven with the rest of the fragment, which had kept the form of bread.
  • The results of both independent studies were in perfect agreement. They concluded that the structure of the transformed fragment of the host is identical to the myocardial (heart) tissue of a living person who is nearing death. The structure of the heart muscle fibers is deeply intertwined with that of the bread, in a way impossible to achieve with human means. The studies proved that no foreign substance was added to the consecrated host; rather, part of the host took the form of heart muscle of a person near death. This kind of phenomenon is inexplicable by the natural sciences.

The Miracle of Lanciano, 750 AD 

  • The fame of this miracle spread throughout the world over the centuries, but in the 20th century, a time when perhaps we needed it most, even more was revealed. In 1970, Pope Paul VI commissioned a series of studies of the miraculous host of Lanciano. Drs. Ruggero Bertelli and Odoardo Linoli, both doctors of human anatomy and histology, performed separate investigations, which corroborated each other’s findings. Further studies were taken up by the World Health Organization in 1973 and again by Dr. Bertelli in 1981, both of which confirmed the findings and discovered even more information.
  • So what did these studies find? The results are truly stunning:
  • The flesh has the same structure as heart tissue (myocardium) and the membrane of tissue lining cardiac cavities (endocardium). The flesh was also discovered as being fresh, as opposed to 1,200 years old, with no trace of preservatives.
  • The globules of blood were also of human origin and determined to be of type AB. Further, while blood taken from a cadaver would deteriorate quickly, these samples continued to maintain the same properties of fresh blood.

The Most Remarkable Miracle of the Middle Ages

  • The Miracles in the Age of Science
  • Until the 1990s, Lanciano was the only proven case of the Eucharist turning into human flesh. Other cases have not been tested with modern scientific equipment, nor have the many dozens of bloodstains on corporals and chalices that have been preserved and are venerated as having come from bleeding hosts. But in 1992, the miracles started happening again.
  • 1992 and 1996, Buenos Aires, Argentina: In 1992, consecrated particles left on the corporal were put into water to dissolve and locked in the tabernacle, as the Church prescribes for disposing of consecrated hosts. One week later, they had changed into a red substance. Then again in 1996 after a consecrated host fell to the ground and was also put in water to dissolve, it was found a few days later to have turned into a bloody substance. Both cases were sent to be tested by the archbishop of Buenos Aires, who was none other than our future Pope Francis.
  • 2006, Tixtla, Mexico: During a retreat, a religious sister who was distributing Communion looked down and noticed that one of the Hosts had begun to bleed and transform.
  • 2008, Sokolka, Poland: A consecrated Host fell to the ground during Communion and was put in water and locked in a tabernacle to dissolve. A week later, most of the Host was dissolved except for a red “clot” that remained.
  • 2013, Legnica, Poland: A consecrated Host fell and was put in water and locked in a tabernacle. Two weeks later a red spot covered one-fifth of the undissolved Host.
  • Startling Scientific Results
  • Each of these occurrences received intensive study with highly advanced technology. In several cases, doctors did not know the source of the material. And yet, in all the cases, the same results were found, and are consistent with the results of Lanciano, providing even more details due to more advanced science:
  • The blood is human, AB blood type; human DNA was found; white blood cells, red blood cells, hemoglobin, and mycrophages were present, indicating fresh blood; in the Tixtla miracle, the blood clearly emanated from within, because the blood on the surface had begun to coagulate but the interior blood was still fresh, as with a bleeding wound
  • The flesh is human myocardium tissue of the left ventricle of an inflamed heart; in the miracles from Argentina and Poland, there was evidence of trauma from the presence of thrombi, indicating repeated lack of oxygen; lesions present showed rapid cardiac spasms typical in the final phases of death
  • In the Sokolka miracle, the remaining host is tightly interconnected with the fibers of human tissue, penetrating each other inseparably – as if the bread were transforming into flesh. “Even NASA scientists, who have at their disposal the most modern analytical techniques, would not be able to artificially recreate such a thing,” affirmed Dr. Sobaniec-Lotowska, one of the examining experts.
  • Dr. Frederick Zugibe, a forensic doctor at Columbia University who examined the Argentinian miracle, did not know the source of the sample and told the doctor who brought it to him, “If white blood cells were present (in the heart tissue), it is because at the moment you brought me the sample, it was pulsating.” When he learned the source of the sample, he was shocked and deeply moved.