During the national three-year Eucharistic Revival, The Very Rev. Shoby Chettiyath, V.G., the diocesan Vicar General, will write a series of articles exploring the various Eucharistic Miracles of the World. A companion for readers in this series is, “The Eucharistic Miracles of the World,” an international exhibition designed and created by Blessed Carlo Acutis, the Servant of God. All rights reserved; used with permission. More information may be found at www.miracolieucaristici.org/en/liste/list.html
This most important Eucharistic Miracle we highlight in this article took place on Feb. 16, 1266, in the city of Santarem, of the District of Fatima in Portugal. The fact remains that the consecrated host has been preserved for more than 750 years, intact and drenched in Blood, in the church of St. Stephen of the Holy Miracle. The most ancient documents describe how the miracle happened: A young wife suffering from the infidelity of her husband in the sacrament of marriage, consulted a sorceress to regain his faithfulness and save her marriage. The Sorceress told her to go to the church and steal a “consecrated Host” to use for sorcery. The desperate woman went to the Church of St. Stephen to attend the Mass and after receiving Holy Communion, took it out of her mouth and wrapped it in a veil that immediately became stained with Blood. The unfortunate woman, overcome with fear and confusion, rushed home and locked the miraculous Host in a trunk. In the middle of the night, a bright light coming from the trunk woke the wife and the unfaithful husband. When she explained to him what she had done, the couple knelt in front of the trunk and repented. In the early morning, the parish priest was informed of the event and came to the couple’s house to take the Host and carry it back to St. Stephen’s Church in a solemn procession, followed by a crowd of religious and faithful. The Host continued to bleed for three more days. Then later the priest kept the Host in a wax pyx at the church and soon word spread, bringing many to visit the church to witness. In 1340, when a priest opened the tabernacle, he found the wax pyx was broken into many pieces: in its place was a crystal vase containing the Blood mixed with the wax. The Sacred Host is now preserved in an 18th century Eucharistic throne above the main altar. “Throughout the centuries, on various occasions the Host gave new emissions of Blood, and in some cases various images of Our Lord were seen in the Holy Eucharist. Among the witnesses of this prodigy is St. Francis Xavier, the apostle of the Indies, who visited the shrine before going on the missions. Every year since the miracle occurred, on the second Sunday of April, the precious relic is processed from the home of the couple to the Church of St. Stephen. The couple’s home became a chapel in the year 1684.” Numerous studies and canonical analyses were carried out on the relics. The Host changed into bleeding Flesh and Blood flowed out of the Blessed Sacrament. Both relics are preserved to this day in the Church of St. Stephen in Santarém. Some Popes granted plenary indulgences to this Eucharistic miracle: Pius IV, St. Pius V, Pius VI, and Pope Gregory XIV. Still today, it is possible to admire these precious relics in the Church of St. Stephen of Santarém. ©TM
The Very Rev. Shoby Chettiyath, V.G., serves as Vicar General, Moderator of the Curia, and Vicar for Religious in the Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau. He is Parochial Administrator of St. Francis of Assisi Parish, in Nixa, MO.