I noticed a video on a recent Eucharistic Miracle going the rounds online. As I had visited a number of Eucharistic Miracle sites in the past, I normally would have watched it later. However I don’t know why I chose to view it and as I continued to listen to the speaker I got more interested simply because of how it was presented including the tests done and the discoveries.
This is one reason that I followed my late dad of not receiving communion by hand unless the priest instructed us too. This is simply the body of Christ that I just cannot imagine holding with my hand. It is too sacred to do such. I then searched the web to fully understand the background of this new Eucharistic Miracle.
Below is a brief background of this miracle from the Love one Another magazine, which occurred in Buenos Aires in 1996, in a parish under the auspices of Pope Francis. Then Cardinal Bergoglio, he approved of this Miracle.
A consecrated Host becomes flesh and blood
At seven o’clock in the evening on August 18, 1996, Fr. Alejandro Pezet was saying Holy Mass at a Catholic church in the commercial center of Buenos Aires. As he was finishing distributing Holy Communion, a woman came up to tell him that she had found a discarded host on a candleholder at the back of the church. On going to the spot indicated, Fr. Alejandro saw the defiled Host. Since he was unable to consume it, he placed it in a container of water and put it away in the tabernacle of the chapel of the Blessed Sacrament.
On Monday, August 26, upon opening the tabernacle, he saw to his amazement that the Host had turned into a bloody substance. He informed Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, who gave instructions that the Host be professionally photographed. The photos were taken on September 6. They clearly show that the Host, which had become a fragment of bloodied flesh, had grown significantly in size. For several years the Host remained in the tabernacle, the whole affair being kept a strict secret. Since the Host suffered no visible decomposition, Cardinal Bergoglio decided to have it scientifically analyzed.
On October 5, 1999, in the presence of the Cardinal’s representatives, Dr. Castanon took a sample of the bloody fragment and sent it to New York for analysis. Since he did not wish to prejudice the study, he purposely did not inform the team of scientists of its provenance. One of these scientists was Dr. Frederic Zugiba, the well-known cardiologist and forensic pathologist. He determined that the analyzed substance was real flesh and blood containing human DNA. Zugiba testified that, “the analyzed material is a fragment of the heart muscle found in the wall of the left ventricle close to the valves. This muscle is responsible for the contraction of the heart. It should be borne in mind that the left cardiac ventricle pumps blood to all parts of the body. The heart muscle is in an inflammatory condition and contains a large number of white blood cells. This indicates that the heart was alive at the time the sample was taken. It is my contention that the heart was alive, since white blood cells die outside a living organism. They require a living organism to sustain them. Thus, their presence indicates that the heart was alive when the sample was taken. What is more, these white blood cells had penetrated the tissue, which further indicates that the heart had been under severe stress, as if the owner had been beaten severely about the chest.”
Watch this video of Dr. Ricardo Castanon’s talk till the end. He is a reknowned scientist, former atheist, Catholic convert, and author of the book Cuando La Palabra Hiere (When the Word Hurts). He travels the world investigating Catholic mystical phenomena and runs scientific tests to prove or disprove them. His mission began when he decided to disprove one miracle, and ended up a strong believer. He is the president and researcher of the International Group for Peace and, in the video below, is speaking at the 2008 Faith and Science Conference about his scientific investigation of a Eucharistic miracle in Buenos Aires.
For the unbeliever, it may move you to think. For those who believe, it may strengthen your faith and the significance of the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist. It has English sub-titles.
This is the longer version and if you have time I encourage you to watch his presentation. Although I am a devoted Catholic, it still gave me insights which further deepened my faith. At the same time, I feel that we should pray more for how modernism and science is influencing the values and morals of this world:
Excerpts from the speech of Dr. Ricardo Castañón, former atheist, at the Faith & Science Conference in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 2008. Translated from Spanish.
Now I’ll start a very interesting topic which I’ll surely deeply explain. I was called by the Cardinal of Buenos Aires … because … there is a trend of certain people [receiving] the Communion with their hand. So somebody dropped the [consecrated] Host and since the Host was dirty he didn’t want to pick it up. … The priest grabbed it and put it in a water fountain and let it sit in the water, so that it can dissolve. [The Host was then placed in a container of water and put in the Tabernacle.] After five or six days of being in the Tabernacle, they opened the Tabernacle and noticed that instead of being dissolved it had some red stains in different shapes. They noticed that the stains grew in the following days. That’s when they invited me to take a sample and find out what it was all about.
I traveled several times and got two samples. One [of the samples] is like gelatine. … [The other] has become like a dry scab. I went to some labs in the U.S. in California to take these samples. I don’t tell them that this comes from a Host. Blind tests consist of just giving the samples to the lab tech. … [The lab tech later reported to me:] “Doctor, the sample that you have brought us is muscle from the heart—muscle from the myocardium of the left ventricle.” That was the first result, but there are many things to discover.
We’ve been working on these studies since 1999. [But just recently found a] great expert in cardiology, pathology and biochemistry. He’s the only professor who has written a book of how to determine [the way in which] a person died when the heart has been wounded. So he’s a very famous professor, Dr. Frederick Zugibe. We gave him the samples and he said: “The person that had this heart must have been very wounded because his heart shows that he must have been very beat up. He was tortured!” He didn’t know it was a Host! Then what happened is that he said: “But there is something you need to explain. How is it possible that while I was studying this sample, the sample was moving, it was beating? So you explain to me: How did you take out the heart of a dead man and took it alive to me to my New York lab?” … Imagine telling a person that … a piece of wheat has turned into blood, coagulated and become heart tissue!
But it doesn’t end here since he asked us how was it possible that it is alive. I’ve been studying this sample since 1999—it’s been more than five years that I have the sample. So I went to the lab in Buenos Aires. And I looked for the documents of the first studies realized in Buenos Aires. And the lab tech that had done the first studies wrote: “Some liquids are observed like red blood cells, white blood cells, hemoglobin. What calls my attention is that the cells are moving and beating. Some days had gone by already yet [under normal circumstances] after fifteen minutes the blood cells die!
So I got attracted to the heart topic and I found out that in Lanciano, a town located at the south of Italy, a priest that was celebrating Mass doubted if Jesus was present in the Eucharist. He doubted, and in the moment he was doubting the Host became flesh and blood. If you travel to Lanciano you can see it. … The wine turned into five [blood] clots. There are five blood clots, blood that looks like cotton. But the five of them have different sizes and weigh the same! The bishops’ conference of Italy invited in the ‘70’s—this happened in the eighth century, but they kept it [preserved in a reliquary]—they invited this professor Dr. Linolli, who is an expert in biochemistry and pathology to study it, and this doctor told us it “is muscle from the heart, just like the sample you have.” Hence, the sample I have from the ‘90’s from Buenos Aires is the same as this one—belongs to the same person!
What do you think? … So here we’re talking about what I believe is an extraordinary proof. Can I prove that Jesus Christ is present in the Eucharist? The Lord says something mystical: “I make miracles for the blind and deaf, but I would love not to make any miracles and you would believe because of faith.” I’m no one to say these are proofs, but I just want to put on the table the results of my research so you can meditate and come up with your own conclusions.
According to Fr. Flag, it is significant that on the day the host in Buenos Aires was discovered to have turned red, the priest was doing his prayer with the Pope’s letter commemorating the institution of the diocesan feast of Corpus Christi 750 years before.
The weakening of faith in the real presence of the Risen Christ in the Eucharist is one of the most significant aspects of the current spiritual crisis. Jesus wants to strengthen our faith in His Eucharistic presence. That is why from time to time in the history of the Catholic Church He gives us signs–Eucharistic miracles that clearly underscore the fact that He, the Risen Lord Himself in the mystery of His Divinity and glorified humanity, is truly present in the Eucharist.
I also encourage you to read A Matter of Faith, A Matter of Fact. Dr. Castanon was invited to give a presentation at the National Shrine of The Divine Mercy, in Stockbridge, Mass., and he provided evidence for non-believers that the Real Presence should be taken as a matter of fact.