Stewardship: A Way of Life

Stewardship: A Way of Life

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THE MIRACLE OF LANCIANO*

In these days of doubts, questioning, faith wavering, and many obstacles to believing in anything as real truths, the Miracle of Lanciano is a story every Catholic should know. It is more than a story. It is miracle for all the world to know. Is the bread and wine consecrated at Mass the REAL body and blood of Jesus Christ or just a representation as unfortunately, some believe it to be? Father Arens shared this story with us at a 9 am Mass recently.

Many believe that the Miracle of Lanciano is the first and greatest Eucharistic Miracle of the Catholic Church. What is a miracle? It is an event, extraordinary and not explained in ordinary terms. It is an action directly from God or by His will and comes through someone else, possibly a saint. A miracle is religious in nature and is a clear sign of supernatural, divine intervention.  So extraordinary are these events that they leave little doubt in one’s faith of God.

Early 700s. Ancient Roman city town, Lanciano (then known as Anxanum)—monastery of St Basil under patronage of St. Longinus who is believed to be the centurion at the Crucifixion who proclaimed  “Truly, this was the Son of God (Mt 27:54) and pierced the side of our Lord with his lance.” (Jn 19:34)

One day a monk (no identity) was saying Mass and when he got to the Consecration, his doubts about the Transubstantiation again agonized him as to whether this was really the body and blood of our Lord and whether our Lord was truly    present in the Holy Eucharist. When he said the words of Consecration, the bread and wine miraculously changed from bread into flesh and wine into the blood. Awe struck and weeping in joy, he called the congregation up to witness this change. ‘God confounded my unbelief  as He revealed Himself to me.’ Shortly the blood coagulated into five globules of different sizes and the flesh remained the same. Though different in size, all blood globules weighed the same and the flesh remained flesh, unchanged. They were placed in a “special ivory reliquary”, not hermetically sealed. The following centuries are filled with descriptions of what happened to this flesh and blood and all the tests that they were subjected to. There is no room here for detailed description.

In 1970-71 Pope Paul VI ordered scientific studies. In 1981 more advanced tests were done. Briefly:  flesh, yellow-brown in color is part of the heart wall (no traces of preservatives), type AB blood with all necessary minerals present. Both should have deteriorated as they were not hermetically sealed. Only a skilled surgeon could have made the difficult cut of the heart sample.  Please read the whole story as I cannot do justice to it in this brief  capsule.

The Lord said “I am the Bread of life.  He who feeds on my Flesh and drinks My blood has life eternal and I will raise him up on the list day.  He who feeds on My Flesh and drinks My Blood remains in Me, and I in him.”  (Jn 6:35, 54-56)  Remember this miracle at every Mass that you attend.

by Kathy Reilly