As Catholics, we believe that the bread and wine used in the Mass become the body and blood of Christ. It’s a bold claim, especially considering it still looks, feels, smells and tastes just like bread and wine.
Theology and scripture put aside, some of the most compelling pieces of evidence are when the Eucharist has quite literally changed into Jesus’ body and blood. It’s happened throughout history but as we can often be sceptical of events that happened long ago here we have compiled a list of Eucharist miracles, all of which happened in the last 25 years! For more comprehensive studies and a much larger list, check out this resource.
1) Argentina 1992, 1994, 1996
Where: The parish of Saint Mary in Buenos Aires
What happened: While both other miracles are definitely worth finding out about, the most interesting and comprehensive study was done with the 1996 Eucharist. It began bleeding when consecrated and part of it became human tissue. After several intense studies, it was found that the tissue was part of a heart, a muscle of the myocardium, the left ventricle, the muscle that gives life to the whole heart and body.
The tissue revealed further that it belonged to a person who had gone through intense pain, experiencing extended periods of time where he could barely breathe, had immense strain put on the heart (both common feature of crucifixion) and had been stabbed in the left side. What was most insane was that despite the fact this should have killed the person, the tissue showed signs of being ‘alive’.
This was evidenced by intact white blood cells being found in the tissue. This showed the heart sample was pulsating as elsewise the white blood cells would have disintegrated roughly 15 minutes outside of a living body.
Interesting fact: The Archbishop who commissioned the research was none other than the now Pope Francis!
2) Mexico 2006
Where: The Parish of Saint Martin of Tours in Tixtla
When: 21 October 2006
What Happened: During a Mass in a parish retreat, a host that was about to be distributed was effusing a reddish substance. The diocese decided to conduct extensive scientific study of the host to discern its cause, origin and ensure there was no hoax being played. The study took several years but its results were eventually published in 2013. The reddish substance analysed in the host was indeed blood in which there was DNA and haemoglobins of human origin.
Two studies conducted by eminent forensic experts using different methods both showed that blood came from inside the host; this showed that it wasn’t possible that the blood was placed on the host from an outside source. The blood type was AB positive, the same type as found in other Eucharistic miracles and the Holy Shroud of Turin. A microscopic analysis of the blood in 2010 showed that since 2006 much of the blood visible had coagulated (as expected) but that underlying internal layers contained the presence of fresh blood which showed that the Eucharist was still bleeding.
The human tissue found in the host was living, evidenced by intact white and red blood cells and active macrophages. The immunohistochemical studies revealed that the tissue found corresponds to the muscle of the heart mentioned in Buenos Aires, the Myocardium. All in all, the study proved beyond a doubt that the occurrence was not of natural origin and went further by linking this miracle to the others that happen around the world.
3) India 2001
Where: The parish church of Saint Mary in Chirattakonam
When: 5 May 2001
What Happened: On April 28 2001, the church began the Novena to St. Jude Thaddeus as they did every year. At 8:49am, the priest exposed the Most Holy Sacrament in the monstrance for public adoration. After a few moments they saw what appeared to be three dots in the Holy Eucharist. They prayed to the host for a while and then it was placed secure in the tabernacle.
The priest then went to the archbishop of the diocese to inform him of the change but when he returned to the parish and opened the tabernacle it had in fact developed further as now clearly in the Eucharist was not only the three red dots but a face crowned with a crown of thorns.
It is suggested that the three red dots refer to the three wounds St. Thomas asked to see of Jesus before he would believe he rose from the dead, a thought compounded by the fact that this was the reading of the day. The Eucharist remains there to this day and is often adored by the faithful.
4) Venezuela 1991
Where: The Marian Shrine of Finca Betania in Cúa
When: 8 December 1991
What Happened: The priest had just divided the big host into four parts and consumed one of those pieces, as is normal in the Mass. When he placed the remaining pieces back on the paten (the plate the host is kept on) he noticed that one of the pieces now had a red spot and from it a red substance was coming out, similar to the manner in which blood escapes from a wound, the numerous pilgrims who were there immediately verified the blood did not come from the priest. The host continues to produce fresh blood and the then-Bishop of Los Teques requested a series of studies to test the Eucharist’s miraculous appearance.
The host was analysed by 500 commissions of the World Health Organization and it was confirmed that the blood of the priest did not match that of the Eucharist. The studies, like before, showed that the blood came from inside the host and matched that of other Eucharistic miracles, it again being AB positive and from a living heart. It is possible to go and see the miraculous host all days of the year at any hour in the convent of the Augustianian Recollects Nuns of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in Los Teques.
5) Poland 2008
Where: The parish church of Saint Anthony of Sokółka
When: 12 October 2008
What Happened: A consecrated host accidently fell to the ground during Mass and, when the priest noticed it, he believed it was dirty and so placed it in a vasculum (a small container filled with water) to dissolve it and get rid of a dirty host in the proper manner. Later, when it was brought out again, although it was partially dissolved it was still there and what was thought to be ‘dirt’ at a passing glance was in fact what at looked like a blood clot. Intense study followed and two scientists of global fame and specialists in pathological anatomy at the Medical University of Białystok were called in to lead the investigation, Professor Maria Elżbieta Sobaniec-Łotowska and Professor Stanisław Sulkowski.
These two scientists studied the ‘blood clot’ independent of each other and made use of the most modern optical microscopes and the transmission electronic microscope. To further ensure no bias in the study, Professor Sulkowski was not informed that the sample which he was examining came from a host. Despite this, both scientists reached the same conclusion: the sample examined was neither a clot, nor blood… it was a human cardiac muscle tissue (heart tissue) and was still alive.
The details of the heart’s condition are the same as those we’ve mentioned earlier, but the most incredible thing about this study was that, due to the advanced nature of the equipment they used, they were able to observe that the cardiac tissue was joined to the consecrated host in an inseparable manner. There is no scientific explanation for this; they penetrated each other, as if a fragment of ‘bread’ had suddenly transformed itself into ‘body’.
It is not possible to manipulate an event of this type. No one, absolutely no one, would have been able to do it. “Even the scientists of NASA, who have at their disposal the most modern analytical techniques, would not be able to artificially recreate such a thing” affirmed Professor Sobaniec-Łotowska.