As we continue to go back to the time right after Christ, we see how much our Church Fathers and Saints understood the reality and true presence in the Eucharist. May we gain their wisdom and insight into this gift from Jesus to the Father and to us. To Jesus through Mary, GregoryMary
St. Justin Martyr was born a pagan but converted to Christianity after studying philosophy. He was a prolific writer and many Church scholars consider him the greatest apologist or defender of the faith from the 2nd century. He was beheaded with six of his companions some time between 163 and 167 A.D.
"This food we call the Eucharist, of which no one is allowed to partake except one who believes that the things we teach are true, and has received the washing for forgiveness of sins and for rebirth, and who lives as Christ handed down to us. For we do not receive these things as common bread or common drink; but as Jesus Christ our Savior being incarnate by God's Word took flesh and blood for our salvation, so also we have been taught that the food consecrated by the Word of prayer which comes from him, from which our flesh and blood are nourished by transformation, is the flesh and blood of that incarnate Jesus."
"First Apology", Ch. 66, inter A.D. 148-155.
"God has therefore announced in advance that all the sacrifices offered in His name, which Jesus Christ offered, that is, in the Eucharist of the Bread and of the Chalice, which are offered by us Christians in every part of the world, are pleasing to Him."
"Dialogue with Trypho", Ch. 117, circa 130-160 A.D.
"Moreover, as I said before, concerning the sacrifices which you at that time offered, God speaks through Malachias, one of the twelve, as follows: 'I have no pleasure in you, says the Lord; and I will not accept your sacrifices from your hands; for from the rising of the sun until its setting, my name has been glorified among the gentiles; and in every place incense is offered to my name, and a clean offering: for great is my name among the gentiles, says the Lord; but you profane it.' It is of the sacrifices offered to Him in every place by us, the gentiles, that is, of the Bread of the Eucharist and likewise of the cup of the Eucharist, that He speaks at that time; and He says that we glorify His name, while you profane it."
-"Dialogue with Trypho", [41: 8-10]
Eucharistic Miracle of Ponferrada, SPAIN, 1533
In the miracle of Ponferrada, Juan De Benavente decided to steal the tabernacle
containing a precious silver ciborium with numerous consecrated Hosts inside from his very own parish. With only the passing of time and miraculous circumstances the recovery of the stolen Hosts, which remained perfectly intact, was made possible.
Juan De Benavente lived in Ponferrada with his wife. It was apparent that he was very
devout and religious. In fact every evening he stopped in church to pray. One day, during his prayer time, he succumbed to greed and seized the tabernacle, a simple wooden container, in which there was a precious silver ciborium containing some consecrated Hosts.
He fled from the church and headed towards the Sil River in order to pitch the cheap wooden tabernacle, but when he tried to launch it into the water he could not because of its sudden immense weight. So he returned home where he hid everything and said nothing to his wife. During the night continuous flashes of light came from the tabernacle, arousing the suspicion of his wife. So Juan decided to go out and dispose of his sacrilegious stolen goods.
He reached a place the townspeople called the Arenal Field and threw the tabernacle and
consecrated Hosts into the middle of the blackberry patch. The discovery of the crime brought dismay among all of the population and Juan became increasingly nervous and anxious, also because he did not know how to sell the silver ciborium without getting caught.
Near the Arenal Field, the owner of the land, Diego Nuñez de Losada, set up a target practice for entertainment during the feast days. During the time frame in which the sacred Hosts were still in the blackberry patch, eyewitnesses reported seeing flashes of light at night and strange doves hovering during the day. The crossbowmen tried in vain to hit the doves. The miller Nogaledo decided then to capture the doves with his own hands and ventured into the blackberry patch, discovering the tabernacle and the sacred Hosts from where the intense flashes of light originated.
Disturbed, he went straight towards the church where the bells were ringing in the distance. The return of the sacred Hosts was organized with a solemn procession. Juan was overcome with remorse and decided to admit his guilt.
In the place where the miraculous Hosts were recovered a chapel was immediately constructed. In 1570 the parish priest planned the expansion of the building and instituted a solemn annual procession on the eighth day of the Feast of Corpus Christi in memory of the miracle.
“The Blessed Virgin is the Mother of Divine Grace because she is the Mother of God, who is the Author of grace. Except for Jesus Christ, the Son of Mary, the grace that was lost by the fall of Adam and Eve would not have been restored to the human race. Our Lady’s fiat mihi (be it done to me) at the Annunciation began the restoration of God’s grace to the human family.” Father John Hardon