The Guardian Angel: Eucharistic Miracle Argentina 1992, 1994, 1996
I had to do this one again after Father Tom Sullivan from the Fathers of Mercy called me upon his return from Argentina, just a few days ago, wanting to share his experience of being there and getting to hold one of the Eucharistic Miracles in HIS Hands, getting to Adore Jesus in the Miraculous Eucharist of HIS presence. I could feel his excitement as he was speaking to me. Love and prayers in Christ to your families. To Jesus through Mary, GregoryMary
The parish of Saint Mary in Buenos Aires has been the protagonist of 3 Eucharistic Miracles that occurred in 1992, 1994 and 1996. Professor Ricardo Castañon Gomez was called by the then Archbishop of Buenos Aires, none other than the current Pope Francis, to analyze the Miracle that occurred on August 15 of 1996.
In 1992, after the Mass of Friday May 1, while preparing the Eucharistic reserve, a Eucharistic minister found some pieces of consecrated Host on the corporal. Following what the Church prescribes to do in these situations, the priest had them put in a vessel of water, which was then placed in the tabernacle to wait for them to dissolve. In the following days, several priests went to check it and they realized that nothing had changed.
Seven days later, on Friday, May 8, they opened the tabernacle and saw that the Host fragments had become a reddish color that looked like blood. The following Sunday, May 10, during the two evening Masses, several small drops of blood were noticed on the patens with which the priests distributed Communion.
On Sunday, July 24, 1994, during the children’s Mass, while the Eucharistic minister took the pix from the tabernacle, he saw a drop of blood running along its side. On August 15, 1996, during the Mass of the Assumption of the Most Holy Virgin, a consecrated Host, which fell to the ground during the distribution of Communion, had to be placed again in a vessel of water so it would dissolve. A few days later, on August 26, a Eucharistic minister opened the tabernacle and saw that Host had transformed into Blood.
This is the account given by Professor Castañon regarding the Eucharistic Miracle that occurred in 1996 still in the Parish of Saint Mary: “On August 15, 1996, a faithful received the consecrated Host in his hands to take communion but he let it inadvertently fall to the ground and thought not to pick it up because it seemed “dirty” to him. Another person, more pious, noticed what had happened, picked it up and placed it apart immediately informing the priest, Father Alejandro Pezet. The priest, following the directives of the Church in these circumstances. put the Host in a vessel full of water which he placed in the tabernacle awaiting that it would dissolve.”
On August 26 the tabernacle was reopened to get the vessel with the fallen Host, and it was observed that it was not dissolved and showed several reddish stains that became larger each day. The priests of the parish went immediately to the Archbishop of Buenos Aires to recount what had happened. It was decided to wait before proceeding with the investigations and in 1999, after the Archbishop was made aware of the fact that I was performing for free these scientific investigations, he entrusted me to take up the case.
On October 6, 1999, I went to Buenos Aires and interviewed the 5 priests’ witnesses of the event who told me that there had been another consecrated Host which had bled in May of 1992. They had put it in distilled water which is the worst way to preserve something and for this I was very concerned. Everyone knows that when one draws blood it is possible to obtain the leukocyte formula (white blood cells). In blood there is a variety of white blood cells with specific characteristics.
The priests, in the first miracle, had asked one of their lady parishioners who was a chemist to analyze the bleeding Host. She discovered that it was human blood and that it presented the entire leukocyte formula. She was very surprised to observe that the white blood cells were active. The lady doctor could not however do the genetic examination since at that time it was not easy to perform it.
I brought a sample from the 2 Hosts which had bled, before the archiepiscopal notary who certified the legality of that action, as requested by the authorities of the Church in Argentina. I would like to point out that before inviting me, the then Archbishop of Buenos Aires had already contacted the Holy See to ask for references about me. These were given by H.E. Most Rev. Gianfranco Girotti, who then was under-secretary at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and direct collaborator of Cardinal Ratzinger.
On October 21 I went to the Forensic Analytical genetics laboratory in San Francisco, which was supposed to perform the analysis of the samples that I had brought. On January 28 of 2000 they found some fragments of human DNA in the samples, it was human blood that contained the human genetic code.
In March of 2000 I was informed that also the famous legal histopathologist Dr. Robert Lawrence, one of the top experts in tissues, would participate in this analysis. I feared for the participation of Dr. Robert Lawrence because this would have required some substantial costs which I would have had to bear myself, but I was told that they desired his collaboration because in the samples they had found some substances which resembled human tissues. Dr. Lawrence studied the samples and found in them human skin and white blood cells. In December of 2000 Dr. Lawrence told me that he could have obtained other samples of DNA.”
“In 2001 I went with my samples to Professor Linoli who identified the white blood cells and said to me that most probably the samples corresponded to heart tissue. The results obtained from the samples were similar to those of the studies performed on the Host of the Miracle of Lanciano.
In 2002 we sent the sample to Professor John Walker at the University of Sydney in Australia who confirmed that the samples showed muscle cells and intact white blood cells and everyone knows that white blood cells outside our body disintegrate after 15 minutes and in this case 6 years had already passed.”
In September of 2003 I went again to Professor Robert Lawrence who confirmed that in the light of the new investigations one could conclude that the sample could correspond to the tissue of an inflamed heart. The studies therefore had demonstrated that these tissues were of an inflamed heart: this meant that the person to whom they belonged must have suffered a lot.
To clarify our doubts, on March 2, 2004 we went to the greatest expert in cardiac pathologies and forensic medicine of the heart, Professor Frederick Zugibe of New York, at Columbia University. The professor however did not know that the sample I had brought to him came from a consecrated Host. ‘The sample which you brought me - Professor Zugibe said to me - is the muscle of the heart, of the myocardium, it is precisely the left ventricle’ and he confirmed that my patient had suffered a lot.
Then I asked him: ‘Doctor, why has my patient suffered a lot?’ He answered me: ‘Because your patient has some thrombi, at certain moments he could not breathe, oxygen did not reach him, he labored and suffered much because every aspiration was painful. Probably they gave him a blow at the level of the chest.
Moreover the heart showed dynamic activity (alive) at the moment when you brought me the sample.’ ‘Why, I ask him?’ ‘Because we found some intact white blood cells and white blood cells are transported only by the blood and thus if white blood cells are here it is because at the moment in which you brought me the sample it was pulsating.’
The professor then asked to whom this sample belonged and when we told him that it came from a consecrated Host he exclaimed: ‘I do not believe it.’ He was greatly moved. The same professor had shown to us in a book the case of one of his patients who showed the same lesions, similar to those of the sample that we had brought to him.
The myocardium is the muscle that gives life to the whole heart and to our body. Rightly a theologian made me note that the fact that it was really the myocardium, was not casual but it concealed a symbolism. The Lord in this miracle wanted to show us his myocardium, which is the muscle that gives life to the whole heart, just as the Eucharist does with the Church. And why the left ventricle? Because from it comes the purified blood and Jesus is the one Who purifies his Church from her sins. ‘
Doctor - Professor Zugibe said to me again, at the moment in which you brought me this sample, this heart was alive!’ His report was sent out on March 26, 2005, 5 years and a half after the start of the studies and the conclusions were: ‘They are tissues of the heart, undergoing degenerative changes of the myocardium and these changes are due to the fact that the cells are inflamed and it is the left ventricle of the heart.’” On March 17, 2006 I brought the results to Cardinal Jorge Maria Bergoglio.
Splendor of the Church Alan Schreck, Ph.D. I began writing this article on October 4, the feast of St. Francis of Assisi. What better way to begin to prepare for Christmas and to reflect on Catholicism as "the religion of the Incarnation" than to consider Francis!
Our Bodies, Our World--- "Very Good" How many people (and be honest, it often may include us) seek to find God and live a "spiritual" life by "rising above" the material order and human nature? We aspire to be in God's presence, and this, it seems, means leaving behind ordinary daily life with its mundane activities. At its worst, this is manifest in the Gnostic heresy of "dualism" that claims that only the spiritual (or spirit itself) is good, while all material things (and matter itself) is tainted or evil.
Against this tendency stands the great affirmation of Genesis 1:31: "And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good." This affirmation is echoed in St. Francis' "Canticle of Brother Sun" that proclaims how God is glorified through every part of his creation - Francis' "brothers and sisters" the sun, moon, stars, wind, air, water, fire, the earth, people who grant pardon and endure trial, and even through "Sister Death."
The glory of the Creator is revealed in the very existence and beauty of the creature. Yet this is not all. Christianity claims that God has gone one step further: he has actually entered into this creation and has "become" one of the creatures. This is the mystery of the Incarnation-"the Word [of God] became flesh and dwelt among us" Un 1:14).
The Great Self-emptying St. Francis was awestruck by this reality that God did not disdain our feeble, insignificant state, but even came among us as an infant born in a rude stable into a humble small-town family. St. Bonaventure recounts how St. Francis came to make the first manger scene to commemorate the Incarnation. It happened in the third year before his death that he decided, in order to arouse devotion, to celebrate at Greccio with the greatest possible solemnity the memory of the birth of the Child Jesus.
So that this would not be considered a type of novelty, he petitioned for and obtained permission from the Supreme Pontiff. He had a crib prepared, hay carried in and an ox and an ass led to the place. The friars are summoned, the people come, the forest resounds with their voices and that venerable night is rendered brilliant and solemn by a multitude of bright lights and by resonant and harmonious hymns of praise. The man of God stands before the crib filled with affection, bathed in tears overflowing with joy. A solemn Mass is celebrated over the crib, with Francis as deacon chanting the holy Gospel.
Then he preaches to the people standing about concerning the birth of the poor King, whom, when he wished to name him, he called in his tender love, the Child of Bethlehem. The Incarnation, I would claim, is the foundational miracle of Christianity. If it is true that God has entered into human history by becoming a human being -- this great voluntary "self-emptying" (kenosis) of God's divine status (Phil 2: 5- 11)--then nothing else that God does in and through Jesus should appear surprising or impossible. If Jesus of Nazareth was God incarnate - God in the flesh - should it surprise us that he could do mighty works or "miracles," overcome death in others and in himself; ascend into heaven, and continue to be truly present and give himself to us forever under the appearance of bread and wine in the Eucharist?
The Incarnation Principle: Basis of Sacraments One common thread that connects all these is the thesis that God decided to make himself known to us and accessible to us in and through material things. This "incarnational principle" is the basis for all the sacraments. In the sacraments, Catholics believe that Jesus is truly present, especially in the person of the minister of the sacrament who acts <in persona Christi> (in the person of Christ) and in the sacramental signs (bread, wine, water, oil, etc.).
They are "signs" because they point to the reality of God's presence and action. To understand this takes faith, and it seems that a special faith is needed to believe that we ourselves, the baptized, are also sacraments, for we are, corporately or "all together," Christ's living presence on earth as the Body of Christ, the Church. Individually, each of us is also a dwelling place of God - a living "temple" of God the Holy Spirit who lives within us. It is another "miracle" that God is present in and acts through weak, feeble human instruments.
He is present and acts in each baptized person. In a special way, through the sacrament of Holy Orders, he acts in those who continue the ministry of the apostles to serve and build up the whole Church. St. Francis recognized the gift of the priestly ministry to the extent that he refused to condemn or judge even the most sinful priest, because God still used him to consecrate the Eucharist.
Through the Eyes of Faith - and Beyond The Incarnation necessitates that we look upon Jesus, the sacraments, the Church and ourselves with the gift of faith in order to see their true meaning. It is all too easy to stop at the appearance and fail to see the reality. We must "look beyond" (as a devotional hymn puts it) the humanity of Jesus to see his divinity. If we accept the "signs" which God has provided in Jesus' life, ministry and impact on history, this faith should not appear to be unreasonable.
We must "look beyond" the outward signs of the sacraments to see, in faith, God's presence and action in them. We must "look beyond" the human frailty and failings of the members and ordained ministers of the Church in order to see Jesus present acting in and through them. This, too, takes faith, though we do see glimpses of God's glory in the Church.
God loves us and accepts our human limitations (which he made), and he enters into our lives in order to purify and to transform them into his perfect image, the image of his Son, Jesus. This process (being made holy) is often a painful and gradual one, but it is possible to see signs of this transformation and to recognize that God is truly present.
Beneath the Surface of Scripture We also have faith that God has revealed himself to the human race through inspired words that have been written down and proclaimed by the Church to be "Sacred Scripture." This, too, is very incarnational, because God uses human authors and their languages and customary styles of writing and "literary forms" to communicate the truth that he wishes to reveal. Sacred Scripture is rightly called "the Word of God in human words," and so the Catholic Church urges careful study and analysis of the "human words" and their literary, historical and cultural context in order to understand more fully what God desires to reveal about himself and his will.
We must remember, though, to "look beyond" or "beneath" the human words by the gift of faith to hear and understand God's powerful and inspired word to us in Sacred Scripture. This Word has the power to set us free - to heal and transform us as we hear it and respond to it in faith. In doing this, Catholics also recognize the importance of Jesus' presence in the Church's leaders, especially the apostles' successors, the bishops, as they carry on the mission that Jesus gave to the apostles to proclaim God's word and to interpret it correctly and faithfully the power of the Holy Spirit.
Again, God uses people (the incarnational principle) to continue to spread this truth and to guide his Church into the fullness of truth. St. Francis had a deep awareness of God's presence in Sacred Scripture, St. Bonaventure reported that he prayed the psalms "with such attention of mind and spirit, as if he had God present" St. Francis' rules for his followers were little more than texts of Scripture that he put together and commented upon briefly. As we prepare for the great feast of the Incarnation let us ask the Holy Spirit to open our hearts in profound reverence and joy to the meaning of this mystery. And may we ever appreciate our Catholic and Christian faith in its material and human expressions as instruments of God's presence and grace in this "religion of the Incarnation."